After London I joined Steph in Porto for an evening before we took the morning train to Vigo, Spain. We walked around the waterfront and the nice park near the train station. It was a really nice park, and the waterfront was also lovely. It was immediately noticeable how the Spanish lifestyle is slower, with most businesses only being open for very select hours. The restaurants also had limited hours, with even more limited kitchen hours. So we had a hard time knowing where and when we could go to places for lunches and dinners. We would look up their times online and head down, and they would be open, but not serving food. Vigo is also a very heavy meat and seafood area. Several places had zero options that didn’t involve meat and seafood, which made Steph’s options very limited. We did find some amazing places, at amazing prices. There was a very nice restaurant that would have been $50 to $60 per person in SF and it was $11 per person for us. My vocabulary in Spanish isn’t great, so one of the areas I struggled was in knowing all the different foods that were on menus, or more often spoken as the daily special. We never got something that was wildly different than expected, but I did order the daily menu of eggplant for Steph by accident (She doesn’t like eggplant).
I was pleasantly surprised by how well my Spanish worked for getting around. Only 4 people that we interacted with had better English than I had Spanish. This is both my Spanish was better than expected and the prevalence of English there isn’t great. I also think I ran into two people that mainly spoke Galician.
There was an interesting mix of international influences, but not very international people. We could find restaurants that were listed as Indian, Japanese, Mexican, or American, but the people there were all Spanish. Steph also found a vegan restaurant, but we only ended up eating there once.
Steph got an AirBnB up by the castle, which is on top of a significant hill. When our check in time came around, we started walking up there, and ran across the escalators that will take you most of the way up. It was really nice with the big bag, and we made it to the apartment with no issue. The apartment had a great view. We walked up to the castle first thing and it was a hot day (34C). The castle park was lovely, and free. We enjoyed the manicured gardens, but at the same time the area had a overgrown ruin feel that I greatly enjoyed. We headed down to the waterfront, which was only a 15 minute walk, and very nice. We passed through their high street , which was a lovely area with lots of interesting shops. We made it to the water and found the statue of Jules Verne. Vigo is the city where Nimo has his sunken treasure galleon.
Parts of Vigo were very industrial, but the area we were in was isolated from that. There are also a lot of shellfish farms in the river there. There is also the city across the river, and at one point they were firing off cannons. We could hear them and see the flash and smoke plumes.
The second day we had a morning of doing move research, then walked around the city some more. We had a massage at a place that was styled as a Thai massage, but mainly did Swedish massages. We went to the grocery store for bread and cheese and then went to the apartment for more work on the moving plans.
We made it to train back to Porto in the morning without any issues.