18 September 2022: Electricity pricing; A Portuguese traitor; Lisbon’s golden age; & 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

María’s advice re electricity prices: You can see the days’ prices here, set for the day, according to what the origin of the electricity is. It shows what the price is when you open the web page, the maximum, the minimum, and the average. Then, each hour’s price.Yes, The price doesn’t follow the peak, shoulder, and low hours everyone had been told about. Rather, it follows the expense of creating the electricity according to whether solar, wind, or coal, is used. Which means, unless we check, we’ll never know if we’re using electricity at the wrong hour or not. IGIMSTS.

And I thought my 2 week trial in getting a new Mac battery was bad! . . .

Yet another death under an overturned tractor here in Galicia, this time of a chap aged only 50. The region surely has the sad national record for these.

Spain has recently celebrated the first round-the-world voyage, of 1519. Everyone knows, I’m sure, that the honour of this first circumnavigation went to a Portuguese captain – Ferdinand de Magellan (really Fernão de Magalhães). But his navigator – Juan Sebastián Elcano – and his ship were Spanish and the expedition was financed by the Spanish crown. This was because the extremely knowledgable Magellan had quarrelled with the Portuguese king and defected to Spain. He took with him Portuguese maps, allowing Spain to claim the Spice Islands of the East Indies as its own. An animated – and controversial – film of this achievement premiered at the Málaga Film Festival in 2019. I wonder how the Portuguese feel about Magellan . . .


More on the Portuguese marine activities of the late 15th and early 16th centuries, and the consequences thereof . . .

  • The Portuguese were helped, in their war of attrition against Muslims, by the Hindu inhabitants of 3 coastal cities – Calicut, Cannanore and Cochin. Once they gained the upper hand, the Portuguese then shafted these cities by siphoning all their trade to Goa. Quote: There were no long-term rewards for supporting monopoly imperialists.
  • Albuquerque sent two rare animals to the king, one a white elephant, the second an equally rare white rhino – the first live rhinoceros seen in Europe since the time of the Romans. The animals caused a sensation in Lisbon. The elephant was paraded through the streets and a fight arranged between the 2 animals in a specially built enclosure, in the presence of the king. The elephant, however, taking the measure of his opponent, fled in terror.
  • The impact on Lisbon: The wealth pouring into the city was fabulous. If little of it was ploughed back into India, which was Albuquerque’s constant complaint, it was in part because the king knew how to spend it. The most diverse goods of the world were on sale: objects in ivory and lacquered wood, Chinese porcelain and oriental carpets, tapestries from Flanders, velvets from Italy. The city was a swirl of colour, a febrile gold rush of floating populations of many races and colours. There were gypsies and converted Jews, and black slaves who arrived in terrible conditions, ‘piled up in the holds of ships, twenty-five, thirty or forty at a time, badly fed, shackled together back to back’. New luxurious crazes infected the city; black household slaves became commonplace; the influx of sugar produced a revolution in taste. And Lisbon was a theatre for permanent spectacle, enlivened by gypsy music and the exotic singing and dancing of the Africans in religious processions. Here one might watch the king processing through the streets with 5 Indian elephants that went in front of him, preceded by a rhinoceros and in front of the king a horse covered with a rich Persian cloth, at the heels of which came a Persian hunter leading a jaguar.
  • Architecture: The echoes of the Orient on the shores of the Tejo were reflected in the style and grandeur of the building projects that the king, Manuel, initiated in the years after 1500. Most ambitious was the construction of the immense monastery at Belém. This was 300 yards long and was designed both as a fitting pantheon for Manuel’s dynasty and as a celebration of the new world’s discovered in his reign. Funded from the immense proceeds of the pepper trade, its gothic medieval structure was overlaid with a riot of carvings bursting from the stone work, as exuberant as the ornamentation on a Hindu temple.

Quote of the Day

Fascism, and especially National Socialism, revealed new depths to which a country might sink in pursuit of greatness or purity. Yes, well. I think Christian Portuguese got there 500 years earlier. And doubtless many before them.


Republicans responding to mass shootings?


Is it any wonder modern architects design ugly buildings when they write like this?:-

Finally . . . .

I admit that one took me a few seconds . . .

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.


    • David,

      I see that yesterday the highest price was again in the’ low cost’ period of the day and was almost 3 times that of midday. But . . . slightly lower that the lowest price forecast for today.

      If you draw any conclusions from hour analysis, please let us have them.

      Thanks in advance. Assuming you see this . . .



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