Sitting here under the sun in a pristine Veggie Square in Ponters at midday, it's hard to believe that at 9 last night I was in the same spot feeling like one of a can of very inebriated (and largely female but non-violent) sardines. And that at 10 those who'd just sat down for dinner in one of the many a-tabled streets and squares were drenched by sheeting rain. And that the same waiters and waitresses serving me now were working until the very early hours of this morning. Truly do the Spanish know how to party hard and the South Americans who serve them know how to work hard.
But it's not all good news. The sun may be shining, the squid may be as good as ever, the albariño wine just as palatable - but the bloody free wi-fi isn't working. Life can be such a bitch.
Anyway, in their desperation to prove they're as non-Spanish as the Catalans, many Galicians work as hard as South Americans at proving they're more Celtic than anyone else in Iberia. Including the Asturians only next door. They do this by 'reviving' (or inventing) various Celtic traditions. Such as a marriage which lasts for only one year and is renewable (or not) at twelve month intervals thereafter. So it is that the town of Cadeira in NW Galicia has had, for all of three years now, an annual festival devoted to this practice. Of which you can read more here.
Talking about festivals . . . Walking with me around a very crowded Ponters old quarter last night, my elder daughter made a couple of perspicacious comments:-
- "It seems most people are in costume, especially the women. I guess it gives them a chance to wear boddiced, bosom-baring dresses".
- "The city's well-endowed ladies seem to be taking full good advantage of the fiesta."
I told her I hadn't noticed but, now that she'd pointed this out to me and after some research, I felt compelled to fully (and happily) agree. Sadly, as we left before the rain started falling, I was deprived me of a second, more pointed, research opportunity.
As for tourism on a national scale, here's an interesting post from my fellow-blogger Lenox.
And here's another article on Spanish white wines, in which you can read more about the Galician Godello variation.
Finally . . . I thought I'd pass on the good news that I made a whole 93 cents from Google Adsense in August.
Finally, finally . . . I hate to be a party-pooper but I sincerely hope the following is a bit a Galician blarney and not remotely true . . . Even within Spain, where Asturian bean stew will satisfy the hungriest belly, Valencia is credited with creating paella and a Mediterranean diet is the staple of a dozen provinces, Galician cooking is generally esteemed as the best of all. And above all, this means seafood and shellfish. One such delicacy is the gooseneck barnacle (el percebe). I must say that, in ten years, I've never heard this nonsense from anyone but a Galician. Which is what you'd expect in the nation of a thousand patrias chicas. Where one's grandmother always makes the best tortilla in the world. Bar none.