El Bierzo is a region located in the province of León, in northern Spain and very close to Galicia.
Hundreds of pilgrims pass through this part of El Camino every year in order to reach Santiago de Compostela. Despite all these tourists coming from all over the world, this region has dozens of stunning corners outside of the typical tourist itineraries.
Here life still retains an ancient flavor. Where time has stood still and ancient customs persist. Everything is slower than in the big city. The rhythm is marked by nature, the seasons, the flow of water, the rain, the sun….
For many of us who come from the big city, we are exasperated by the natives way of life. There is no hurry, everything has its moment.
El Bierzo is famous for its incredible white and red wines. Godello and Mencía are the types of grapes that mark the flavors of wine production. Each wine has a history behind hours worked in the summer sun and the intense cold of winter. Sundays pruning and early mornings fighting insects that kill strains. Knowing this, wines taste much better. Each sip is a tribute to the sweat of men and women who give their lives to the vineyards.
The coal that has been extracted from these lands and has now been abandoned for environmental and competitive reasons also suffers greatly. Here, too, are hundreds of stories of seasoned miners who have been able to uproot this precious source of energy in the twentieth century. It is worth visiting these abandoned mines, knowing their history and breathing the same air that surrounds these enclaves that so many families have maintained.
What to say about the rich and powerful gastronomy that can be tasted in these places. Meat is present in all dishes. El Botillo is the king, along with roasted peppers. All this with meticulous and patient work for its preparation.
The generations that are now over sixty years old are the last witnesses of this so sacrificed lifestyle. We truly hope that this does not go away and that we can somehow maintain these traditions that have lasted hundreds of years and reflect a unique and endangered way of doing things and living.
Spain is Music organizes tailor made trips for groups of friends, high school bands, choirs and associations. If you want to perform in Spain or simply get to know Spain through its music send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org