Thursday, October 11, 2018

Thoughts from Salamanca, Spain: 11.10.18

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.

Odds and Sods
  • The Spanish love their puentes(bridges) - the Fridays or Mondays they take off when Thursday or Tuesday is a public holiday. There's one coming up to coincide with Columbus Day – The Day of Spanishness(Hispanidad). We've been staying in a 2-star hotel – with free parking – in the centre of Salamanca for only €28 a night. But tonight this doubles to €56 and tomorrow it almost doubles again to €100. Followed by €120 for Saturday night. Nice business, the receptionist and I agreed.
  • Talking of hotels . . . We had no problems at all in Portugal with wif-fi. Here in Spain in 2 and 3-star hotels, it's not uncommon for wi-fi to only work well in the lobby but not in the rooms. Can it be that internet provision is not only far more expensive here than in Portugal (and virtually everywhere else in Europe) but also less efficient???
  • And talking of what Spaniards like . . . Most hotels here have showers which allow the hand-held option which the locals seem to prefer to a fixed shower head. This leads to problems when the shower head is not firmly attached to its vertical pole. In our room in this hotel, the slightest increase in water pressure causes the head to shoot up and send a drenching shower over the large towels on the rack on the opposite wall. Or, rather, it did yesterday, but we were wise to this risk this morning. Or one of us was, at least.
  • This morning we took a coffee in a bar across the street, not wanting to pay €4.50 for a breakfast we didn't really want in the hotel. Surprisingly, there was no free biscuit, cake or churro. But there were churros on a plate on the counter, available for purchase. Or to be nicked one by one each time the owner turned her head away by a chap sitting at the bar with his €1 coffee. He'd got up to 3 by the time we left.
  • Talking of counters . . . Back in Guarda in Portugal there was a nice row of houses in the square below the cathedral. These are called As Casas das Balcoes in Portuguese, which some genius had translated not as 'The Balcony Houses' but as 'The Houses of the Counters'.
  • Googling can throw up some bizarre responses. Searching – thrice – earlier this week for information on the old Jewish quarter of Viseu, I was presented each time with a BBC page on its TV show Strictly Come Dancing. IGIMSTS.
  • Which reminds me . . . Why am I constantly getting ads for the hotel in which we're already staying?
Matters Spanish
Matters UK
  • The British government is finally doing something about the fact it's the favourite place for the world's corrupt to invest their money in property, especially in London. There are 10 people being investigated around the source of their immense wealth. The first to be prosecuted is the wife of an Azerbaijan banker. In the last 10 years, she's spent the staggering sum of €18m in the Harrods store alone. Before he was jailed for corruption back home, her husband was earning a mere €60,000 a year. Go figure, as our American cousins say.
  • An amusing take on the camino (sort of) from Tui to Santiago and on Santiago city itself.
© [David] Colin Davies: 11.10.18

1 comment:

Sierra said...

Sad news regarding "Pepe the camino crawler" - obviously part of God's plan: