Tuesday, October 02, 2012


Well, dear reader, the hotel receptionist confirmed this morning that the Dali museum was, indeed, closed and that there were several other guests who'd fallen foul of of the shift to 'winter' hours. He also warned me that, if I were to come back at another time of the year, I needed to be aware that opening times were idiosyncratic then as well.

So, I decided to visit the Castillo San Fernando in an attempt to make my visit to Figueres something other than a complete waste of time. Parking my car there, I noted a footpath leading up towards the ramparts and decided to follow it. Reaching the top, and in search of the entrance, I had a choice of going left or right and opted for the former. Not a good decision. Forty-five minutes and about 3 kilometres(2 miles) later, I arrived at the main entrance. Which would have taken 5 minutes if I'd gone right. Fortunately, I had just about enough strength left to go in and undertake a guided tour of this rather magnificent construction - last used to house members of the International Brigade en route from France to the Civil War. As is not uncommon in Spain, I was given a large ticket that someone three metres away could rip the end off.

This done, I left for Tarragona, a couple of hours or so away and checked into a hotel in the centre of what appears to be a charming little city, with an engaging old quarter and enough Roman remains to satisfy anyone. This being Monday, though, none of them were open except the cathedral. Which keeps its own hours and had closed by the time I got to it at 6.30pm. So, I thought I'd try the Tourist Office but this had shut its doors at 5, having opened at 3. Since its morning hours were 10 till 2, this meant a 6 hour day. Nice work, if you can get it.

I will return to Tarragona's old quarter and Roman monuments tomorrow but I won't, alas, be able to take any fotos of anything. On what is turning out to be Black Monday, my camera went on the blink, as a result of the zoom lens jamming. And I don't mean playing incomprehensible jazz.

Anyway, somewhere today I saw siguiente translated as 'forth'. Maybe it has something to do with Catalan.

Talking of words . . . I may be wrong but I guess the Spanish word Runrún comes from English. It's defined as meaning noise; humming; or rumour.

Talking of rumours . . . I see that Venezuela's strongman, Sr Chavez, had noised it abroad that the CIA has devised a poison which causes cancer in left wing South American presidents such as himself. I guess it's plausible. If you're a South American president of a country where things are not working out.

And I see that the classic Ealing comedy, The Lavender Hill Mob, becomes El Quinteto de la Muerte in Spanish. Ours is not to reason why.

Finally . . .

Read this and weep for Spain's youth.

And

Read this and this and weep for Spain.

5 comments:

Ferrolano said...

Following and reading the three links concerning Spanish youth and Spain, I was struck by your choice of the word “weep” – it reminded me of the title of a book written some 40 years ago, “I’ll dress you in mourning”; which somehow seems more appropriate to the current situation than to, who was then the young bullfighter “El Cordobes”.

ALoLocoSeViveMejor said...

Read this and this and weep for Spain

Why, they are getting their just deserts. And they definitely will not learn. Give 'em a second chance and they'll repeat their mistakes with a vengeance.

Alfred B. Mittington said...


Dear A Lo Loco (nunca mejor dicho)

I suggest you see your surgeon and get a heart.

Who is "They", pray tell?

Schoolchildren in Greece and Portugal are going to school hungry these days. Are they "They"?

Old age pensions of perfectly innocent elderly people are being chopped so as to give cash infusions to the banks. Are these elderly people "They"?

I have always been highly critical of Mediterranean habits and attitudes. But I say it again: no sinner deserves the perverse treatment doled out to the southern European populations by overpaid and unelected despots in Brussels.

Afred B Mittington

Lenox said...

Cancer in South American presidents... Here's El Público today:
Santos anuncia que tiene cáncer.
El presidente de Colombia será operado el miércoles "para extraer el tumor" localizado en la próstata. Asegura que seguirá al frente de su Gobierno

Colin said...

Well, said, Alfie. Growth tends to benefit certain sections of society less well than others. And decline/cuts hits them more. That's one of the main problems with a boom, real or, as with Spain, artificial. And utterly unconnected with effort and productivity.BUt, as you've said, who provided the walls of easy cash and a ridiculous interest rate? Not the people of Spain. And certainly not the ones who were persuaded to put their life savings into (worthless) preference shares by bankers they trusted.

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