Costa Verde

I’m back! After a ‘short’ break from blogging, I decided to make a new and improved Veggie Eco-Life. I think WordPress is much handier than Blogger. Anyway, here it is and I’m starting with a small review about my recent holiday in the North of Spain.

Maybe you’ve heard it, maybe you didn’t, the North of Spain is nothing like the rest of Spain. It is very green, there’s not as plenty of tourism as in the south and it’s just beautiful. There are lots of mountains, lots of trees, beautiful landscapes and a wonderful coastline. This summer was the fourth year we went. Last year we visited Bilbao and San Sebastian. I wasn’t that impressed by San Sebastian, but apparently we visited the wrong part of town. I did like Bilbao, though the Guggenheim Museum is less impressive in real life than the tourist guides claim.

This year we went on a holiday with the same crew as the year before, my boyfriend, two very beloved friends (also a couple) and I. We spent the first two days in Mutriku, just like last year (it’s situated in between Bilbao and San S.). We visited Vitoria-Gasteiz, the main capital of the Basque Country. It’s quite an ordinary city, but I’m glad we paid it a visit. The people were very friendly, as opposed to last year. I saw on happycow.net that there were two vegetarian restaurants in Vitoria, I was shocked because being a veggie in Spain is really hard. Unfortunately, I didn’t look into it very well ’cause the veggie restaurants were only open at noon and we were visiting the city in the evening. Eventually we found a pizza place were we ordered a lousy tasting pizza margarita.

We drove on to Villaviciosa, Asturia. Unfortunately the weather was very bad and we looked for a campsite with bungalows. It wasn’t heaven, but it was cozy and, most importantly, dry. We made ourselves a pasta with tomato sauce but with a lack of herbs it wasn’t the best food I ate. The fourth day we went on a day trip to Gijon. On Google Maps it seems like Gijon is a big town full of industry. In reality, there is a lot of industry, but a large part of the center is very beautiful. I actually enjoyed the city very much and no doubt I’m going back whenever I’m around. On top of the prettiness, we found a great vegetarian restaurant through happycow: La VainaΒ (my review). I was very happy to find this lovely little place. In the afternoon we ate a snack: croquettes from walnuts and mushrooms. I’m not a mushroom fan, but I liked these croquettes, the mushroom flavor wasn’t dominant. In the evening the four of us ordered a tofu-seaweedburger with salad and fries on the side. As dessert we ordered a pancake with chocolate-orangesauce. I think the orange was a little bit overbearing, but nevertheless it was a mighty fine dessert. It was without a doubt the best food I ate in the entire two weeks. On top of that the staff was very friendly and we met a friend of the owners who spoke English very well. We were even invited to accompany them to a blues concert, but we passed since we had to get up quite early. As I mention in the happycow-review, the only negative point that I can say is that the food is more snack-like and the boys had to order themselves two portions of the burger. I will definitely go back to La Vaina and recommend it to everybody who’s in the neighborhood to go and taste their delicious food.

Anywho, we went on to Muros, Galicia. It’s an incredibly beautiful place, breathtaking really. So much pristine nature: rocks, mountains, trees, sea, … The first evening we went out and ate the original Spanish tortilla, I like it but there’s so much oil in it, that it hurts my tummy. The second evening we made dinner ourselves: pasta with tomato sauce and a whole lotta herbs. It’s incredible how good something so simple can taste when you have to survive in fish- and meatland Spain.
We went on a (little) day trip to Santiago de Compostella, not our kinda thing. We should’ve known but we hoped to see a lot of culture, a lot of beautiful building, but it wasn’t ment to be. Although I can imagine why some people DO like it.

Because the weather was bad again – in 6 days there were 2 days were we could enjoy the sunshine and the sea on a beautiful beach – we left Muros and headed for our favorite town in the whole wide world: San Vicente de la Barquera. I’ll try to explain why I love this place so much… There are some wonderful beaches were I could spend the whole day – and in fact sometimes DO -, it’s a cozy town with some breathtaking views when you know the right places, the mountains are about an hour away, and most importantly there’s a sweet, loving and kind family that own a hotel and restaurant. They pamper us with delicious deserts like flan with vanilla sauce, cream puffs with chocolate sauce, chocolate mousse and so on. When somebody isn’t feeling well, they wait us on hand and foot. They’re just the sweetest family I have ever met. If you ever go to San Vicente, please let me know so I can give you some tips and good addresses! While we were there two other friends (also a couple) joined us in our holiday. We had some really good times. We visited Santander (not the most wonderful city), Comillas (with Gaudi’s Capricho), Santillana del Mar (a medieval town with the cutest jewelry store, Merlin) and, my favorite, the Picos de Europa. There’s nothing I enjoy more than just being there in those mountains, enjoying myself with my friends, taking pictures, watching the animals going by or just sit there and be quiet. Despite the cold and the fog, I think it was amazing, again.

What I do miss in this amazing area is some GOOD veggie food! We ordered some meals without fish or meat, but it’s never as good as a real vegetarian dinner. Everything is based on fish or meat in Spain. Even the pizzas or pastas aren’t really good, it’s like the Spanish are afraid to use herbs? I mean, a pizza without any herbs, it isn’t really a pizza right?
But this is about the only thing I dare to complain about, and the weather of course, that wasn’t too great either. The rest was absolutely amazing, great, loving, enjoying, simply divine.

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