Ahh, the difference a good nights rest makes. I felt much better This morning however my Achilles tendonopathy was particularly vengeful this morning, I was hobbling round like a three legged camel. but it wasn’t going to stop me from getting out and about to indulge in some serious shutter therapy.
The old town of Ourense is nothing short of photogenic. The fascinating thing is that a Sunday morning there hardly any one around. The odd person can be seen but the streets are almost empty. It’s only around the Cathedrals (two almost side by side) that you start to see people. And if you guessed these people were older and going to Mass you are spot on.
Mass was the place to be indeed. The first cathedral (the one above) has quite a large congregation. This cathedral was like the others and a bit creepy except for the beautiful light dome at the top.
The second cathedral (much older) was far more interesting and one I actually thought “oh wow.” Mass had just finished and so was nearly empty other than a few people worshipping in the chapels or the straggler tourist a like me,
Now one of the best things in Ourense is people watching. Like the other Spanish towns we have visited, people like to dress up and walk around. Again older couples tend to be arm in arm and they dress immaculately. I just couldn’t help myself. Click, click goes the camera, click click click ( but not really as I have it on silent shutter mode 😉)
Now back to the earlier photo of the older woman walking up the ramp to Mass. I was waiting for Val outside the first Cathedral and this beautiful old woman came up to me and started to talk to me. She was gorgeous and the only I could get across to her was that I was Australiana. She seemed to be wishing me well as her eyes were shinning, I was so wishing Val, who is not only the tour guide but also the translator, was there as it was a precious moment of interaction. Luckily we were to cross paths again and this time with my translator. It turns that this gorgeous old lady was 90 years old and is a great great grandmother. She’s nearly blind with macular degeneration. She was born in Ourense and had always lived here although her children and grand children have travelled to Australia and Africa. This lady was a grand dame and stole my heart. On reflection she has the air and dignity of my grandmother. The funny thing is Val is always accusing me of picking up old people when she is not around and seems that my skill in not limited to Australia.
So apart from attending mass and parading around, the other thing people do here (as with other towns) is eat at cafes. And they are not starved for choice. They are everywhere. Some busy, some not at all. Even the tour guide likes to partake in cafe culture. I think she hopes to blend in with the locals, but dressed like that? The locals do notice the difference!
In my travels through laneways and upstairs, I came across the dead centre of town. It’s interesting that the approach to death is very similar to living – all stacked up together with no space in between especially if you want an ornate monument commemorating your life.
But there is another part to town. There is a river running through Ourense dividing it. Of the numerous bridges one is an old Roman bridge. You would have to agree it is the prettiest as well as the oldest.
And so tomorrow we bid farewell to this town. Remember me bemoaning yesterday about the long never ending downhill we thumped down. Well tomorrow we have to go up the other side. In order to prepare for this arduous journey, my tour guide went to her favourite shop in Ourense to make sure we had energy supplies. She has sampled a number of the products so knows which will best serve our purpose for the trip.
So I have to go and pack the purple pack again. If only I could find away to fit these into my pack before I leave Ourense – a girl can never have too many shoes you know! But maybe not these ones.