Ilivetolearn's Blog

May 5, 2006

Gozo/Franco–where not to stay and eat in Galicia

Filed under: on the road,Spain — ilivetolearn @ 1:41 pm

We’ve been failing to use our Charming Small Hotel Guide, and indeed failing to book our hotels in a timely fashion (so much for the second career in travel arrangement), so we can now write the counterpoint, Charmless Last-Minute Hotel Guide. If we thought our boring Granada hotel lacked redeeming features, it was a virtual palace compared to Hotel do Gozo in Santiago de Compostela, which we decided used to be a home for delinquent youth—barracks-style cement block buildings marching up a hillside 3 km outside the city. The only plus was that the girls could roam free around the grounds, in and out of the playground and souvenir shop, etc. The pool was not open yet. (By the time all the hotel pools open we will be in the States for the summer.)

Because Galicia is the upper northwest corner of time zone, it was full daylight until 9:45 or later, even on May 1st. The summer solstice must be quite a party. Santiago, like every Spanish city, comes alive about 10 PM, with hordes of people strolling up and down the main restaurant drag—Rua do Franco—shopping for a place to eat. (Franco was born in nearby Ferrol, and Galicians have not rushed to undo all his namesake plazas and boulevards as has the rest of Spain.) We had a decent meal there the first night, complete with lessons on how to count in Galego from our waiter, but a much better meal the next night in a less-touristy part of the city.

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