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.
- If you want to see Andalucia quite possibly greener that it's been in a very long time, rush down now. This spring's unusually wet weather has certainly worked some verdant magic here. Quite spectacular. I kept thinking of the Moors sailing over from North Africa after a similar spring and thinking: Bloody 'ell. This looks like a much better place to live. And their army doesn't seem very well organised.
- Antequera, north of Málaga, is a pleasant town with an alcazaba and a number of fine churches to visit. But it also has something I don't think I've ever seen before in the several countries I've lived in or visited – schizophrenic zebra crossings. Sometimes they're crossings and sometimes they're not. It all depends on whether the pedestrian lights at each end are showing green or red. If you're a stranger who doesn't notice the latter and sets out on what you think is a normal crossing, you're at serious risk of being mown down. Or at least shouted at by an irate driver. Or, I guess, his wife/girlfriend. Here's a foto of said crossing:-
- If you do visit the city and are feeling somewhat churched-out – easily done in Spain – but want to see just one religious place, then I recommend the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Carmen. Its exterior is nothing to shout about but its interior is quite astonishing, even for Spain. For the first time that I can recall, my admiration for the craftsmanship of Man easily outweighed my disgust at all the money taken largely from the poor to lavish on outlandishly garish statuary, etc. Which would not have impressed JC. Particular mention must go to the Mudéjar ceiling and the wonderful wooden retablo created by a couple of master carpenters. Worth the €2 entry price.
- Talking of stunning places . . . This looks like another. In Castellón, in the Valencia region.
- Travel Tip: If you're looking for the 2 dolmens on the Granada road out of Antequera, they're on the left, in a large Parque Arqueological. Not, as both Garmin and Google would have you believe, on the right.
- Filling in the on-line form for tickets to the Alhambra in Granada was a true Spanish calvario last night. First, I had to input every conceivable detail about myself including my home address, my age, my gender (but only 2 choices!!) and, of course, my ID number. Then I had to fill in the details of everyone accompanying me. And then I had to input my details for a second time because I'm entitled to a discount. I really can't conceive of why all this information is required just to buy bloody tickets but I guess it keeps several bureaucrats in employment. Which is probably more important in poor Andalucia than in the rest of the country.
- At the dolmens we were given tickets for places where entry is actually free. Twice. Not for the first time, of course.
- Finally . . . I'm always impressed when there's not just one but 2 people to not only hand you tickets to a place which is free but also to jot down on a sheet of paper which country you claim to come from. In my case, Outer Mongolia. Which always throws them. Just kidding . .
ODDS AND SODS
- Reader Sierra has sent this entertaining tale – in Spanish - of a station near his Galician home which was built at huge cost for the AVE high-speed train but which has never had and never will have any trains of any sort stopping it. Doubtless a head or two has rolled for this criminal waste of money . . .
- Separatism in Spain. The current state of the game(s). Or, not. The Comment in The Local seems to have disappeared. So here's another one on the subject from them.
- And a bit on the odd relationship between Fart and The Truth.
Update: Managed to trace the elusive article from The Local.