Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Day 14 in Spain

Tuesday 5-28

James and Werner were determined the minute they had arrived in Corme to do more walking … Finisterra and Muxia of course. They didn't feel like that they had to do it the traditional or certain way and were studying the map. Werner's leg was much better so we had to get up today VERY early. We took our regular way in the direction of Santiago but then tried to find the camino somewhere around Vilaserio or Maronas. We drove some very small country roads.

But finally we came to a T and there were some peregrinos walking from left to right. Oh you should have seen the eyes light up in my husband's face! I stopped right there (no worries that a car might come behind me) and James run across to ask. Well, they didn't really know where they were (ha-ha) but none of us thought it mattered. More passed by anyway so you can see what the two did.
Bye and off they went.

Ute and I continued to drive towards Santiago. I had e-mailed forth and back with Marina. She suggested we would meet at the Pazo de Oca which is just about 20 minutes south of Santiago. She sent great directions and it was easy to find. They ended: … and soon you will see the towers.

Since we had no idea how long it would like with 'the peregrinos' and then the rest of the way we had agreed to 10:30 but we were early so we walk around a little. Such an interesting place. This water run from a spring. Marina told us later that she had her lace school right here at the square and her students kept filling up their bottles with it.

The weather was promising and we enjoyed many flowers and many other things to see.

The outside wall of the estate.
The church/chapel to the left of it. Still being used on Sundays and for weddings. Marina told us that her sister got married here and it was a glorious event.

View from the front door.

Ute took this photo of Marina and me in front of the first fountain. Marina was so excited about this place and told us and showed us many things with enthusiasm

You have to go and see for yourself. It is just not possible for me to catch the real impression in my photos. It was so lovely.

Can you believe it? This is boxwood, the hedge bush! No idea how old but we were told that boxwood is used to make lacebobbins.

The incredible baroque garden has a great watering system. Here benches are sitting on top of a kind of aqueduct. Marina said that the water running underneath you when you sit on the bench is supposed to give you energy. The alley behind is for horse-racing.

Many labyrinths and walk ways. The azaleas were done blooming but some rhododendrons, many many camellias and lots of other bushes and trees were showing off their finest.

I had to take a side-ways panorama picture to capture this sequoia in its incredible height.

Then there was a whole section dedicated to the 'Alice in Wonderland' theme. Here is the snake disappearing in the hedge. I know the head sticking out is hard to see but it is above Marina.


Many gardens and orchards too. A whole kiwi plot. Unfortunately at the end it started raining and we got wet feet. Cold wet feet.

Marina took us to her house. We followed her car through a few narrow country roads and showed me where to park. I told her that I was a bad backwards driver but she showed me where to turn when we went for a little walk around her house and garden. Carlos and Marina are amazing people. So loving and generous. Marina baked bread in the morning and Carlos had cooked lunch while we were in Pazo de Oca (if I understood right). Carlos is an environmental builder and has build many of their furniture too. They had also bought this very old house which was in bad repair and Carlos had done great things to it. His workshop in the back looked so interesting. He was in the middle of adding a terrazzo to the house incorporating stones from the granary which had been too dilapidated to repair. They feel it would honor and preserve some of the history and tradition. They live very healthy growing most of their vegetable in their own garden. After lunch Marina also told us a lot about her family, growing up and living in Spain.

And then Marina took us into her workroom. She teaches bobbinlacemaking but mainly teaches lacemakers to become teachers. We got a glimpse into her amazing work.

This is a Portuguese pillow with Galatians bobbins doing Russian lace. You have to use what is empty and available and practical for what you want to do. No time to waste.

A whole basket with Portuguese bobbins. She insisted that we each take a pair. THANK YOU!
She told us that she has discovered her love for gold and silver lace now. She said that you could very good thread for that in Spain. You can see the spools in the bottom left of the photo.

She says she needs very heavy pins for this metal lace and uses divider pins.

Now we are talking about the Hinojosa lace. So much information. It is not possible for me to tell you all about it … and I am worried that I might get some facts wrong. But here it is in a nutshell: Marina told us that she had met the Duke of the Pazo De Oca when they had bought a house at the square on the Pazo. She had asked him for his help because she wanted to research some lace.
Some lace had been made by peasants to sell, but one lacemaker had taught some gentile women in Seville to make lace in a very special style for their own enjoyment. This later had made its way to Hinojosa where peasant women were taught so they could make a living.
The laces of the gentile women in Seville were hidden away in drawers and the Duke was able to open the doors for Marina to get in contact with the families so she could study them.

She has written this book which I find excellent. Besides history it also has technique with great thread drawings. If I understand right from the first page acknowledgments then many were made by our mutual friend Lia Baumeister-Jonker in Amsterdam.
You might have read that I had tried twice to buy this book in the shop in Santiago unsuccessfully. Well, Marina had an extra one and before I had a chance Ute gave it to me as a present.

Here Marina had recreated a pattern which was used as a 'head' on an the lace in the following picture.

Many of the mantillas and church laces are created with these half-round repeats.

Ute and I were fascinated with that 'kernel stitch'.
This was a pattern she had created for a workshop for the Deutsche Kloeppelverband. It had been a whole busload of lacemakers and they all made it and were very happy with it. Because of the thread drawings no need to know Spanish.
You can hang it on a chain as a pendant.

Marina had learned lacemaking from her grandmother (I think she had said when she was 6). This would be typical lace her grandmother would make … but with many more bobbins on a larger pillow.

A Hinojosa lace handkerchief.
Not enough that Marina spent all this time with us, showed us around, served tea and gave us lunch, even had made postre for us (homemade yoghurt), she had to give us homemade bread to take back. No saying no to her and you can't because it is so good.
The thick walls in this amazing house.

What a day! WHAT A DAY!

We drove back in sunshine without any problems finding the way … and guess what we had for dinner.

* * * * *
If you want to go to "Day 15 and 16" click here.

Day 13 in Spain

Monday 5-27

We sleep with the window open and waking up to the view is lovely. This morning some clouds even looked pink promising a nice day.

James had looked on the map and we all decided that it would be nice to explore the other side of our bay. The town is called Laxe. It was a very nice drive and we went all the way up to that Faro. So, Corme can be seen on the other side of the bay.

We were in awe about all the different vegetation. So incredible. No idea what this is but so interesting.

There were not that many of the pink flowers. We decided that those must be over. It must have looked amazing when they were prime.

The longer you looked the more things you noticed.

There was also a statue and we went closer to have a look. We all liked it a lot. “A Espera” by the sculptress Iria Rodrigues (from 2009) shows a mother with baby on the shoulder waiting for her sailor to return who will never come. A very meaningful memorial because this coast is also called “Costa da Morte” because so many ships wrecked here and many lives were lost. Probably one of the reasons that they thought in the middle ages that this was the end of the world.

Ute wonders why there are no benches until we all see picnic/resting places all over the hill side.

Back in the town we found a place to have lunch. This picture looks funny but James squeezes lemon on his calamari.

Werner and Ute had sandwiches with jamon serrano con queso.

I felt like trying something different and had 'scrambled seaweed with scampi'.
Afterwords James and Werner went to the harbor … until I had to find them (to remind them that it was only a few minutes until the supermarket closes). They were so excited about it. It really was interesting and I was sorry that I had missed most of it.
Here they kept watching the seagulls who were thrown the bits the fishermen cut off.
But Ute and I had had a magnum ice cream each … and that is not bad at all. I also found at that stand a map for them with the hike they want to do the next three days.

Werner was the cook in the evening. Sauteed veggies and sausages ... and local wine.

Another great day!

* * * * *
If you want to go to "Day 14" click here.