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Sunday, January 08, 2012

France/Spain 2011 - Day 12, Part 1 - Santiago de Compostela

"An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't." - Anatole France

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France/Spain 2011
Day 12 - 28th March - Santiago de Compostela
(Part 1)

We set off in the morning for some sights in the north.

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We stopped at a bakery for directions (and breakfast): the biggest croissants and pains au chocolat I'd ever seen (0,65€ and 0,75€ respectively). The pain au chocolat was good and had a lot of chocolate. Unfortunately I couldn't say the same for the croissant; for some reason there was more butter in the pain than the croissant.

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A house we were forced to drive 5km back so I could take a picture of it. Note the lack of crispness despite it being taken at ISO 100.

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Some tower somewhere

We had wanted to see some sites like what one guidebook called the highest cliffs in Europe (San Andres de Teixido). Apparently they're only the highest in continental Europe. In any event we realised we had tarried too long in the morning and would end up returning the car late so we turned back halfway (we would've had to leave at 6 to do everything). Here is a picture of San Andres de Teixido:



According to the Rough Guide, everything in Santiago was closed, except the Cathedral, because it was a Monday. This was mostly alright since I wouldn't have had time to do the other things anyway (I was flying off the next morning) - but I missed out on a treat in a Michelin-starred restaurant because of that.

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Carpark with the most confusing parking rates I'd ever seen: the first to fifth minutes were charged at 0,045764€/min and there were different rates for each of the next 5 bands. This carpark also had the smallest lots ever.

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Weird Hello Kitty drink. It was super sweet (saccharinely sweet and so suitable for Hello Kitty) and didn't seem to have any real strawberry inside.

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"Customer feedback forms are available on request"
In other words, you can complain!

We then checked into the hotel.

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Paths of St James in Europe

The city was interesting as every now and then, one would run into:

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Pilgrim. Note the scallop shell


I was quite fascinated by this piece of furniture: a stool which could transform into a (short) ladder. More than meets the eye, indeed!

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Lamprey tank. The bottom one was thrashing as I came by.

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Menu of one place. This was the first Spanish city I'd been to with restaurants with photos (this was related to it being the most touristy town/city I'd been to, beating even Santillana del Mar). It also had the second and third kebab shops I'd seen.

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Rainy street

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Another rainy street

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Seafood in a fridge, just like a Chinese zichar

We then had lunch.

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Meatballs with squid. The texture was like hainan curry.

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Potatoes with 3 cheeses. The shadow is, I was told, because I was too close.

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Bread with tomato

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Bread with pork loin and roquefort

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Tortilla with bacalao and peppers

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Stuffed squid

There was a sample platter with 6.5 cakes we should've gotten - I didn't know each would be so small.

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Cake of Three Chocolates

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Coconut cake

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Ripoff T-shirts: 'No Pain No Glory', 'You'll never walk alone'

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Santiago marker

Since everything was closed, we went back for a siesta. Later, I found that local tourist information said a few things were open, though they might've been the minor ones - and the cathedral roof was open till 4:20pm. Ah well, I should just have struck out on my own.

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Rua de Entremurallas

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Hall

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There was strange drink pricing: there was a Coke premium; a can of Coke costs 0,52€ but Pepsi is 0,39€

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"Premium Onion Experience"

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Pop culture T-shirts

Then, I came upon one magnificent Cathedral:

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Fountain and Cathedral

It kept raining and according to a sign, humidity was 95%. No wonder the cathedrals here and in Leon, and in Lugos were mossy.

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Corner

The first version of the Cathedral of Santiago dates from the 12th century and was built in the Burgundian style. The French influence is apparent, no wonder it's so nice.

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Corner Tower

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Praza das Praterias

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Fountain

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Side of one building

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Side entrance to cathedral

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Plaza

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Plaque about something to do with the Peninsular War (with Napoleon)

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Quintana de Mortos

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Another entrance to cathedral

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Some bui

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Smart beggar

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People ignoring smart beggar

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Grand (if pitted and mossy) facade of cathedral

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Monolingual UNESCO sign

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Camera stitches of cathedral's main facade (it's the West Facade, but it sure is built to look like the main one)

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Manual stitch

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Hotel with magnificent facade

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Facade from below

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No I don't know why St James has that hat odd odd

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Through the arch

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Facade from side

The cathedral museum was split into two, so I entered the much smaller half first (from below the main facade).

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Another building


The road signs indicated picturesque villages all used similar clipart.
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