Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable.
- Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain.
If you've arrived here because of an interest in Galicia or Pontevedra, see my web page here.
- Well, Badajoz was delightful and the natives as friendly as they're reputed to be. In the narrow streets of upper part of the old quarter – near the remains of the Moors' Alcazaba – there were very few people about and we were possibly the only tourists in the place. Certainly the only foreign tourists. One resident told us that a good deal of money had been spent on restoring attractions but tourists were so few that owners took a relaxed/pragmatic approach to opening hours. The city's culinary reputation was restored by an excellent lunch with decent wine in La Taberna La Nueva Santina in Plaza La Soledad. The weather continued cool and wet. One aspect of the city confused me for a short while – Information panels sometimes gave names in 2 languages, as in A Galera and La Galera. My initial reaction was to wonder why they were giving the Gallego alternative, and then it dawned on me it was Portuguese. I was reminded of a panel back in the bones place in Zafra, where there was Portuguese, English and French, but no Spanish. I've noticed this before and wondered whether it indicated a certain apathy towards their richer, 'arrogant' neighbours.
- In contrast to Badajoz, based on reading bumf on the place, my expectations for Zafra were high but – almost inevitably - I found it to be a tad disappointing. Perhaps because of the non-stop showers.
- Thanks to all the unseasonal rain, Extremedura is currently as green as Ireland. Which is a turn up for the books.
- There are unusual place names all over the world, of course, but I regularly wonder whether Spain isn't unusually rich in these. I've mentioned Deadcat (Gatomorto) back home in Galicia and, maybe, Killthemoors (Matamoros) but yesterday saw a few more added to the list. Calzada de los dos Barros (Road of the two Muds), Fuente de Cantos (Spring of Songs) and Culebrín (Little Snake?) being 3 of them. And I did wonder whether Ronquillo was connected with the Spanish for snoring - ronquidos - but it appears not.
BITS AND BOBS
- The Local' on ways to tell you've cracked Spanish.
- The Local again on Spanish dishes to die for. I have great reservations about more than one of these.
- Some of Spain's magnificent castles.
- More good news re The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.
- The Economist tells us here that, thanks to recent rapid growth, Spaniards are now richer that Italians, but without pointing out that the per capita GDP hides an increasingly wide wealth gap between the rich and the poor here
- Good go to see action being taken against these British crooks.
- Finally . . . A profile of a lovely place up in the Galician hills, the home of the best Godello wine.
- It's 8.45 and it's not raining. Yet. But it's forecast to do so in Sevilla today.