POSTED ON September 21, 2007 | IN Spain's Wine Country | BY joe

Pontevedra is one of the main towns in the area of Galicia known as Rias Baixas. The name has to do with water inlets on the coastline, Baixas in this case meaning the lower inlets of water. In Pontevedra, we are lodging at Parador Casa Del Baron, which served at one time as a palace for visiting royalty. It is in the old city center. Getting here took much longer than expected, even though it is a short drive from Santiago De Compostela. Once we got to the city center with Google Maps in hand, we drove around in circles for at least a very frustrating 45 minutes. The old parts of these medieval towns were certainly not meant for cars. It is common to find cars or trucks parked where they should not be, streets that suddenly become one way at the next intersection, and other crazy surprises. We saw the signs for the Parador but we just could not get there. Fortunately, the Spaniards are very helpful to tourists.

We must tell you this story of an elderly lady that came to our rescue. I spotted her returning from her morning shopping at the market. I asked her for directions. She went on to a long description of how to get to the Parador, also telling us to consider less expensive hotels in Pontevedra. After some discussion, she determined it would be too difficult for us to find the Parador, so she hopped into the back seat of our car, with her small dog, and insisted she lead us to the Parador provided I drive her back, of course. Thank goodness; I know we would have eventually found our way but in how long a time? What a heartwarming act of kindness and trust!

Our reason for choosing to stay in Pontevedra was to visit the coastal waters and towns of the area and to visit some Bodegas in the wine D.O. of Rias Baixas. Pontevedra is an easy driving distance to these locations. Tomorrow we plan to visit one of these Bodegas, Adegas Valminor. Adegas, not to be confusing, is the Galician word for Bodega.

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