This is amazing architectural marvel, withstood the test of time. However we found that a part of it has been overrun and has become a sanctuary to.. of all animals- CATS! There were a lot of them which led my hubby to call it a CAT HAVEN!
Se for yourself! It is not clear whether this was intended as there were no one around to ask about this place. We found this side of the Citadel via a narrow set of stone staircase- it was a bit scary as I am truly scared of the lice coming from felines. I still got marks which never faded after years of scratching- aftermath of the bites from cats like these infested with lice/ticks!
Another feature of the Spanish town planning is the many plazas where people congregate and hence, lots of shops around and other businesses. They also lead you around other streets of similar sights.
This fortress city is unique for the streets alone are all made up of stone structures and many a time we saw lots of workers with excavation machines doing diggings as more ruins have been uncovered in this ancient city. The othercharm of Vigo is that is seems to be unaffected by tourism so enjoy it while it lasts. No big fast food companies seen so far here!
The main feature that will distinguish Vigo from other places is its town layout which is always winding towards the water and consists of many series of stairs made of stone following the contours of the land! It is amazing! There are always lots of surprises that will delight or even scare you like the cat haven we chanced upon on one of the alleys!
Anyway, it is best to see for yourselves! On frequent occasions we also found ourselves alone on these many places. Just so eerie sometimes and offers us an authentic sense of adventure. It is unlike any other city we've ever explored! There are locals towards some parts-near teh housing area and across the main road where the Parque do Castro was. We saw a lot of them at the bus stop there. Other than that, the main centre was alsmost isolated except for a handful of ship passengers like us. We got off early and glad we did not take a bus tour as Vigo is truly enjoyed on foot. We even saved a lot and got souvenirs instead and some local pastries-yummy!
This is a big port, a vital part of Vigo's economy. It is huge, yet lucky for us we arrived on a Sunday morning and there were hardly any locals around. They must be in church or sleeping in!
Just across the terminal area is a massive structure, a modern sculptural work of art which we enjoyed mucking about with!
A few other water vessels were there including its coast guard. There is also a big shopping centre and many shops around it. I can imagine it would be very busy on normal days!
This plaza which covers a good part at the right side of Vigo is filled with eye-catching features especially the soothing water fountains/ water features everywhere, the glorious flowering shrubs, the lush trees, especially the ficus and the many other varities and species of plants and trees that line the walkways and footpaths. There are also lots of benches for the locals and tourists alike to to use after a day of walking and climbing around Vigo's many hilly streets and walkways!
We were delighted we found this gem just across the port really but hidden from he hustle and bustle of the city. We were lucky to get here on an earlly Sunday morning which was also my husband's 50th birthday so it was a truly special day not just for him but for the whole family!
i must mention too that along this long narrow park is a row of businesses, hotels, restaurants, etc. yet it was very quiet, only a few handful locals were around and it was almost midday! The locals do rest on the Sabbath in this part of the world!
This monument is found in another leafy part of Vigo, just across the port on the right side. We chanced upon it towards the route we took going back to our ship as we started off to the left side then to the centre then ending near here!
Mendez Nunez is a Spanish sailor and soldier from this Galician city and eventaully became an important part of its history.
His monument stands at Plaza de Compostela.
We walked around Vigo from the port and it was a treat- there's always twists and turns and we were pleasantly surprised the whole time- one of the nicest areas is the location of Parque do Castro and its importance to this ancient city.
Excitedly, we follow the Castro park´s botanical path filled with leafy plants, showing more than thirty different species. It mainly extends along the southern side and the Paseo Rosalía de Castro, which surrounds the centre of the park and communicates several hotel establishments.
We also passed through several avenues, always winding and steep, which separates Vigo from many of the places we;'ve visited as the walls and stone steps lead you to more and more and more surprises. I can definitely identify the distinct features of Vigo, especially with the huge Park with an equally magnificent water feature in front of it near Avenue De la Hispanidad!
Personally, I find Vigo a rather sprawling industrial city with little to offer in terms of tourist attractions. I would be bored if I had to stay there for twelve hours. On the other hand, your allocated time is way to short to enjoy an excursion without hassle. I would advice a boat trip to the Cies Islands if the weather is nice. I would also add Tui. It is not far away and it is a beautiful fortified city. You can cross the river and visit Valença do Minho in Portugal, which is also very nice.
Like many cities, Vigo has a lot of graffitti. I'm not normally one to go round a city taking photos of random scrawlings on walls, but when it brightens up a place, I sort of like it.
Much of Vigo's graffitti includes a reference to Galiza, the local name for the region of Galicia, and you see a lot of Galizan flags around...white with a diagonal blue stripe and a red star.
Praza de Compostela is an attractive park running a block in from the waterfront. On my visit, there was some sort of fair going on, with stalls selling galician specialities and bizarrely a Moroccan tea-tent. Unfortunately, most of the stalls were empty when I went, and it may well be much busier at night, but going back later wasn't an option...bloody cruise ship! At the end of the praza, there is an impressive fountain with dolphin sculptures.
Vigo's waterfront has been turned into an outdoor art gallery, with dozens of sculptures along the quayside, some impressive, others less so...but still, it makes for an interesting walk. On one side, you have the posh expensive yachts in the marine, on the other side, some quirky architecture and outdoor cafes.
Puerta del Sol is the end of a long pedestrian shopping street, where it meets another busy street, forming a triangular open space filled with motorbikes, mopeds and scooters. Standing tall above all this is a statue known as El Sireno, half-man half-god-knows-what! Fish maybe?
The centre of modern Vigo is the expansive Praza de Espanha, a huge traffic island. It's not partuclarly beautiful, but in the centre is a striking sculpture of wild horses galloping up into the sky. It is something of an emblem for the city.
Leading back down towards the sea, Gran Via is one of Vigo's main shopping streets. At the bottom, another of Vigo's statues attracts photographers...the Monumento al Trabajo, known as Los Pescadores (the Fishermen)...a bunch of fishermen who look like they are hauling their nets full of fish from the middle of the pavement.
Inside the castle proper are more gardens, filled with fountains and statues and bits of ancient ruin. There were many coach parties trooping through the gardens, taking quick photos before being whisked off to another vista. The rest of my family aslo passed by on their "Vigo Views" tour, although they didn't even have the chance to get out of the bus. If you happen to be on a cruise, and are tempted by a coach tour of Vigo, don't bother...most of the old town is pedestrian, the rest of the lanes too narrow and twisting for coaches, so the best of Vigo is ignored by these tours. Do it on foot...Vigo isn't that big, and it doesn't take long to climb up to the castle from the port.
Anyway, back to the castle. It isn't so impressive, but there are nice views of the city and over to Cangas on the opposite side of the bay. But it is free to enter the gardens and park.
The real castle is further up the hill from the Ayuntamiento. Again, it isn't much of a castle, but it is far more tourist-friendly than the vaguely seedy streets around the ayuntamiento. You start by climbing through a wooded park, up to manicured gardens and a monument to the sea...three large anchors in a row next to another viewpoint. Castle tip continued below...