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August 9th 2014
Published: August 9th 2014
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A man with blue eyes walks under the Galician sun, his mother tongue is English, and he looks happy to be at El Mirlo Blanco. This cottage, which name sounds like taken from a “noir film”, seems to be a cozy building with tiles covering some of its walls, style of the region, located in the vicinity of Catoira. The blue-eyed man is now sitting on the patio, where reign the pink and white flowers and the sing of the birds. As he speaks, a journalist from La Voz de Galicia, discovers why Jimmy has no qualms about leaving for a few days, his house, placed in a city in the Shetland Islands, whose name has not been revealed.

The interview begins. Catoira breathes on the newspaper print, this town is living history. Memorial twice: first, for the battles between Norman pirates and Galician Men, second, for the birth in 1960 of what is internationally known as Viking pilgrimage. Always, the Atlantic Ocean in the horizon.

Catoira is inspiration. In Torres del Oeste, Rosalia de Castro wrote: "“¡Ou Torres do Oeste!, Tan soias e mudas, ca vós atentaches, a miña tristura”. ( She wrote in a nostalgic and melancholic style). And in 2014, the TVE2 program, “La aventura del saber”, "The Adventure of Knowledge", recorded an audiovisual document, built on historical fiction and on the creative imagination of its team, for which the doors of the old Romanesque chapel was opened, rare church which always remains dormant.

Catoira is culture. A delicate line or a rubber band, that separates fraternity among several European countries.

The Council of Europe awarded the consideration of historical-cultural association, to Destination Vikings, Jimmy Moncrieff´s group. From this formal consideration, Vikings destinations such as the Shetland Islands, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, Iceland ... among others, and now, too Galicia, are officially part of the tourist circuit of the “viking steps”.

Denmark and Spain, - Catoira Frederikssund -, are populations joined in brotherhood, from about twenty years ago. Jimmy has enlarged the family, by placing the prow of a drakar, in the Galician map.

This recognition would not have been possible without the cultural management carried out for years by the inhabitants of Catoira and its institutions, as well as artists, archaeologists, translators.

It is not a coincidence that year after year, travelers from all over Europe go on pilgrimage to the Towers. One year, Irish travellers , another year, from the Shetland, another year from Denmark. Behind this success, there is a constant work, remembering the start in 1960, by Ateneo de Ullán.

Let´s go back to <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">El mirlo blanco<em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">, where we left Jimmy with the journalist of La Voz de Galicia. There is a conversation about the Council of Europe. The council has led to the creation of the European Institute of Cultural Routes, which as it is on their website, offers hundreds of cultural routes in Europe.

For example, “in the footsteps of Al Andalus” or “the footsteps of the Franciscan monasteries”, among others.

And one finds that all steps are crossed. To travel is the powerful verb and which enables, the European cultural tourism. The parents of European travel literature, for example, H.C. Andersen, travel writer, and Claudio Magris, with his hypnotic style of travel, to the Danube, are the first cultural travelers in the old continent. In a subjective way, as a person who carries their life in her suitcase, in a cultural sense, as a person who values ​​every step, every fallen stone, every ruin, and in an artistic sense, as somebody who creates a fable and fiction. <br style="mso-special-character: line-break;" />


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