31 August 2022: Abortion changes: The Moorish legacy; Modern architecture; Nasty dolphins; & Other stuff.

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Awake! For, Morning, in the Bowl of Night, has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight
And, Lo, has caught the Sultan’s Turret in a Noose of Light

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable
Christopher Howse: ‘A Pilgrim in Spain’

Cosas de Spain/Galiza

Spain is in the socio-cultural van again . . . Spain proposes to lower the abortion age and to remove the requirement for parental consent for 16 year olds.

I mentioned Moroccan food yesterday and reader María commented it was ironic that the Spanish show little interest in African food, given that its cuisine is largely based on that of the Moors of North Africa. Who were rather influential here for more that 700 years. Right on cue comes this NYT article on Spain’s heritage:-

Talking about architecture . . . Yesterday, I picked up 4 glossy A5 brochures produced by the folk responsible for tourism in the Rías Baixas of southern Galicia. One of them was on Contemporary Architecture and The Creative Spirit. Inside, there are more than 20 examples of depressingly modern constructions, such as the Xunta’s offices in Pv city:-

But there are worse. Witness the COAG HQ in Vigo:-

No surprise to find that COAG is El Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de Galicia.

The intro to the brochure is a masterpiece of modern verbiage. It begins: The Rías Baixas not only have a rich cultural and ethnographic heritage, its contemporary architecture stands out and is a national reference of great creative attraction. It then continues in this vein for several more sentences before ending: Let yourself be surprised by the prettiest and most emblematic buildings of our land. I can think of other adjectives. As with the concrete-slab houses going up in my barrio.

Some bad news . .  The killer whales(orcas) who moved north a while ago have come back south to attack sail-boats on our local coast, off Cangas.

More bad news . . . Gallegos and Valencianos will have fewer holidays than other Spaniards during the rest of the year. We could do with some levelling up . . .


To amuse. Maybe:-

I’m intrigued that yesterday I had  3 readers – or one reader accessing 3 posts – in Lithuania. Almost as many as the 4 in Qatar, Germany and France. And more than the 2 in Ireland . . .

For new readers: 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 inclusion of contemporary architecture as ‘an attraction’ by city councils and tourism boards has sprung everywhere after the success Bilbao achieved with Frank Gehry’s museum. Unfortunately, imitators that try to promote poor quality ‘new buildings’ as a world-leading contemporary architecture attraction smell of desperation and it is doomed to fail, those it (the campaign) tries to attract in the first place. As an architect and someone who is promoting Galicia tourism myself, I would suggest the Rias Baixas stick with the high-quality products they already have, rather than try and invent fake ones.


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