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Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?

*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

Creative Travel in Galicia: “Put A Face To Tourism” in Spain


Creative Travel, Gourmet Travel, Travel With Locals, City Travel, Travel Videos, Spain, Travel Blog , 0

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“Sandra & you are sure to get along really well.” Such are the reassuring words of introduction made by Caroline Couret, head of the International Creative Tourism Network in Barcelona: Two young ladies, one & the same passion: Travelling in order to experience the local culture. And always with the locals, please: Just over a year ago, Sandra Touza has founded the Creative Tourism Network Galicia in the north of Spain, “Ponle Cara Al Turismo, ever since opening doors straight into the heart of the local soul: creative backyards, fish factories, pastry chefs or cheese workshops right in the middle of the charming port city Vigo.

“I am just so lucky”, I cannot help thinking while taking yet another bite of that delicious local soft cheese, treating my palate to exclusive Spanish Albarino white wine and promising the owner of the local seafood factory Luis Escuris Batalla a box of “Sonnentor” organic herbs from our very own homeland, the Waldviertel. In return, he wants to ship me a beautiful box of these delightful seafood produce for which Galicia is just so well known. Just LUCKY!

Sandra & Elena: Ein Herz & eine Seele für die „kreative“ Art zu reisen – mit, von & zu den Einheimischen von Galizien und ihrem köstlichen kulinarisch-kulturellen Angebot.

Sandra & Elena: A heart & a soul, especially concerning “creative tourism” such as here in Vigo, Galicia.

Gleich am ersten Tag meines Besuches in der Hafenstadt Vigo schauen wir uns an, was die lokale Szene zu bieten hat: Im Lederfachgeschäft ... kann man als Besucher selbst Hand anlegen und seine eigene galizische Handtasche fertigen.

On the first day of my visit to Vigo, we are checking out the local (craft) scene finding this beautiful leather manufacturing plant, where with a little help you are able to make your own Galician leather bag in a creative workshop session.

Kreativität äußert sich, gerade in Zeiten wie diesen, auch in einem Geschäftsmodell wie der Parfümerie „Equivalencia“, in der ich mein eigenes Parfum aus Markendüften von Lancome, Dior, etc. kreieren kann.

Creativity translates into many areas, such as this perfume store which allows you to mix your very own scent on the basis of well-known, established international brands.

Am Touchscreen gebe ich meine bevorzugten Duftnoten ein ...

The touchpad helps me to select my aromatic preferences …

... und werde prompt schnell & einfach zur richtigen Mischung meines eigenen Parfums angeleitet!

… and a little later, I end up buying my very own, self-made perfume in Galicia!

„Gib dem Tourismus ein Gesicht“: Der Name ist Programm. Als erfahrene Touristikerin & Einheimische stellt Sandra die Kontakte zu sämtlichen alternativen Besucher-Erlebnissen wie individuellen Verkostungen, exklusiven Einblicken und kreativen Kursen her.

„Put a Face to Tourism“: This is exactly what Sandra’s mission for tourism is about, making these valuable connections between locals and travellers through creative workshops, exceptional tasting events and “behind-the-scenes” visits of the area.

 

Sweet Cupcakes – from Vigo, Galicia.

Cupcakes from Galicia ??? “Sweet things are big right now, even in a country whose palates are traditionally more used to savoury delights”, creative pastry chef Erika laughs and explains to me a recent local trend for sweet little cupcakes. Off we go making our own: Thanks to Sandra Touza and her organizational talents, we meet with Sandra at 8pm in her own flat with a very well-equipped kitchen, doubling as the cake workshop for the day. 8pm of course is afternoon in Spain, with us going out for dinner not before 10pm and once we have finished making the cupcakes … welcome to the culture & spirit of the south !!

Cupcake-Workshops werden von Erika regelmäßig auf Anfrage direkt in ihrer gemütlichen Stadtwohnung hoch über den Dächern Vigos angeboten.

Cupcake workshops are being offered regularly by Erika from the beautiful comfort of her home high above the chimney tops of the Galician port city Vigo.

Butter & Zucker verrühren wir genüsslich zur süßen Masse für die Cupcakes: Hinein kommt hier alles „verboten“ Gute!

Butter & sugar are mixed up to create cupcakes: Here, everything that is usually “forbidden” is used! :p

(Fast) fertig ist das süße Wunderwerk!

There go two happy girls: Almost done!

Hier lerne ich gerade, meinen Kuchen kreativ zu verzieren. Zum Anbeißen!

Learning how to make cupcake decorations. Simply, delicious!

Das Ergebnis kann sich aber auch wirklich sehen lassen.

The results are truly worth looking at.

Zwei glückliche Seelen, die noch dazu aufgrund ein und derselben Leidenschaft weiterhin in Kontakt bleiben werden: Der kulturelle Austausch über Kreativ-Reisen ist meiner Meinung nach einer der reichsten Reiseschätze überhaupt.

Two happy souls who for sharing the same passion will manage to stay in touch: Creative travel, and thereby meeting the (real) locals, is in my opinion one of the richest luxury travel treasures ever.

 

Let’s move on with wine & cheese from Galicia. What else!

Creative travel often also translates into experiencing the creativity of regional products. The variety of cheeses in North-Western Spain even surprises well established cheese gourmets such as myself! New white wine varieties, such as the tasty Albarino white wine, draw my attention to the wine tastings that follow. And the best of it all: Everything is easily accessible and within walking distance in the city of Vigo. As always in life, you just have to know when & where to look. This is where Sandra, of “Ponle Cara Al Turismo” comes in, entertaining close links to the local population and their specific, creative talents. We dig in – all calories are counted later on. 😉

Gewusst wie: Die charmante Sandra Touza, Initiatorin & Managerin von „Creative Tourism Galicia / Ponle Cara Al Turismo“.

Using local know-how, charming Sandra Touza manages to create a unique and personalised visit for creative culinary travel in the area of Vigo, Galicia.

Dieser Käse ist einfach zu gut: Mitten in der Fußgängerzone von Vigo treffen wir heute auf das Team der gut sortierten „Käsothek“ QUESUM, die aus den Mitteln und der Leidenschaft von vier Geschäftspartnern in Galizien entstanden ist.

This cheese is just TOO GOOD: Right in the middle of the pedestrian zone in the heart of Vigo, we meet the local owners of the cheese workshop QUESUM, which has come about as a passion of four business partners in the area.

Der typische Käse hier reift im Laib („Tetilla“) und hat eine wunderbar zarte Textur auf Zunge & Gaumen.

Typical cheese is stored in these forms called “Tetilla” and served to us with a good glass of wine.

Passend dazu wird uns ein Weißwein-Cuvée gereicht.

Beautiful: Tasting local Galician cheese with a glass of white wine.

Im Anschluss geht es auf zur „richtigen“ Weinverkostung in die Bodega Matias.

Afterwards, we enjoy a “real” wine tasting at local Bodegas Matias.

Gib dem Tourismus ein Gesicht“: Hier lernen wir ein weiteres, das des Vinothek-Inhabers Matias kennen.

“Put A Face To Tourism”: Here, we meet one of those “faces”, local owner and wine lover Matias in Vigo.

 

Fish Tasting from a Tin: Fancy More Unusual Stuff!?

Seriously: Who would have thought. Tasting these seafood beauties and fish from the local fish factory Luis Escuris Batalla is a succulent visual experience in its own right, let alone all the heartfelt meetings with the owners of this family-run export business: Together, our group of local & international journalists and bloggers from Galicia is being led “behind the scenes” of the fish factory where (almost) everything is still hand-made. Come and have a look at this: A truly unique travel experience!

Visuell anregend: Na, habe ich Euch zu viel versprochen? ☺

Visually stimulating: Did I promise you too much? ☺

Wie isst / verkostet man als unwissende Österreicherin (ohne Meer!) dieses, äh, „Navajas“-Muschelfleisch!?

How to taste “Navajas” as a poor, unexperienced Austrian, I wonder … !? 🙂

In der Fabrik Luis Escuris Batalla wird soweit möglich und ökonomisch sinnvoll jeder einzelne Verarbeitungsschritt von Hand getätigt – die Qualität dieses Aufwands schmeckt man.

At the Fabrica Luis Escuris Batalla, almost everything is still hand-made: Quality that is later tasted in the product.

Den Damen schauen wir beim händischen Einlegen des Thunfisches genau auf die Finger.

We watch as the local ladies put “bonito” (tuna) into a box – all by hand, every single fish!

Auch einzelne Schritte wie die Qualitätskontrolle werden uns ganz genau erklärt.

Every little step, from production to quality control, is being explained to us here.

Die Verkostung der edlen eingelegten Meeresfrüchte & Fische aus der Edelkonserven-Fabrik Luis Escuris Batalla ist schon alleine ein visuell anregendes Erlebnis.

Tasting the fish & seafood produce from Luis Escuris Batalla is definitely a must-do on your visit to Galicia.

Hier treffen wir auf den Besitzer der Fabrik, dem ich im Austausch für Fisch & Meeresfrüchte Bio-Kräuter aus dem Waldviertel versprochen habe!

Here, we meet the owner of the factory who I have promised local organic herbs from Waldviertel, Lower Austria in return for local seafood from Galicia. A good deal, I would say!

Unsere Gruppe, unser Reisemoment: Was für ein Tag mit Kreativ-Reisen in Galizien!!!

Our group, our travel moments: What a day celebrating creative culinary travel in Galicia !!!

 

More creative images and the presentation about “Ponle Cara Al Turismo” – Creative Tourism in Galicia …

are available on Flickr as well as on Slideshare. Enjoy watching and I look forward to receiving your feedback!

 

The presentation of the Creative Tourism Network Galicia, “Ponle Cara Al Turismo“, by Sandra Touza.

 

Disclaimer: We have been invited by “Ponle Cara Al Turismo – Creative Tourism Galicia” to travel and experience the Creative Tourism Network in Galicia, Spain. All opinions are my own.

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Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

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Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it now!
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