In Memoriam: Santiago de Compostela

I had this post waiting in my drafts folder; it was to be a beautiful tribute to a Galician white wine (godello a.k.a verdello) that I had recently discovered (and loved) and a wonderful cheese to pair it with (that made itself known to us in the small town of Burgos); a means of celebrating two unique and small producers in the northern Spanish countryside, and in a way I still want to do that. But I most certainly can't do that without drawing upon the tragedy of the Renfe train derailment in Galicia that occurred Wednesday evening.

Views of Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain

I've spent a few memorable moments of my time in Spain within Galicia, most of them in Santiago, kilometers from where the accident took place. I can't help but reflect on the generosity of the people, the mystery and inconsistency of the region's sunshine, the complexity of its history (Celtic, Catholic, Portuguese, Spanish, Galician), the gastronomic delights and the omnipresent whisper of the Atlantic Ocean. I've walked the Camino de Santiago with a loved one - held lambs in my arms, chatted with dairy farmers and seen untamed berzas growing high, explored the cliffs and lighthouses of the coast with dear friends, and shared train rides with strangers between Santiago de Compostela and Madrid.

Sometimes what I write seems trivial when compared to the actions and news of the world around us. I've been a bit quiet around here on the blog lately primarily because I've had trouble finding the "why" in what I do, and trying to grasp if my efforts have a greater effect on the outside world. If this was my last day on this planet, would I want to be remembered as the girl who wrote about Spanish food?


While the catastrophe is still under investigation, thus far eighty lives have been lost, and another 94 victims remain in hospitals, 34 of them in critical care. There was undoubtedly youthful and energetic souls on board with purposeful lives and storied pasts. In many ways we are as fragile as the grape harvest; we are a predetermined variant of nature and easily bruised and damaged by the frost or drought of our surroundings and environment. As we mourn this loss as a nation and world, we are also given the blessing of reflecting on our daily routine, and impact on one another. Perhaps, we are more important to strangers than we imagine, and if we are confident we aren't doing enough, thankfully we're given the opportunity to change, even if for just one more day.

Gargalo wine has been classified as "fantastically energetic, refreshing, and flavorful," as well as "youthful." You'll find these unique wines from the micro-climate valley of Monterrei in Ourense, Spain.

Santa Gadea, is an organic goat's milk (Spanish) Camembert

This post is dedicated to those who lost their lives in this tragic event, those that fought to survive and may now be asking "why" and those that leapt at the opportunity to help others in their time of need. 


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