Ourense was founded by the Romans partly because of the presence of hot springs . Today it’s a town of around 100,000 making it the biggest place I’ve walked through since Salamanca weeks ago.
In the morning I paid a visit to the cathedral to collect a stamp for my credencial or pilgrim’s passport.
The 13th century Portico of Paradise is stunning.
Below is a representation of Santiago Matamoros or Saint James the Moor Slayer which refers to his legendary, miraculous appearance at the Battle of Clavijo, fighting the Muslim army.
Another reason for the founding of the town was to protect the river crossing . Today there a number of bridges including this medieval one
The Roma baths were in what is now the centre of the city. There’s still a basic set of baths here,
to a fancier place outside of town where you can hire everything you need. It was a new experience for me to sit in a steaming hot pool out in the rain!
I think the gastronomic low point of my walk was lunch today . I’ve had chips/ french fries so many times and I thought I was getting them again , but these potato chips were straight out of a bag! And the ‘salad’ was a bit of iceberg lettuce with strips of ham on top.
However in the bar, the Phillip Island motorcycle GP in Australia was on TV and that got me talking to the people in there about Australia. I was so pleased I could understand just about everything they said after the difficult days trying to understand Manolo’s Spanish.
Perhaps it was partly because Castilian is probably their second language as many people here have Gallego as their first tongue. It’s a language related to Portuguese . As a simple example, this ‘dogs prohibited’ sign in Castilian would say ‘Perros’ instead of ‘Cans’. The Gallego word comes straight from Latin whilst the origin of the Castilian Perro is a bit uncertain but may represent the sound a dog makes.
I thought I’d never find somewhere to eat dinner . There are lots of bars with people drinking but no one eating . Maybe it’s because it’s Sunday in a provincial town with few tourists . Maybe it all happens after I go to sleep . Finally I found an American style mall with typical mall food .
I’ll close with a few shots of typical buildings. Off to bed now as I have a reasonably long walk tomorrow !
An old pharmacy