More then half a year ago, I took the train from Vigo and headed towards the most important train museum in Galicia -> at Monforte de Lemos. Since I lost my photos from that period of time, I took advantage of another trip that was in that direction, to spend a few hours here and re-make some of the photos lost.
So just like the first time, I started from Vigo and because I was in the car and not the train, I could stop at another wonderful place that once was seen from the train tracks.
A big part of the trip, the train tracks, and the highway follow the river Mino with its many artificial lakes, made for the dams. In order to see the lake, if you take the highway towards Ourense, is to follow indications for San Paio, or the small village Santa Cristina. This place is just under 20 min before arriving in Ourense, and a small stop here would be a great treat.
Castrelo de Mino Pq. Santa Maria.
There are many places to see before arriving at Monforte de Lemos, but some of them I have already shown them here at colorpixel.org. So let’s continue with the main attraction.
This is Parque dos Condes, a very picturesque place in Monforte. First time I was here, this place was actually the last one I visited, and because I still had hours to waste before my train would come to get me home, I started taking photos of ducks landing on the water. This time, I took a different photo.
And this old image that I recovered from Instagram.
For other people, the main attraction of this town is the palace, the monastery, and the tower. In fact, there is a hotel now, but more on that later.
But Monforte is not unique because of that. In fact, on my travels, I saw many other towns that have similar fortification on top of a hill that is a Hotel in nowadays. Just another example (more beautiful than Monforte) is Castelo de Monterrei (as I will show in a future article)
When I came at Monforte for the first time, I found it not just very, very quiet,😳 but also very deserted.😔 As a fan of architecture in decay, this place was more than just Havens. 😍
This is one of the entries to the Monastery, up on the hill.
Between two houses, there was this one, tall, narrow… and naked.
Wild apple tree.
After a few minutes of a continuous climb, the view of the yellowed rock Monastery is really beautiful and makes it worthwhile the climb or even just the stop in this town in the first place.
This I think is the Palacio condal de Lemos.
The San Vicente de Pino Church and in the distance is visible the tower of San Vicente de Pino Monastery.
First time I was here, I really wanted to visit the tower, so I followed the stairs, down, just to arrive at the Hotels kitchen. From there, I had directions to go to the Hotel through the main doors, because the tower was off limits.
It is believed that this church is one of the first ones in Galicia to be built after the Arabic invasion. So it dates to 10th century, but the construction was finished (to look like nowadays) in the 17th century.
Here is Torre da Homenaxe.
Inside the estate, there is a restaurant dedicated to the people who stay here for the night, and also a cafeteria that everyone else can access. The service is top class, clean and very Italian like. Many coffee drinks to choose from, but be careful when you call an iced coffee. It actually is a normal coffee with a glass of ice… no blender, no milk no… You would be better off with an Irish cream coffee, served cold.
After the coffee and sandwiches, the next place to visit (in the inverse order from my first trip) is the train museum.
So I began my descent, to the town bellow.
View from the road that descends, with Torre da Homenaxe to the right and Torre Pequena to the left.
Inside the train station of Monforte the Lemos, we can see the main rail routes connecting the big cities in Galicia. A Coruna with the Hercules Tower (to be seen in a 2 parts article), Santiago de Compostela with the pilgrim symbol (also a future article), Ourense with the bridges (really funny now that I wrote the article, it seems that the main distinction of this city is really the big number of the beautiful bridges. Somehow I had the same idea to nickname Ourense), Vigo with a boat and so on…
From here the tracks go to Castilla and Leon or to Asturia.
Outside the train station, there is a vandalized EMU unit.
Also inside the train station, there is a museum of doll houses, with a few of them quite interesting. The person who made them, will give you a tour, included in the price of the ticket.
Because it is not cheap, I did not redo the museum so I will post an old photo from my Instagram.
From here I walked towards my favorite place: the train museum.
And a cat was looking at me suspiciously.
This road is also a Pilgrim road, leading to Santiago de Compostela so many places will have the classic symbols, to guide the traveler to Santiago.
And here we are.
First time I was at the museum, there were more people inside and also there was an iguana outside (free in the wild) sitting on the rail tracks, in the sun. Took a few photos of it before she was running scared. Now I did not find it again (no wonder…) also…
Perhaps the only images I cannot replicate and I do miss losing them, are the ones with the storks in the nests… Couples in the nest.
To tell what I did the first time I came here, I will start by saying that outside the train museum there was a Roundhouse in the distance.
The guardian of the museum, just like last time, said that the only way to get there is with the museum’s train. But because there are not a sufficient number of people, the service is unavailable.
I wasn’t too mad at him, because I saw on the map, that there is a way around to get there.
So I went back on the main road and walked until I saw on the map a local road getting very close to the tracks. Sadly the map was not updated with the new houses in the area (ironic, because in the center of the town, the houses are collapsing due to age) so…
Closer I would get to the place, I would see that there was a wall of old container wagons and also a wire fence. I got as close as I could, but there was no way to jump over the fence and also I saw no holes in it so that I could get myself in.
So I looked at the map again to see if there is a road going to the roundhouse, and I saw one, is just that I had to get to the other side of the track. So I went to the closest junction over the tracks (A Eirexe) (where I did a picture of a very old stone made church) and followed the road back to the museum, but on the other side.
What I saw it was a road, in perfect condition, with two lines, with sidewalk but no car. Absolutely no car. It looked like a brand new road because even the lights were new. Also in some areas, there were huge parking places (empty) and no buildings for them. Perhaps there was a plan for something…
Need to say that it was creepy to walk on an empty road? Just like in those movies with only one person as the only survivor of an Apocalypse. Need to say that the roundhouse was inaccessible? Yeah so I went back to the Museum, that was closed now, and from there to see the Monastery and so on.
But now, on my second trip, I did not go there again, also did not venture myself far away, since I had to see the Orange Rocks (next week article).
So here I am back at the park where my second trip started, in front of the huge and majestic CPR Pais Escolapios (college).
Normally I would finish the article with this photo, (taken from my facebook account) from the trip to Monforte, back at Vigo train station:
But this time, the trip did not end like this. In fact, it continues to very beautiful landscapes seen in Las Medulas and the awesome things of Ponferrada.
So, see you next week,