Sunday, November 12, 2006

November brings not only my birthday but also those of both my daughters. So I’ve just spent a few days in Madrid, Segovia and Valladolid airport celebrating same. During this short period of indolence on my part, hits to this blog were higher than average. Which I’m still pondering.

Anyway, the weather was glorious, the roads as empty as ever and the scenery as dramatic as it always is. I particularly recommend the CL601 between Segovia and Valladolid. On maps this is shown as inferior to both the A6 autopista and the parallel N601 but, in reality, it’s a dream. At least on a sunny weekend in early winter. Segovia, of course, is stunning. And I even had breakfast in a café that not only lacked a TV but also played quiet classical music. Possibly the only one in Spain.

The old quarter in Segovia has at least 10 churches but, at 9am on a Sunday morning, my Catholic daughter and I couldn’t locate one open, let alone serving Mass. In fact, we couldn’t even find anyone who knew where there might be a Mass imminent. The waitress in the café recoiled in a mixture of horror and amusement at the very suggestion she might know. And this is a country which still regards itself as Catholic. Anyway, I wasn’t too surprised to read in today’s papers that a third of religious teachers can’t find employment.

Another headline which grabbed my eye today – this time in one of our local papers – was to the effect that an association of quad-bike riders was showing solidarity with the environment by driving en masse out to the countryside to plant trees. I wonder in how many other countries quad bikes would be considered in any way ‘solidarios’ with the environment. I guess it’s on a par with the kindness of sparing a ‘brave’ bull the matador’s sword between the shoulder blades, but only after it’s been lanced and stabbed to exhaustion. Everything’s relative.


Anonymous said...

I normally only read your blog once a day but as there was nothing posted for sometime I was hitting it at least 3 times a day. Once in the morning then at noon and finally before evening so that accounts for several more hits that normal on my part. I think I am becoming addicted to this blog site!!!
Regards Eamon La Coruña

Anonymous said...

I think I might have been partly responsible, too.

I haven't read this blog regularly since July because I've been renovating my townhouse -- oh what I would give for a one-level flat above Mercadona...

However, your blog inspired me to visit Galicia this summer. I was very impressed. Vigo was unexpectedly special, as was the Pontevedra area -- verdant and picturesque -- a little like western Ireland on steroids.
Everybody should see the cathedral at Santiago at least once -- remarkable.

Vall d'Albaida, Valencia