Thursday, July 21, 2016

Ponters Pensées: 21.7.16

Madrid v Brussels: The Spanish government insists it'll ignore EU strictures about more austerity designed to eradicate the country's perennial excess deficit problem. And this as the very technocrats with the power are contemplating fining the country for past failures. So, brinkmanship. And the questions arise - Who's bluffing? Who's going to blink first? And should that be 'blinkmanship'?

The USA: Donald Trump's running mate is an Evangelical Christian who doesn't believe in the theory of evolution. Or global warming. But is presumably happy with the theory of gravity. Oy ve!

Galicia's North-South Highway: This is the AP9 and negotiations seem to be taking place about its sale to (new?) private owners. The local press is disappointed these are all 'foreign' companies. But in localist Spain this means companies based in other regions of Spain, not outside the country.

Galician Food: I spoke to a charming English family the other night just after they'd finished a meal in my favourite watering hole. The husband said they were foodies who'd come to Galicia after seeing Ricky Steyn et al wax lyrical about the (sea)food here. They'd enjoyed everything, he said, and the two boys had even eaten a pig's ear each. You could have knocked me down with the proverbial. I can't imagine anyone enjoying these. But, then, I have the same view of percebes. Or goose barnacles to you. And of durian fruit - another expensive 'aphrodisiac'. So, what do I know? The English visitors were from Yorkshire, by the way. Which might explain the liking for odd things.

The Camino de Santiago: If you're contemplating this, then there's a new web page for you: Vivecamino. As this comes from the Voz de Galicia, it naturally only addresses the final stages of 11 (yes, 11) caminos here in Galicia. But it ignores the latest one - The Spiritual Way - which deviates from the Portuguese Way right here in Pontevedra. But it does include the Winter Camino, which I recently described as a walk past various bodegas in north east Galicia. And is probably best done in spring and autumn. There don't seem to be any English web pages yet on the Spiritual Way but here's one in Spanish. Beware of the company offering to arrange walks on this Way; it confuses it with the Coastal or Maritime Way, properly called The Way of Padre Sarmiento. Confused? No wonder. It's all about money, of course.

Which reminds me . . .

Pontevedra Lodgings: We have a new option. This is the strangely-named Slow City Hostal, where you can get a bed for as little as €17.50 a night, provided you're happy to share all facilities with several other folk. So, really just a step up from the other dormitory option of pilgrim albergues. Somewhere for the increasing number of less-than-really-poor camino walkers to try. Click here for the hostal's web page. It's situated, by the way, in The Street of Bitterness, in what used to be the Jewish quarter before 1492. It claims to be only 50m from the camino but isn't really. What would be so wrong with the truth of only 150m?

Finally . . . The Hugging Romanians are back in town. If you're coming here, beware of women asking you for directions and then thanking you profusely. They're after whatever you've got on your wrist or round your neck and will step into a nearby car as soon as they've done the biz. These people, by the way, are not to be confused with the conveniently "deaf and dumb" Romanian women collecting signatures and money using phony documents displaying the logos of genuine charities.

The street up from the market to the heart of Pontevedra's old quarter has been an eyesore for years, afer the shops on one side closed and the terrace became derelict:

But the bottom half has now been restored and work is taking proceeding on the top bit.

The council has successfully - so far - prevented bill posting but the graffiti vandals are altogether another challenge.

Sharp-eyed readers will have noticed that the same chap appears in both fotos, fore and aft.

1 comment:

Sierra said...

The growth industry:

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