One day, I’d like to have the time and money – and car to explore the whole province/country. When you purchase a map, just before your first trip to Galicia, you could be confused into thinking that this is a small country.
You can, if you have a decent car, rocket from Asturias to Portugal using the A road motorways. The road systems are very good, with new roads being built every year. Some even run parallel to the ‘other’ new road built some five years earlier…it’s eccentric, road planning here.
When you look at the route of the historic main road to Madrid the N120, you can see why there are so many new roads.
The old road, picturesque and winding, is basically, a country lane, with its modern counterpart above on concrete stilts. It would have taken a very long time to reach Madrid by road and inland Galicia, in the pre-railway years, would have been isolated.
Back in the old days of the rule of Franco, he decreed that railways must be built and they do in large part follow the rivers. They are a national treasure – easily the match for any other grand railway journey in the world.
The northern line runs along the Atlantic coast and it is without a doubt the cutest railway line ever. A Narrow guage, single track rail skirting the coastal esturies and to travel on this would be unforgettable.
The problem is, that there aren’t enough trains.
A day’s shopping in Lugo? I hear you ask. Let the train take the strain…er, no.
You can leave mid-morning, but your return journey, from Lugo to Monforte de Lemos won’t start until after 7pm. That’s a lot of hours to kill, with two very long lunch hours until the shops open again.
This could be a great asset to tourism. No need to worry about speeding or a forgotten extra glass of Mencia, just wait for the train to speed you back to your Parador. It doesn’t have to be on the hour even two hourly trains would be useful.
The Xunta are missing out on a huge tourist market here.
The line from Monforte de Lemos to Ourense and beyond to, let’s say Vigo or Pontevedra is pure gold. It runs through the river canyons and who wouldn’t want to see the canyons with no risk of driving off and plunging down into the rivers?
Yes, there will be a new tourist service and I hope it will pay off in the year to come, but we could use more trains in general. Imagine the luxury of actually being able to travel to an airport by train? Now, that would be nice. I’d use it.
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