Friday, August 31, 2018

Thoughts from Galicia, Spain: 31.8.18

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. Garish but informative.

Matters Spanish
  • No one can say this wasn't expected once tourists started to return to places like North Africa and, especially, Turkey.
  • I've mentioned that scams on the general public are not uncommon here in Spain. Here's the latest biggie. The perpetrator is actually Italian but I'm sure he had some willing Spanish assistants.
  • Here's an interesting stat on Airbnb in Spain. I'd already gained the impression that – both here and in Portugal – it has become something of a business for the already-rich, rather than an opportunity for the not-so-rich to make a bit of cash from a spare bedroom.
  • The Local in Spain is going behind a paywall. I'm in 3 minds about subscribing. Will anyone really miss all their lists?
  • The 'age of consent' in Spain is now 13, having risen relatively recently from only 12. You might think this is unusually low but here's some others in Europe: Germany, 14; Italy and France, 15: the UK, the Netherlands and Belgium, 16;  Ireland and Cyprus, 17; Malta 18. Rather odd. But it's not surprising Brussels has stayed away from the issue.
The USA
  • I wonder how many Americans know:-
  1. That their national anthem, The Star-spangled Banner, was written in Baltimore as the British were bombarding the city from the sea during the war of 1812-14.
  2. That the melody of it is that of an old British drinking song, and
  3. That the Battle of New Orleans was fought a few days after the war had officially ended under a treaty signed by both parties in, of all places, Ghent in Belgium. So, was pretty pointless, except in (understandably) convincing the Americans that they'd won a war which nobody (except the Native Indians) had actually lost. Both sides merely got fed up with it.
Matters Galician and Pontevedran
  • This is a sight I hoped I'd never see in Pontevedra – a large-ish group of foreigners being guided around the old quarter by someone with a flag. Things can only get as bad as they now are in Santiago. Or worse, Granada:-
  • Preparation for tomorrow's huge Medieval Fair (Feira Franca) is almost complete. Here's how the old Portuguese Gate has been reconstructed. If you search Feira on this blog you should come up with fotos I've posted in times past:-
  • Here's a sign I pass 4 times a day. A friend suggested I should include it here. Don't really know why . . .

Finally . . .
  • The ugliest buildings in the UK??? I'd love to see a similar competition in Portugal, where some buildings defy belief.  BTW - The Stockport monstrosity reminds me of a dreadful centro comercio in Vigo. Some architects deserve to be shot. Even Hitler did better.
© [David] Colin Davies, Pontevedra: 31.8.18

2 comments:

Eamon said...

The sign was probably put up for the visitors from down under.

Maria said...

I knew that about the anthem and the War of 1812, but I do believe few Americans even suspect that.

Today I saw three guided tours in Santiago within the span of five minutes. I also decided to wait a month to visit the cathedral after seeing the line to get in, and will decline to revisit the PĆ³rtico da Gloria until November.

I also saw a sushi bar in the Praza de Abastos. I love sushi, but a sushi bar in a traditional praza de abastos is an aberration. Besides, they can't prepare the fish they might buy a few stalls over until they freeze it for the stipulated amount of time. Not exactly market fresh, then.