Thoughts from somewhere in Spain: 11.8.21  

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable. 

– Christopher Howse: ‘A Pilgrim in Spain

 Cosas de España/Galiza  

Another glorious drive yesterday, mostly on almost-empty magnificent roads, albeit at the cost of some tolls. A round trip from and back to Belorado: the Castle  in Miranda de Ebro – churches and coffee in Logroño – the Guggenheim in Bilbao – and walking the bull-run Pamplona. Not bad for one day. 

Talking of bulls . . . The most Spanish aspect of this story is the the incident took place at 30 minutes after midnight.

Travel tip 1: Don’t bother with the castle in Miranda de Ebro. It’s now just a few dilapidated walls and it’s a 600m walk from the carpark to get to these. Though the view of the town from the remains of the castle is impressive.

Travel tip 2: The Hotel Jacobeo in Belorado is a gem. It’s right on the Camino Francés, though at €45 a night, it might be beyond the pocket of most ‘pilgrims’.

Travel tip 3:  If you’re passing through (nondescript) Belorado on the N120, don’t miss its delightful – though hidden-away – Plaza Mayor.

I’ve mentioned more than once that you have to keep your eye out for frequent changes in the speed limit on Spain’s N roads. And even on the autovias/pistas, you need to be aware of regular reductions to 100 or 80. One frequent fall on N roads is from 90 to 70kph as you approach a crossing. It struck me yesterday that, as few folk actually slow down, if the police stationed themselves at every one of these in the country for just 24 hours, the resulting fines would probably pay off the national debt.

Interesting to note that the splendid Parador in León and San Simón island near Vigo share the experience of once being prisons for Republicans captured during Spain’s 1936-9 Civil War.

I’ve regularly read of ‘soft power’ in the context of the UK and its loss of hard power but this is the first article I’ve read on Spain’s poder blanco making it an international  ‘powerhouse’

A nice article here on Spain’s ‘little known’ Viking history. Which is essentially a Galician thing, it has to be said.

Did I really just hear on the TV on behind me in this café that it’ll be 41 in Vigo today? I’ve come to the North East to escape rain, not a  heatwave. Apparently not. But it will be sunny. Down South, it’ll be the hottest day of the year so far, with 41 forecast for Almería. Up in the Galician hills, it’ll climb to a mere 35 in Ourense. But with the usual high humidity, I guess.

The Way of the World

The new Hyundai Ioniq Electric claims a battery range of 193 miles but . . . the smallest of small print warns that the range is “dependent on ambient temperature, battery state of charge and condition, driving style, vehicle payload, vehicle electronics, heating and climate settings”. Considering how important the question of range actually is, some might think it a tad dishonest to tuck these details away, but there you go.


Someone in Pamplona used the diminutive suffix – ique yesterday. I’m more used to -ito, -ino and -iño. At least I think I heard caminique when I asked for directions.

Finally  . . .

I recently read about the brome weed, something I’d prefer not to have alongside the other weeds I struggle to contain in my garden. Apparently it’s good for the sort of health drinks cited yesterday. But, alas, I’m not engaged in the production of these.

Note: If you’ve landed here looking for info on Galicia or Pontevedra, try here.