Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Thoughts not from Galicia, Spain: 25.4.18

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.

Firstly, a correction. For some reason, I read a post of few days ago and realised, firstly, that there was a mistake in this paragraph, and, secondly, that the ever-vigilant Alfie Mittington hadn't alerted me to it: The more you journey through Spain, the more you realise what a glorious heritage is has from both its Islamic and Christian(i.e. Catholic) eras. My perception is that Spaniards are gradually coming to a real appreciation of the latter. This should read 'the former', not 'the latter'.

  • If you're going to visit San Fernando, near Cádiz, be sure to download a map from somewhere. The one available from the Turismo there must the most inadequate ever produced. Firstly, it's very small. Secondly, the print is tiny. And, thirdly the words are so badly printed, they're illegible. It's the devil's own job figuring out where anywhere is.
  • Which reminds me . . . In search of a very small battery, I was sent by one shopkeeper to a place opposite the Alameda. In reality, this was only 50 metres away but, having entered Alameda in Google Maps on my phone, I was then sent on a round trip of at least a kilometre, before ending up virtually where I'd started from. En route, I read on the phone something like: Be careful. The walking directions might not relate to the real world. Too effing true!
  • Another thing to note about San Fernando is that there are 2 Cercanias stations in this town: 1. San Fernanda-Bahia Sur, and 2. San Fernando Centro(Central). The name of the latter begs the question of the Spanish definition of 'central'. For, as with most railway and bus stations in Spain, it's on the edge of town, a good 15-20 minute hike to the centre. Good for taxi drivers, of course.
  • As in other parts of Spain, there's an excellent local train service (Cercanias) between Cádiz and Jerez. The trains are modern, clean and comfortable. However, the enjoyment of one's journey will certainly be impaired if all the other seats in one's carriage are occupied by around 40 seven-year-old schoolkids and 3 teachers. Especially when none of the former are told to stop shouting by any of the latter. Who are more interested in taking fotos of their charges than ensuring peace and quiet for the other passengers. All very Spanish.
  • Cádiz is has an extremely elegant old quarter, overflowing with things to see. But also with octogenarian American tourists disgorged in their hundreds – thousands, even – from the vast cruise ships that are moored right next to it. And which are virtually the first thing you see when you exit the railway station. The ships, I mean. Not the Yanks . . .
  • Walking round this quarter, a thought returned. One that surges whenever I'm noting the obvious wealth in parts of Spain . . . How long will it be before Spain stands on its own feet, earns its own money and stops taking it from the taxpayers of Northern Europe, so that it can improve the lot of its poor by taking more from its very rich. Or even just the rich. Of whom there are very many more than there were when Spain joined the EU in 1985.
  • And then a new question occurred – How many of Spain's youth – proud of her undoubtedly impressive growth of the last 40 years – realise that this has only been possible through the largesse of others? Or, to put it bluntly (as the Spanish would prefer), that Spain doesn't yet earn its own way in the world. I have a suspicion that no one ever tells them this. Merely that Spain's economic growth is the envy of her EU partners. Which, of course, is true - at the macro level.
  • But, anyway, for now, here's an introduction to Andaluz: A waiter asking a chap at the next table. 'Is this helmet yours?' ¿Ete caco e vuetro? Or, in Castellano, ¿Este casco es vuestro? All said as one word, by the way.
  • American religious nut, Liz Crokin: Hillary Clinton literally is a witch. She practices witchcraft and goes to witches covens. Rudy Giuliani will surely produce the video of Clinton raping a child and cutting its face off.
  • Has Spanish Banco Sabadell rather overstretched itself in the UK? If it has, you wouldn't know this if you live in Spain, says Don Quijones here.
  • Returning to the issue of disciplining kids . . . Look what can happen if you try to do this to someone else's child in Spain.
Finally . . .


A section of the walls as Morton might have seen them in 1956
Very probably the same spot today
The main (Sorroco) Gate, showing what Morton called the salmon-pink walls. And the once 'dusty path' he walked up to go through it.
Part of the interior of the impressive Guzman's Castle
The holy church of the Never Starting Mass.
A sign that things might not all be as well as they seem

The church where Columbus et al prayed the night before they sailed
Where they sailed from. More or less.
The well from which they drew their water for the voyage
The rather proud boast of the town, on the front wall of the church

1 comment:

Alfred B. Mittington said...

To tell the truth, I did raise my eyebrows when reading that remark; but everyone in entitled to his opinions, even if they are stark mad ones...

And incidentally: I think there are far too many consonants in your transcription of Andalucian speech!