Essay by Laurajane481High School, 11th grade May 2005

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In Northwest Spain, lies the small region of Galicia. Known as the "land of 1000 rivers," it has waterways that flow all throughout, from its mountainous inland to the coast. The region's culture clearly shows its Celtic and Gaelic origins, which is the reason why it is often called the "Spanish Ireland." Its first language, Galician, is closer to Portuguese than Spanish.

Galicia, being the wet, green corner of Spain, faces the North Atlantic Ocean. It's corresponding coastlines are composed of fjord-like indentations or Rías. Further within the region are small mountains and numerous rivers, primarily the Miño and the Sil. Two major mountain regions are O Courel and Os Anacres, both of which are located in the province of Lugo. Also within Galicia are 60 protected nature reserves, where such plants as oak, yew, beech, hazelnut, and holly trees grow. The Rías and rivers prove to be the most important part of Galicia's geography because they make it one of the world's major fishing regions.

The fishing ports of Vigo, A Coruña, and Pontevedra have grown into the major cities in the region because they have formed half of Spain's fishing fleet, which is the largest in all of Europe. The fjords also serve as a breeding ground for the most abundant source of shellfish on the continent. The remainder of Galicia's industry revolves around cattle and hog raising, tungsten and tin mining, and food processing, and tourism. Galicia also proves to be a great place for tourists to go because of its incredible coastline, beaches, green landscapes, and romantic villages.

Tourists come to Galicia to see the impressive towns, beautiful fishing villages, and the nature preserves and swimming resorts located in the Rías Baixas and A Toxa. The regional capital, Santiago de Compostela draws many tourists and...