Lugo, a study in grey.

Wednesday 17 July 2019

In contrast to the scorched centre of the Iberian Peninsula, Galicia is green and more temperate, influenced by Atlantic winds. I woke up feeling a bit chilly under my one tog duvet, and the day has continued cool and overcast. Not unpleasant for walking, but not great for exploring Lugo, which is grey.

Another Tesco World Heritage Site (I wish I was getting points on my Clubcard), it has the only Roman wall that retains its circular structure intact.

I walked around it twice to check for you, dear reader,

once on the outside,

and once along the top.

Over two kilometres of continuous Roman wall,

and eighty-five semicircular bastions,

upon which towers used to stand, rising two or three levels above the parapet, but there are now only the remains of this one.

It is impressive now, it must have really made an impression two thousand years ago when Lugo, or Roman Lucus, was the prominent town in the region.

The town within the walls has some Roman remains, but also a medieval area and baroque buildings,

and, of course, a cathedral.

The River Minho is crossed by a Roman bridge.

I smiled when I read the tourist blurb, which asks, “How often do you get the chance to walk across a Roman bridge?” Pretty much every other day, recently!

The pilgrim’s Camiño Primitivo, Primitive Way, to Santiago De Compostela passes through Lugo, and over the bridge. It’s marked on the pavement.

I bet Lugo kicked itself when the nearby Bishop came up with the old “remains of an apostle” ruse. At least Lugo gets passing trade, but how different it could have been.

As I was driving to Lugo there was a steady stream of walkers heading to Santiago, on the road or along parallel paths, like happy snails, or caracoles in Spanish. I was surprised by the numbers.

I was also surprised to come upon a band marching along the main road through a nearby town.

No police or marshals, they’d stop, play, turn to the left, play, march on a bit, stop, play, turn right and play, in no hurry, showing no concern about the traffic piling up.

Though the weather has been dull, the day hasn’t. And, damn, those Romans could build!

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