Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 15.8.21

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

– Christopher Howse: ‘A Pilgrim in Spain’

Cosas de España/Galiza 

The estimable Marinero brings us an article on Cádiz’s crumbling cathedral. I was left wondering if the authorities charged with its upkeep are the same folk who run Renfe.

This article purports to tell you the 10 best places in Spain for tapas, with Pontevedra coming in at number 10. I’m truly astonished not to see Bilbao in the list, though I agree generally with the comments. For a start, there’s far more variety in Bilbao than in Ponters.

An unusual occurrence on Friday, in Quiroga . . . Ahead of a main course and a dessert, neither I nor my companion could finish the huge dish of Galicia soup called caldo. Apart from the thin liquid, this contained a stack of green beans and a ton of potatoes. Shortly after the dishes had been taken away, the cook arrived to ask – rather obstreperously – if the soup had not been to our taste. We denied this and and tried to explain it was too filling to finish but I had the impression she was more insulted than mollified.


The Japanese word for bread is pan, from the similar Portuguese word pão, pronounced pan but with one of their nasal diphthongs. In fact, several Portuguese words, including tempura, came from Europe’s earliest traders in the East. You can see them here.

The UK 

Some countries provide PCR tests free of charge, eg The Netherlands, Denmark and Norway. Elsewhere the prices differ enormously, The only sure observation one can make is that the UK appears to be leading the rip-off stakes. The average cost of a private PCR test in Britain is £75. That said, my recent visitor had to pay €85 for one here.  Which might not be the average, though.

The USA 

American health care is the worst in the rich world, it’s claimed. And indisputably the most expensive, of course.


In a separate post, I’ve just published a report on the Covid outbreak in China and its government’s actions before and since. It’s a long but vital read, which seems to be both comprehensive and authoritative. So, how do we make China pay? 

Finally  . . .

Maria advises that in Spain, the equivalent of Friday 13th is Tuesday 13th. Because it’s Mar’s day, the god of war, and so unpropitious. As the saying has it, Martes y trece, ni te cases ni te embarques. 

The chap you sent me the message saying he’d found my number on his phone has added: Hola amigo, es bueno ser amable con la gente, ¿por qué no vuelves a hablar conmigo? I’ve blocked him, of course.

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