Saturday, June 28, 2008



Santiago is mostly known for its Cathedral and for the famous pilgrimage on the Camiño. But being also a city with around 40,000 students (in a population of roughly more than 90,000 people) and more than 200 bars there is much more to do than just strolling around the churches. The weekend starts on Thursday as many students head home at weekends, and the most famous of the nightlife routes is the Paris-Dakar race! It starts at Bar Paris at the top of Rua Franco and ends at Bar Dakar on Rua de Raiña, after stops in all of the 48 bars that make The Way through pulpo a feira (thinly sliced octopus) and Albariño (white sparkling wine)!

"QUINTANA MORTOS - On the eastern side of the Cathedral we find the Praza Quintana, where the «Porta Santa» (Holy Door) nay be found. It's a two level square and the lowest side used to be facing a cemetery, thus the name «Quintana Mortos» (Quintana=door or square Mortos=Dead); it will be the starting point of our tour of the rúas (streets) of historic Santiago!

"COLEXIO FONSECA - At the beginning of Rua do Franco we find the Fonseca College. It was commissioned by Alonso III de Fonseca, archbishop of Santiago from 1507 through 1523, and has been used by the University since 1544. It houses now the General Library, but I would say that its most particular feature is the statue of Fonseca in the courtyard, posing as if he was already talking at a mobile phone in the early sixteenth century; man of great vision... :-)"

"RUA DO FRANCO is the street running off the Cathedral Square to the right as you look at it, and got its name from the Franks that once used to live there. Bars and restaurants abound"

"CASCO VIEJO - Side street"


"PILGRIM (?) - (Makes his life from charging tourists for the photo; similar to the dentist at Djemaa El Fna...)"


"PIMIENTOS DE PADRON - Unos pican, otros non... (some are hot, others not)"

"LAMPREYS - Just imagine a Portuguese lamprey rice!"

"PRAZA DO TOURAL - It's probably not one of the most impressive squares in Santiago, but the 18th century Pazo de Bendaña is an interesting building. It houses now a museum dedicated to the surrealist artist Eugenio Granell"

"RUA DO VILAR - Another of the nice streets in the historical centre of Santiago"


"CASA DE LA BALCONADA - A building from the second half of the 18th century, now housing services from the University of Santiago. It takes its name from the balustrade we may see in the picture"


"CASA DA TROIA - This museum is a reconstruction of the old late 19th-century students lodgings immortalized in the novel La Casa de la Troya by Pérez Lugín. It holds a collection of furniture, photographs and documents that belonged to some of the characters in the book, who were all actually existing people"


"FOOD MARKET - Built in 1941"


"QUINTANA VIVOS - Back to Quintana, this time to the Vivos (Alive), the top level of the Square. It includes the Casa da Parra (the one with the flags), a late 17th century building now used as an exhibition hall. Its name derives from the bunches of grapes (parra) that ornate both sides of its door"


Anonymous said...

OK! Santiago is not only the cathedral and churches (even if they’re absolutely awesome), so let’s catch tapas and albariño… ;) Enjoy and prepare for a great summer holiday; I’ll have my yearly week off by the end of August/early September… ;))

JO said...

Love your pic of the "pilgrim" it is even more interesting that one cannot see his face.

As Always, I enjoyed your post. :)

Take Care.

Anonymous said...

WoW...another exciting series of photos...simply love the way you have captured them & portrayed the life of that place...excellent work & have a nice weekend!

Beefybob7 said...

Ah yes. Paris to Dakar. Did you fall off your bike Gil?

Lovely Santiago pics.

Wendy said...

The tapas looks really appealing. Another beautiful destination you have chronicled here. Thanks as always for the journey.

Neva said...

Some very lovely photos.....ick on the thing stuck to the window! Looks like a place I would enjoy visiting!

Miss Kim said...

Oh my... another place I must visit one day! I love the shots of the tapas selction and of the eels!

Lara said...

another wonderful trip, with a special flavour!

Anonymous said...

It could be exciting to wander about in those narrow streets and feel old times all around.
Fine buildings and photos of course.

kyh said...

oh i love the pix! thx for taking us for a tour in this lovely pilgrimage town! :)

S-V-H said...

Great post as usual, Gil.

I liked the term of "Paris-Dakar" in the introduction part text - That town is very similar to Key West, with all those 48 bars... :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Gil, thank your for taking time out of your busy day to visit theVintageNest. I loved the bar story at the top of your post and the pilgrim. Ugh though on the octopus. :) Have a great day ~ Lynn

Anonymous said...


Marie said...

A great post, but where could I find a mediocre post on this blog? I'm jealous :-))

Chris said...

Ola, Gil! Hmmm. . .would love some tapas right now.

The pilgrim is quite interesting. . . .So, he charges? How funny.

Do they speak Castellano or Galician in Santiago de Compostela?

raccoonlover1963/Lisa Myers said...

I absolutely love your blog and photos. I'm glad you visited my blog, or I would have never found yours! No offense, but the eels kind of gave me the creeps! lol Only because of their mouths.

Pietro Brosio said...

A splendid very interesting sequence of pictures which takes the reader for a really fabolous trip.
Thanks for your comment on my blog: I did non use a tripod for the photos of Consolata.
Have a nice weekend!

Tinsie said...

Looks like an interesting place, and quite photogenic too. Thanks for posting your photos and commentary.

Elegia said...

Thank you for visiting my blog! I'm happy you did that, because so I found your blog.

Your blog is very interesting with beautiful photos and information you tell about. I have never been in Spain yet, but I'm going to some day. I love traveling too. You've been visit very interesting places, I must read and watch your older posts too!

Sorry my bad English, I'm not very good at writing it.

Lakshmi said...

another beautiful album ..some of them are so vibrant and colourful..thanks for sharing

Marguerite-marie said...

superbe promenade dans les rues j'aime beaucoup les ruelles et ce moine "pour touristes" . De magnifiques photos.

Anonymous said...

Interesting photos, covering almost all aspects of life in Santiago, even food.
Have a nice start in the week, Gil.

Cergie said...

Quelle magnifique ville ! Et la pluie lui va bien, je trouve. Elle lui donne un air mélancolique et si romantique, avec ces vieilles pierres patinées et salies par le temps, ces beaux volumes à échelle humaine.
Ton pèlerin rétribué par les touristes, me fait penser à Stevenson qui décrivait dans son livre "voyage avec un âne à travers les Cévennes", la tenue du voyageur qui devait coucher dehors : cette ample "pèlerine" (c'est le nom de la cape sans manche, bien étanche où s'enrouler pour dormir).

Mais Stevenson, si mes souvenirs sont exacts, n'avait dormi qu'une ou deux nuits à la belle étoile !

Shionge said...

I enjoyed this tour so much Gil and too bad I wasn't there hehehehe...

CaBaCuRl said...

Thanks for showing us the sites of Santiago. I love the it 'arcades' or 'colonnades'...what ever the structures are in RUA DO VILAR.I remember seeing them in Padua, and falling in love with them then!

Mariposa said...

OH so beautiful! Did it rain over there? the skies looked a little gloomy in some of the pics. I love the narrow roads =)

Thank you for your comment on my page.

Take care and looking forward to read more entries from you.

p/s: you should return to Barcelona, so you can see how much progress they've made on La Sagrada Familia. =)

Anonymous said...

a completely great post. very nice shots and info

Olivier said...

superbe, surtout le "FOOD MARKET" que j'aime beaucoup. Le personnage sur "PILGRIM" c'est une statue ou un vrai personnage ?

Photoshop Tutorial Video said...

Wow! It almost felt like I was there while looking at your photos. Too bad I wasn't. Great photographs. I enjoyed them a lot.

Noushy Syah said...

You posting just @ the right time of Spain winning the Euro's:)

Thanks for sharing the tour with all of us.Enjoyed the beautifully captured photos and was the Tapas really hot?

p/s BTW,well I just have to be positive about Scolari since I think although he has let down Portugal in many major tournaments perhaps it will teach him a lesson that there is a difference between managing a national team and a big club like Chelsea...:)

Let us wish him a good luck,yea!

On transfer on the I said,players come and go....(just self consolation and be positive:)

Have a gr8 weekdays!

Chuckeroon said...

Oh, those Franks! I do like the look of that street. Good entertainment this week, Trotter. Tks.

lyliane six said...

Mes yeux et ma bouche sont en joie sur ton blog!! de superbes monuments et plein de tapas, poissons et coquillages, mais je ne pense pas que la lamproie soit aussi bonne que l'Espada de Madère.

Azer Mantessa said...

40 000 outta 90 000 … what a percentage! Santiago then is a youngling. At 44 I’m way old there. Hope the students wise enough to know – there is nothing more beautiful than an old smile … hehe

OK … you caught me about paris-dakar thing … hahaha … bar race!

Am not sure what’s there on TAPAS thing but I do like to eat little by little … you know … diversifying things so I get to taste everything. When I say diversifying … trust me … I tapas everything … lil cheese, salad, cake, pudding, seafood stuff, rice, potato, etc etc etc … I think tapas is always the smart way to eat.

Errrrr … not sure of the lamprea though *biting nails*

 gmirage said...

Tapas! Yum!!! We have our own version of this cuisine but being under the Spanish rule for 333 years, the Philippines are very much influenced with many of their dishes.

The narrow alley is very appealling because it speaks of so much history despite the appearance, the pilgrim is a curious one, must be Gandalf? =D

I enjoyed this set much, have a nice week!

MedaM said...

This is another exciting series of photos that I enjoyed. The “pilgrim” photo is interesting…a man whose face cannot be seen makes the photo mysterious. Fantastic post as usual.

Anonymous said...

Tremendous windows, arches and steps.

Unknown said...

Beautiful images. I love the many arches. BTW, what is Lampreys? Are they a type of seafood, or was that just a picture. I've never seen such funny looking creature before :)

Take care Gil :)

Ming the Merciless said...

Wow, all the photos are spectacular. The first two photos of the plaza are amazing -- like a movie set. The tapas look delicious.

And the last photo is the best. Great stuff.

hpy said...

The Paris-Dakar might be just as dangerous as the Paris-Dakar.

Nikon said...

Beautiful shots, Gil.
I love the alleyways & the narrow streets - lots of bars there :)

Dick said...

I like it a lot, a place where you can spend a long time.

Indrani said...

Fascinating post Gil.
I think you can bring out a book on this.

julia said...

Very appealing city, to die for. it must be as one continuous world youth day - which is what sydney is gearing up for very soon and which I am very curious to see, we are so much a secular country

Mariposa said...

thanks for stopping by with the comments =) I love Barcelona! I wished I had more time to spend there.

You have a wonderful weekend too!!

Anonymous said...

Hi everybody! Thanks for your visits and comments. Sorry for the incredible delay on replying to your comments, but truly it was not laziness on this side… The problem is that when everybody seems to get into the vacation period things here increase their activity… ;)) Wish a great fourth of July for everybody commemorating it!

That fake pilgrim is an amazing character… ;)

You always bring some kind words on your comments. Thanks!

Fortunately I don’t have a bike… ;))

Tapas must be in Spain… I just imagine that night after they become Euro 2008 football champions… ;))

Believe me, the Portuguese lamprey rice is a delicacy…

Glad to see that your must see list is increasing, but then don’t forget Lisbon… ;))

I tell you: it’s truly exciting, but you have to be there during school time… ;)

You’re welcome!

More than 200 bars, actually… ;))

That fake pilgrim is a wonder… ;)
Now, just a secret for you, a wonderful Chef: Portuguese rice lamprey (not octopus) is a delicacy; believe me!! ;))


Thanks! It’s your kind heart taking your mouth…

I’ll join you for the tapas!!
They speak Galician, which is nowadays a dialect of Portuguese (a long story actually…).

Thanks for your first (of many, I wish) visit and comment!
OK, lamprey may look weird, but is a delicacy… ;))

Thanks. Excellent job without the tripod!!

It’s an amazing spot!!

I’m happy to read you here also and was a pleasure to «see» your blog, since as for reading Finnish is quite tough… ;))

Thanks. Santiago is a great spot for photo catchers… ;)

Les ruelles des vieilles villes européennes sont imbattables… ;)

Santiago is much diversified…

C’est vrai que la pluie lui va bien à Santiago, mais, à mon avis, comme toutes les villes, au soleil c’est formidable… ;)
Stevenson a écrit un des premiers livres sur la randonnée comme loisir, mais s’il a dormi à la belle étoile ça a du être avec un beau «sac de couchage»…

You’re welcome to come… ;))

Those arcades are quite nice, and helpful either in the wet or in the hot seasons… ;))

It didn’t rain during our stay; lucky people… ;))
I would love to get back to Barcelona, but I’m not so sure I was adoring the developments made to the «Sagrada Familia»… ;)


Vrai comme personnage, mais faux comme «Pilgrim»… ;))

Great to read you here (first time, I believe)! Thanks!

Noushy Syah,
I was quite happy they made it; actually the others didn’t deserve to win…
Pimientos de Padrón are usually ok, except for a small percentage that are hot, hot, hot… The problem is that you only know after tasting… ;))
OK; be positive! But don’t believe there is something that can be taught to Scolari… not even English… ;))

Franks… ;))

La lamproie est magnifique… surtout si tu la manges dans le fameux riz à la portugaise ou à la bordelaise… ;) Ok, l’espada avec banane, ça va aussi… ;))

Azer Mantessa,
I thought Paris-Dakar would be a great treat for you ;))
OK, we’ll make some tapas to start with, and then the rice lamprey… ;))

No wonder you got your own version of tapas after 333 years… ;)
Gandalf in Santiago? Well noted… ;))

The mysterious pilgrim is a «fake» one, like the «dentist» in Marrakesh… ;))


Lamprey is «a jawless fish with a toothed, funnel-like sucking mouth». Learn more here!

Thanks! I’ll try to catch some tapas pictures next time in Spain… ;))

I think the Paris-Dakar in Santiago is probably more dangerous than the original one… ;))

More than 200 bars… Drinker’s paradise!

Ok, spend a long time, but care with the rally… ;)

I wish I had time to just read; imagine writing… ;)

World Youth Day? Yeah, but only during the week and the University season!

Oh dear, how I understand you; Barcelona is a gorgeous city!

Joy said...

Love the shots of the houses. I also think it was interesting that you took photos of perhaps not so picturesque scenes, but part of the daily life anyway. You have had some very amazing trips there, Gil!

Many thanks for your visits to Norwich Daily Photo. I have just celebrated my first year anniversary and I hope you'll take a peek! I have just started my Summer Hues series and I hope you'll enjoy it. I have also caught up with all the photos I missed to post since the 9th of June. So they're all there now :-)

A Pinay in England
Your Love Coach

Anonymous said...

Amazing trips and some amazing pictures, indeed...
Glad that everything is now running smoothly in Norwich DP; I'll try to catch up asap!

Dina said...

This is great to see a Santiago not only of pilgrimage (although I dream of walking the Camino some day).
The eel I could do without, though. hehe

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your vist and comment (first time here, I assume)!
Walking the Camiño, or at least a part of it, may be an interesting challange!
I think you should try the lamprey before refusing it... ;))

Ron said...

Awesome! Love the architecture.

Anonymous said...