Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Thoughts not from Galicia, Spain: 9.5.18

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.

  • Apart from the botanical gardens and the aviary, Almuñecar also boasts a small but interesting archeological museum and a castle that's certainly worth visiting, if only for the spectacular sea view from it.
  • Almuñecar's Tourist Information Office has been 'temporarily' removed from the rather splendid Moorish-type house it was in years ago. But there's no sign at the latter to tell you where it now is. And the street signs still lead you to the old location. In a place which depends largely on tourism, this seems rather remiss to me.
  • I've mentioned it was a a calvario to get tickets on line for the Alhambra in Granada. Here's the list of things you can and can't do once you get through the entrance queue:-

In order to guarantee an adequate environment for the visit, security and conservation of the Monumental Complex and the assets integrating the Dobla de Oro, as well as for the visitors and staff, please respect the following RECOMMENDATIONS.
  • Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult during the whole visit.
  • For security reasons, children under 8, must go hand in hand with an adult, given the structural features of the enclosure.
  • Please behave properly during the visit, and do not disturb other visitors.
  • During the visit  IT IS NOT ALLOWED TO:
    • Access the itineraries in the company of animals in general, with expectation of guide dogs. Therapy or social assistance pets may also be allowed to enter. In both cases they must be identified by microchips.
    • Touch the plasterwork and the tiling.
    • Touch or lean on the columns.
    • Touch, cut or pluck plants or fruits.
    • Climb to any structure part of the archaeological remains.
    • Throw away anything on the floor.
    • Sit on the ground or obstruct the crossing areas.
    • Eat or drink outside the places expressly reserved for it.
    • Refresh or bathe in the ornamental pools and fountains.
    • Smoke in the spaces included in the itinerary of the visit.
    • Undress, take off your shoes, or lie down in the monumental enclosure.
    • Use the flash in the visit to the Nasrid Palaces and in the enclosed spaces.
    • Use the tripod along the itinerary of the visit.
    • Use of selfie sticks or similar in enclosed spaces and, specifically, in the Nasrid Palaces.
    • Give tips or any kind of gratification to the staff.
  • WE ASK visitors to:
    • Speak in low tone.
    • Do not speak through the mobile phone during the visit. If necessary, in silent mode and avoiding the other visitors.
    • Extreme precautions in the use of selfie sticks in open spaces or with risk of fall.
    • Do not use flash in evening visits and in the rest of spaces not prohibited in the previous section.
    • Extreme precautions to avoid falls and stumbling to other visitors.
    • Wear comfortable shoes, preferably flat and closed to prevent falls, slips or tripping, especially on rainy or freezing days, since some areas have an irregular surface, such as cobblestones, steps at different heights and mainly soil floors.
    • Pay attention to the ground since at the same level you can find fountains and pipes that can go unnoticed.
With these rules we want to help you make your visit as pleasant and fulfilling as possible.
Each visitor, regardless of age, must carry his/her own ticket, which can be issued individually. The ticket holder must keep it during the entire visit, and must show it, along with a personal identification document issued by the Ministry of Internal Affairs or homologous organism of his/her country, at the request of any employee, either of the monument staff or the security service, as well as to the State Security.
  • As if all this weren't enough, at the first of several scans of your ticket (why?), you're told to take off your backpack and wear it on your front. Other than as a crime-prevention measure, I have no idea of the reason for this. Most visitors took it as a recommendation and ignored it.
  • As we walked down past the Palace of Charles V, we passed a group of policemen, some of whom carried riot shields and others machine guns. I wondered if they were an everyday feature. Anyway, they were complaining to each other about having missed their afternoon snack (merienda). I missed the riot which was the cause of this.
  • Needless to say, visiting the truly fabulous palaces and the Generalife was not remotely like it was decades ago, when you could wander at will, largely alone. Now, you have to fight for space with guided groups and hordes of individuals more interested in taking selfies every few seconds than in looking at the splendours all around them. A good percentage of visitors are from the East, something else I don't recall from decades ago.
  • By the way, Granada – like La Coruña – is a city which is harder to exit than to enter. It was fully 10 minutes from the centre until we saw any road sign – the first time I've been delighted to see Todas Direcciones. I celebrated this by (innocently) ignoring the police car blocking the entrance to a tunnel on the Córdoba road. Or semi-blocking to be more accurate. I was remonstrated with – especially as other drivers followed me – but not booked.
  • The Local informs us that Spain still has the most blue-flagged beaches in the world.
  • And here's the journal's idea of the best rooftop bars in Madrid. My daughter there might disagree.
  • This is a shop clocked I in Granada. I haven't checked on its web page to see what's on offer:-

  • Melania Trump has published a guide on bullying for parents and teenagers. Apart from the introduction, it’s a verbatim copy of a booklet put out by the Obama administration. I wonder if, in her case - as with charity - bullying begins at home. Plagiarism certainly seems to.
  • Duff Cooper: Apart from being a prodigious drinker, he was also an inveterate gambler. His gains and losses were huge compared to his salary of GBP600 a year. On one night, he lost more than GBP1,200. It's not stated but implied that he – like his aristocratic colleagues – was constantly in debt. At least until his wife's earnings covered his various pleasure-oriented outgoings. Though I guess 'making love to' and often actually bonking other men's wives was pretty cost free.
  • Finally . . . I don't know enough about the situation to understand what Trump's logic is in exiting the nuclear treaty with Iran, in the face of opposition from every one of its co-signatories. But, having lived several years in both Iran and the Far East, I know that – whatever his western/personal logic is – it won't be shared by the Iranians. Or by China. And I wonder what his criteria for success are. Of course, I've no idea how his mind works. A challenge which the Iranians have on a much grander scale, of course.

1 comment:

Maria said...

Well, I checked out Loinshop and,though it gives its address as Calle Padre Rubio in Madrid, it is entirely written in Korean (or that's what it looks like) and seems to sell saffron. Perhaps they took the word "loin" from the French for "far".

The suggestion to turn your backpack around was probably to avoid having it rub against the walls if you happened to accidentally back up too far.

Trump is acting like a third rate actor in a B series movie directed by a Chinese director that speaks no English.