I stood upon the salient bastion of an historical castle towering excessive above a speedy and placid river. less than and round me swept line upon line of crumbling partitions and grass-grown moats, the scene of many a bloody fight within the evil days of previous. From 100 grim embrasures peeped rusty cannon, innocuous now, and dark-eyed young ones sported upon the battlements that after had belched defiance and destruction to the foe around the movement. For this previous white city, cramped inside of its triple ramparts, is the final vantage floor of Portugal; and at the different facet of the Miño immediately prior to me is Galicia, the unconquered land of the Gael, a land of mountain and flood, of mist and solar, akin to are the entire western promontories during which the mysterious Celtic humans have ultimately chanced on a house after a long time of unrecorded wanderings.
The scene as I seemed upon it from those previous battlements of Valença is as reasonable as any that Europe can supply. Down within the valley on either side of the movement the maize-fields are reddening within the autumn sunlight, and among them, and terraced at the hill slopes above them, vines, heavy now with nice plenty of black grapes, are expert over slim posts of gray granite, forming unending arcades of fruit and foliage. Then greater up, mountain climbing the steep skirts of the mountains, giant forests of darkling pines throw into reduction the majestic summits, naked and boulder-strewn, upon which the ardent southern sun glows and quivers, when deep crimson shadows fleck the tints of previous rose and cinnamon the place the daylight falls. around the majestic iron bridge that spans the Miño, the single smooth word in all this scene, there rises an historical urban clustered upon an increase topped via sq. battlemented towers. a few previous feudal fort it should appear; yet nearer acquaintance proves it to be a Christian cathedral equipped at a time while bishops girt the sword and donned their armour to struggle the infidel and shield their religion with their lives.
Tuy, the 1st urban of Galicia, is a relic of a prior age. Its tortuous slim streets, mere alleys a number of toes broad, are like these of the prehistoric Celtic urban of Citania in Portugal: deep channels worn within the residing rock and patched the place worthy with flat slabs. the town itself is as silent because the grave, and the frowning outdated castle-cathedral, with its tinkling bell calling to worship, virtually on my own exhibits the presence of the dwelling. A mediæval author calls Tuy "lately a urban of pagans," yet for good upon ten centuries now the courageous outdated Romanesque church has stood aloft unmoved like a cliff to withstand the incursions of the enemies of the Church. yet Tuy, old fashioned and suggestive of proposal because it is, can hardly ever be thought of a standard Galician urban; for the easiest and such a lot picturesque areas of Galicia are these which encompass the wonderful fjords lower deep into the land that entitles the little "Kingdom" to be referred to as the Norway of Spain.
The surroundings up the Miño to Orense is, as Mr. wooden has pointed out, probably the most attention-grabbing sequence of river perspectives for 50 miles that Europe can convey. Foaming and tearing its manner among darkish gorges, broadening right here and there into smiling little valleys, the mountains terraced virtually to their far-off summits with mere steps upon which plants are raised, the river passes via countless stages of good looks. however the cities, or even villages, are few and much among in those wild areas, and the clever and gorgeous inland bays, with the candy valleys and hovering sierras that encompass them, will shape for viewers the most points of interest of Galicia.
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A Corner of Spain (Illustrations)