Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 10.6.21

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’ 

Detailed info on Galicia and Pontevedra city here


The UK: While the daily death toll remains low at c.8, the number of cases is rising rather worryingly, particularly in parts of northern England where the Indian (‘Delta’) variant is well- established. A regional lockdown???

Cosas de España/Galiza 

As doubts remain over whether Spain will ever be UK Green this summer, the government has launched an €8m campaign to lure visitors from Germany. Details here.

There are now more ‘tourist accommodation’ beds in Pontevedra province than hotel beds. And there are certainly far more ‘pilgrim’ inns(albergues) than the current camino flow merits –  including 3 new ones in the first Pontevedra city street they walk down. And several more being built in the centre. All pretty empty, of course, this expected-to-be-bonaza year. That said, numbers are slowly increasing, albeit mostly of Spaniards and Portuguese, it seems. Very few foreign tongues on the streets so far.

But the good news is that the Pope has declared ex cathedra that 2022 will be the Año Jacobeo 2021 here in Galicia. Amazing powers, inherited from JC, I guess.

Leaving a train at Vigo’s Urzaiz station, you can take either 33 steps or an escalator to the (currently closed) normal entrance/exit level. At the moment, to get to the temporary entrance/exit, you have the choice of a lift, several more escalators or another 108 steps to the street level. Guess who arrived there first yesterday, albeit possibly a tad more tired than everyone else.

María’s Final Stretch: Days 4-6  Etiquette at a place I rarely go to.

The UK

The EU

According to a Continent-wide survey: The slow and chaotic start to the vaccine rollout at the beginning of 2021 raised big questions about the EU’s capacity to steer its member states through the crisis. Disappointment with EU institutions has now come out of the periphery and gone mainstream.  . . . In Spain, traditionally one of the nations most enthusiastic about the EU, a majority of 52% saw it as dysfunctional. But I guess it will recover when subsidies start to roll southwards. You might be able to access this link on this.

Quote of the Day

From a one star review of that book: The Duchess of Sussex’s semi-literate vanity project leaves Harry holding the baby. It’s all bland parenting ‘wisdom’ and no story – and it’s hard to imagine any child enjoying it.

Finally  . . .

I go on and on about bizarre driving at roundabouts in Spain* but I’m glad I wasn’t at the one at the bottom of my hill at 8.15 last night, when a ‘drunk and high’ driver from Vigo crashed into 2 other cars there.

* Latest example: A driver in front of me approaching a roundabout this week signalled left, went into the right-hand lane, then went straight on and – once past the roundabout – signalled right but went straight on. The truth is that not signalling at all is better than this.