Thursday, June 13, 2013

The reason why Spain's 'old quarters' (cascos viejos) are so aesthetically appealing is that there's nary an ugly building in them. In stark contrast to the new barrios which surround them. Or, as a character in Domingo Villar's Death on the Galician Shore puts it, "In the past, there were were rarely any ugly buildings." There are, of course, buildings in decay - like these two below - but the dictum holds true for Pontevedra's gem of an old quarter.

Reader Sierra had pointed out that there are far finer galerías in the city of La Coruña, up on the windy and rainswept NW corner of Galicia. But it struck me today that - apart from the inclement weather - there's another reason. Up there, the impressive 6 or 7 storey buildings face the sea and its weather and every floor needs protection. Here in Pontevedra, where the streets are narrow, it's only the 3rd floor which is exposed to the elements. So there are no galerías needed for the lower floors. Only balconies.

Which is a nice lead into today's fotos. When I was taking these, by the way, I was constantly aware that I needed to be quick as people were about to walk into camera shot. Since I wasn't hard to see, I was forced to consider two explanations:- 1. They had seen me but didn't care, or 2. As I've said before, they lacked antennae and were unaware of that I was doing. I prefer the latter explanation as the former amounts to very bad manners where I come from.

But on to the pix . . . .

Final note on the galerías . . . They have a very modern use. Where the building houses offices, they fall within the definition of 'outside' for those who must smoke. Or so it seems.


El Organillero said...

In Barcelona if you didn't walk in front of cameramen you'd never get beyond your front door, but things may be different there.

As a teenager in London I used to try to get in the photos of all the Japanese I encountered on the premise that sooner or later at home they'd start comparing notes and I'd become a celebrity on NHK. No such.

Colin said...

Patience, man. Your time will come and your hair will grow back.

James Atkinson said...

Until quite recently I was still using my old Pentax SLR 35mm film camera. Only in the last few years have I noticed people more and more wandering right in directly front of my lens. I too found this quite annoying, whilst at the same time reminding myself that the world does't revolve around me. Now I have at last given in to modernity and purchased a digital camera it irritates far less, as it's easy to delete the shot and try again. It occurs to me though that perhaps that's why people aren't so bothered anymore? Or have people just become less considerate?

Perry said...


Recently, I took a Google Maps run thru' A Fonsegrada & at the start of Av. Asturias I noted an enclosed balcony on the left above Almacenas San Pedro. As A Fonsegrada is 3,166 feet above sea-level, it makes good sense.,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.47883778,d.d2k&biw=1056&bih=471&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&sa=N&tab=wl



Perry said...


Almacenes San Pedro

Colin said...

Thanks, James. Agree about the camera. Now never use my Pentax SLR, despite the quality of the pictures, but fear people don't think at all before moving in front of us.

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