Camellias of fire...

Under the vaulted green branches of a tangled woodland, a fiery candle suddenly lights up the mountainside. But there’s no cause for alarm, it’s only the setting sun, thrusting itself through the branches, bathing the crystalline fountains with light and tingeing the flowing waterfalls with the sparkle of its reflected rays.

The camellia blossoms are swept away by the stream, as if in a tobogan, painting the waters with their rose and fuchsia hues, contrasting with the darkness of the river banks.

Some of the blossoms float along the waterways, past mill, outdoor wash wells and fountains. Others carpet every corner and path with their faded petals and dried leaves. Like fluffy cretonne cushions, myriads of fallen camellias cover the iron benches, nicknamed “The Spanish Remorse” a name which is easy to understand when you sit there and find you have an iron nose or two heads thrusting into your back. The workmanship is exquisite, but you might end up wishing you hadn’t sat there!

Occasionally, towards the end of winter, the camellias go to rest upon a low stone table upon which the politician Montero Ríos, the original owner of the Pazo and who was also quite short, used to sort out the world’s problems. So we see that in Lourizán, walking over a bed of flowers is not merely a metaphor. At least, not if you are strolling over a bed of camellias.

 

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