Forget about Paella, Flamenco and stomping feet when visiting Galica, the Spanish province in the northwest corner of the Iberian peninsula. Bordering the rough Atlantic Ocean rather than the mild Mediterranean, Galicia presents an all together different picture from Andalucia. But a very beautiful and fascinating one.

The best months to visit are May and June. The rains, which provide for the lush, green vegetation, have subsided and the climate is mild and sunny. Galicia’s national flower, the camellia. They are everywhere, in parks, lining roads and in gardens. Galicia is also full of historical sites, Santiago de Compestella and Pontevedra being just two examples.

This time, I went to Pontevedra and from there to Vigo. Vigo is a big and busy commercial port, La Piedra should not be missed. It is a quarter, which forms part of the marina and a sea-food lover’s paradise — especially oysters!

Walking along the pebbled and somewhat slippery and uneven seafront, (hence the name: La Piedra) I saw stall after stall of oyster shuckers. They loudly praise their wares and the quality and freshness of the oysters can hardly be surpassed anywhere else. Stop, look, choose, get a plate and they’ll heap on which and what you like. You pay, then take your plate and carry it to one of the many small bars with outside tables, sit down, order your drink and enjoy an oyster feast watching the world go by.

For those of you who just hate oysters and seafood: Vigo and Pontevedra are still worth a visit in spring and they do have McDonalds!

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