Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I sometimes wonder how business is done in Spain. Last night and this morning, I spent at least an hour trying to get in touch with 3 dog kennels near Salamanca, so I could board Ryan for the next 4 nights. I won’t bore you with the details but I failed to get through on both the fixed and mobile lines and never got a reply to my emails. Mind you, I was trying before 10 this morning. You may ask why I left things so late but, hey, this is Spain and some of it rubs off.

Actually, one of the places eventually called me on my mobile at 11 and made up for the inefficiency of last night and this morning by advising me they wouldn’t take Ryan as his jabs weren’t bang up to-date. Which is just the sort of law-abidingness and efficiency I’m not used to and don’t welcome.

But, anyway, the day got much better and, after a beautiful drive down through the hills of Galicia and the plains of Castile, I’m now sitting in the magnificent library of the beautiful city of Salamanca. If you ever want your heart and spirits lifted, this is a place to visit. Even if you don’t know where to find the place that serves some of the best tapas in Spain. And which I’ll only reveal for a fee.

I’m now so paranoid about speeding fines I’m wondering whether I didn’t today see the best ever speed trap. As we approached the A52 exit for Ribadavia, the two lanes reduced to one and there was a quick succession of 100, 80, 60 and 40 signs in about 100 metres. At the end of all this was a traffic cop writing something in his little black book as we passed him. Whereupon the road immediately opened up again. Can they really be so blatant?

I guess I’ll soon know but, meanwhile . . . anyone living near Salamanca got a spare shed?


grantc said...

I can recommend the bars in C/Van Dyck (http://maps.google.es/maps?q=van%20dyck,%20salamanca). They give you a good size tapa with your caña or ribera for 1.50€ or thereabouts.

Midnight Golfer said...

I love Salamanca; and through nothing much more than random happenstance, it is the the place in Spain that I have visited the most, without ever having actually lived there.
A close second in both preference and number of visits is Ávila, which seems to offer a little less variety of activities, for someone like me. Although I seem to have more, and higher quality photos from my trips to Ávila.

Good luck with your dog, and hopefully lack of, speeding ticket. I have yet to run into such a 'blatant' one in Spain. Riding with my sister in the backroads between Utah and Colorado, she got pulled over by a local police officer in a very similar trap. Just as we crested a ridge, and continued on a long straight downhill, the passing lane ended as we passed the "Welcome To..." sign of the township. Then, in quick succession, three speed limit signs, all worn out and crooked, reducing the speed from a reasonable 65mph to 55 and then to 35mph!! we had already left the 'city limits' on the other end of town before the police officer even turned his blue&red lights on.
I still don't know for sure if she ever bothered paying the $100, but knowing her, she very likely paid it and wrote a cordial complaint letter to the electable officials of the county and city involved.

I just realized,
65mph = 104kph
35mph = 56kph

So, you were caught in the significantly more egregious speed trap.

Midnight Golfer said...

I also wanted to mention that when my sister pulled over, I will always vividly remember the sign, directly above my head, outside the passenger window, demarcating the return to 65mph, at about the distance from the first 35mph sign that it WOULD have taken a reasonable person to actually comfortably slow down from 65 to 35 in the first place.
After we were on our way again, we didn't see another car, cop or otherwise, for another half-an-hour, when we pulled into the little canyon where some of our mother's ancestors were buried.

CafeMark said...

The best place I've found for tapas in spain is Valladolid - considering it's close to various wine regions (Ribera del Duero, Rueda, Rioja) I suppose it's not surprising. They're not free with your drink, but are exceptional value.

Xoán-Wahn said...

I can't imagine it's an easy task to find a good, affordable dog kennel as the number of abandoned dogs each summer is actually astounding! Good luck!

P.S. The word used on the word verification form beneath this message right now is actually really similar to an Old English word (the meaning of which escapes me at the moment). Has anyone else noticed these things getting closer and closer to actual words?

Anonymous said...

Salamanca, Roma la Chica, la Atenas Española......
¿Con su Archivo de la Guerra Civil en fase de desmantelamiento?

Colin said...

Many thanks, everyone.

Will try the Van Dyk olace this evening.

And off to Valladolid tomorrow to test the tapas there.

Yes, the check-words are now closer to actual English and are sometimes in combination with actual words.

I hear that the fight over the civil war archives between Salamanca and Madrid has not yet reached a conclusion but I don't really know.

Surprisingly, I've yet to vist Ávila. Maybe next week rumbo home.

Ferrolano said...


I believe that you are in Salamanca to attend ameeting of the George Borrow society and if so, I hope that you will share some of the experience in future blogs. I must admit that after reading various sections and chapters of his books, I have become very much a fan. Possibly as much for the subject matter as for his writing.

Enjoy your break and please return home brim full of things to tell.


Colin said...

Thanks, Richard. Just poste a largely Barrovian blog . . .

Colin said...

Grant, Yes, I found this street on my last visit and had a tremendous lunch in one of these places.