“There’s nothing to do in Vigo.” In the weeks leading up to going to the Galician city of Vigo, I was told time and time again by the natives that while Vigo is a perfectly nice city, there is not much to do. I took them at their word, as I had never visited it before, but still I was intent to go. And last weekend I was finally granted my wish. The cousins of my host family are from Vigo, and they decided that since they were going to be traveling, they could take me with them, and I happily accepted their offer.
It is remarkable that a city such as Vigo can be considered boring, because as our car made it past an obscuring mountain and allowed for my first sight of the city I was struck by its beauty. “A Spanish San Francisco” my Host Uncle pronounced proudly. And indeed I could see what he meant, especially when we began to cross their version of the Golden Gate Bridge. Like San Francisco, Vigo is etched into the hills. It sits against the water, curving around a muscling bay with a port that houses some of the world’s largest transatlantic ships.
Vigo is the largest city in Galicia and when we arrived, my guide and friend Pelle, told me that the hills made it very difficult to traverse. And after only a short time of walking up and down, I found that he was right. But still I was shocked that they considered Vigo to be a boring town, because everywhere we went was something interesting, starting with the old city pubs, where we enjoyed tapas in incredible stone buildings. Later, we walked to the port and the view of the water was incredible. In the distance I could see Vigo’s most attractive site, the island of Cies, a national park with globally ranked beaches. Although this time I did not get the chance to visit the island, that is only one more reason to go back to such a wonderful city.
James O'Connor '18