Galicia and Asturias: Places to Explore

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Vigo

Vigo's formidable port is choked with trawlers and fishing boats and lined with clanging shipbuilding yards. Its more typical tourist sights fall far short of its commercial swagger. The city's casual appeal lies a few blocks inland, where the port commotion gives way to the narrow, dilapidated streets of the old town.

From 8:30 to 3:30 daily, on Rúa Pescadería in the barrio called La Piedra, Vigo's famed ostreras—a group of rubber-gloved fisherwomen who have been peddling fresh oysters to passersby for more than 50 years—shuck the bushels of oysters hauled into port that morning. Competition has made them expert hawkers who cheerfully badger all who walk by. When you buy a dozen (for about €6), the women plate them and plunk a lemon on top; you can then take your catch into any nearby restaurant and turn it into a meal. A short stroll southwest of the old town brings you to the fishermen's barrio of El Berbés. At its pungent and cacophonous lonja (fish market), fishermen sell their morning catch to vendors and restaurants. Ribera del Berbés, facing the port, has several seafood restaurants, most with outdoor tables in summer.

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