Sunday, January 12, 2020

Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 12.1.20

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable.   
                  Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain
 Spanish Life
  • Windmill tilting?
  • You might like to know that croissants (crosanes) in Spain are not usually made from butter but from pig fat. Edible but quite different. And much inferior.
  • The divorce rate is slowing in the UK and elsewhere in Europe but not in Spain, where it's still accelerating. Possibly because the wrong croissants are served at breakfast.
  • In A Furnace Full of God, Rebekah Scott talks of the bounce-back of the Camino de Santiago from its low point in the early half of the 20th century, and she cites some of the perceived reasons for this. Now, she adds, the pilgrims come by their tens of thousands, and they're met on arrival by travel agents, restauranteurs, guide-book publishers, tourist boards and 'personal growth coaches.' Not to mention thieves in some albergues. And phoney yellow arrows which take you off-piste to some bar or restaurant. Not much to do with religion any more. Though lots of (youngish) folk laud its 'spiritual' value. Whatever TF that means
Galician Life
  • Hard to believe about wealthy-looking Pontevedra but it's reported that 15% of the population lives on the edge of poverty. I guess it depends on the definition of 'poverty'. These days it's usually as a percentage of GDP. So, as the latter rises, so does the threshold of poverty.
  • This is a better twin of an old foto than the one I posted a week or two go:-

  • And this is a house in the grey area on the edge of Pontevedra's old quarter. It was - for a long time - a ruin of a traditional style house and I find the renovated place incongruous. Strange to relate, it has 2 new but traditional-style one-story houses in its garden and my suspicion is these will be rented out on Airbnb:-

  • Word of the Day:- Rajar: To slit, slash, rack.
Finally . . .
  • One compensation of the one-hour, speed-sign-strewn drive on the N550 between Pontevedra and Santiago is a pastry shop in Padrón which sells great French-style croissants.
  • The other compensation is listening to the There's No Such Thing as a Fish podcast.

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