Friday, November 16, 2012

Portugal, fascinating theories, and failed burritos

The first Saturday in November my Spanish dad was like, "Let's go to Portugal!" So we went to Portugal.

We went to a town called Valença which is just barely over the border of Galicia and walked around a medieval castle-city area, with fortified walls and cannons and a moat. It was really pretty and interesting. Now it's basically entirely little tourist shops inside the walls. And the old city is really small but there were at least 3 different ancient churches within the walls.  I love that it's no big deal to just head to another country for a few hours. There's not a border beyond a sign that says "Portugal". (I do sort of wish that my passport would get stamped though). I did hear some Portuguese spoken, and it was so strange! Written, it looks fairly similar to Spanish and Galician, but spoken... the pronunciation is crazy. At least that's how it was to my ear. It seemed mostly like Galician spoken in the back of the throat. It was very cool.

stone streets

haha accidental mirror picture, and the ancient wall

And some more news on my cooking adventures... We bought a box burrito kit to try so I could "share some Texan culture". It didn't go great. Actually they were okay and perfectly edible, so I guess I can't really call them a failure, but they weren't exactly authentically delicious tex-mex burritos. Oh well.

The next day my dad took me to the birthplace of Christopher Columbus.  No, we didn't go to Italy... he was born in Galicia. (Also his name is actually Cristobal Colón.) At least according to a fairly well based theory here. (some evidence like the fact that every place he named in the new world coincide with similar Galician areas, he wouldn't have told the truth about being Gallego because the Spanish crown wouldn't have given funding if he had, he never spoke Italian, and several more things as well that support this idea). I'm buying it, although I'm not sure that having him born here is necessarily something to be extremely proud of considering he wasn't all that much of a hero in the end... But still, history is cool.

I told y'all it's fall.

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