Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 8.5.21

Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable

– Christopher Howse: ‘A Pilgrim in Spain’ 

NOTE: If you want to know more about Galicia or read my Guide to Pontevedra city, click here


The UKThe government has confirmed that the ban on non-essential travel for travellers from England will be lifted from 17 May, with a traffic light system in place to guide travellers on quarantine and testing requirements for returning from overseas destinations. The lists would be reviewed every 3 weeks. The Green List is expected to still require testing before travel, but with no requirement for quarantine on return.

Mask senseAfter a year of questionable advice on masking, ranging from head-scratching and mildly amusing to outright laughable — such as Spain mandating use of face masks while swimming in the ocean — health experts who counter the prevailing narrative on universal masking are finally getting some airtime in the mainstream media. See here for more on this.

Cosas de España

Disappointingly but not surprisingly, Spain isn’t on the Green List. But at least will be in the Amber box – for ‘essential travel only’. This means Brits are still advised against coming here and they’ll have to quarantine 10 days on their return.  

Although disappointed by this status, the tourism sector welcomed the news that the European Commission have recommended that, from June, foreign citizens who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, and travelling from countries with a good epidemiological situation, should be allowed to travel into the EU without additional restrictions. The proposals that are being considered by the EU member states would allow travel into the EU for people who had received, at least 14 days before arrival, the final dose of an authorised vaccine. There will also be consideration of a country’s Covid data, with unvaccinated travellers allowed to travel from a country with a ‘good epidemiological situation.’ This would potentially allow younger tourists from the UK to visit Spain with limited or no restrictions imposed.

The backcloth: Foreign tourism in Spain in March fell 76% from a year ago, meaning that recovery of the crucial sector from the hammer blow of Covid is not yet in sight.

Mark Stücklin writes here of the effect of PP policies on property in Madrid.

Cousas de Galiza 

There  used to be 4, if not 5, large convents in Pontevedra city. So, dozens, if not hundreds, of nuns. Now they’re down to 3. Who don’t live in a convent but in a flat above the Moroccan restaurant. The last functioning convent in the city – of the Claristas – closed 4 or 5 years ago (after 800 years in business), when the handful of aged residents were sent somewhere better for them. Yesterday, the city council announced it’d bought the convent and its grounds for €3.2m. The latter are far more extensive than I’d imagined, as you can see here:-

The Cloister

The council has outlined plans to develop the site but I’ll report on them if and when they come to fruition. 

I guess it’s as good a time as any to cite this article from Marinero on the (highly profitable) myth of St James and his sojourns in Galicia, vertical and horizontal, alive and dead.

You can see George Borrow’s scathing comments on the myth in my Galicia page here. Scroll down to the penultimate section.

María’s Level Ground: Days  33 & 24. These things are sent to try us . . .


As this fine country’s on the UK’s Green List, here’s a relevant Guardian article, very possibly sponsored . . .


Will Biden’s economic plans  bankrupt America? There is certainly a risk if the money leaks into transfers instead of being spent on productive investment or forms of education with an economic return – which do not include semesters on identity politics. But the status quo ante was not a viable course either. America was already on the brink of bankruptcy on January 6 – political bankruptcy – and therefore emergency largesse became the new imperative. Donald Trump’s Putsch – and the collusion it elicited – has brought about the very socialism he so reviles. Poetic justice.

Meanwhile, some stats:-

– The real wages of non-supervisory workers peaked in 1973. 

– The average CEO of an S&P 500 company now earns 357 times more.

– This is up from 20 times more 50 years ago.

Finally  . . .

I post this blog also on the Eye on Spain site, where there are usually 200-250 views a day, some of them possibly by humans. But a couple of times last week and again yesterday and today there were more than 500. Which means either something has happened or the Russian bots are out in force. But, as we Brits say: Mustn’t grumble . . .