29 March 2022: Daft airports; A daft house; Desperate Putin; Off-ramps; & Other stuff.

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’

Cosas de España/Galiza

As I keep on saying, Galicia – with a population of 2.8m – has not one but 3 ‘international’ airports, each of them much smaller and less useful than Oporto’s, in nearby North Portugal. This summer’s flights have just been announced and, significantly, there are none to Manchester, Birmingham or Liverpool. But you can fly to London, Dublin or Edinburgh and then get a plane from there, I guess.

Q: Why is there not just one central, truly international airport here? 

A: ‘Localism’ and petty political rivalries. And a regional government which won’t or can’t step in to stop a nonsense which hinders economic development.

Another modern monstrosity going up in my barrio:- 

I wonder if there’ll be a gargoyle at the end of the projection on the left side of it. If not, what on earth is it for? I do know that, inside not many years, there’ll be large, black water stains down all its sides.

The Netherlands

How it became a narco-state. And I thought things were bad here in Galicia . . 

The EU

The ‘opportunity costs’ of Europe’s drive towards a superstate born of ‘ever closer union’.


Who’d be a Russian General? If you disobey Putin, you disappear. If you don’t, your own disenchanted troops might do something like run over your legs with their tank and kill you. Or the Ukrainians might do the job for them.

Putin’s demographic desperation. He really needs 40m Ukrainians to become Russian. Plus the Moldovians? And some Poles snd Finns?

The Way of the World  

The video-viewing priorities of those accessing the BBC News site yesterday:-

Quote of the Day

The despots’ curse: An utter detachment from the reality that would, under normal circumstances, restrain them. A la Putin.  


I really should have known . . . Un ceda al paso: A zebra/pedestrian crossing

Línea Directa: An insurance company, the subsidiary of the British company Direct Line. Translated by Depl’s machine as ‘Hotline’.


An ‘off-ramp’: A way out of a disastrous situation (usually of your own making). A phrase popular in geopolitical circles. Everyone is currently looking for one for Putin. Possibly even Putin himself.

Finally . . ..

I’d really like one ofd these for my bike:

For new reader(s): If you’ve landed here looking for info on Galicia or Pontevedra, try here. If you’re passing through Pontevedra on the Camino, you’ll find a guide to the city there.



  1. The airport situation is a farce. Keep it all in Santiago end of.
    Whilst you can get the HST from Coruña to Santiago in 25 mins. The local bus that trundles from the train station to the airport takes 45 mins. When they built the new fast train track, why oh why didn’t they connect the airport.
    And from Vigo it’s the same, no wonder they go to Oporto. Also the airport parking in Oporto is cheaper of you go by car.

    Alas, as you say Colin, it’s down to local politicians and a few missing neurons.

    If I am not mistaken, pre-covid, Oporto passenger numbers were 2 possibly 3 times higher than the 3 Galician airports combined.


  2. When I first flew to Oporto in 1998/9, the airport was little more that a single building of 3rd world quality, with no industrial hinterland.You should see it now” Billed – cheekily but successfully – as “The airport for ALL Galicians”


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