6 October 2022: Autumn trips; Why Madrid?: Galicia’s islands; Cuddles: & Other stuff

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Dawn%2BBox%2BDay%2B2015.JPG
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 España/Galiza

The best autumn trips in/to Spain. Possibly. One of these is the camino, which might well see 4-500,000 ‘pilgrims’ this year. So, not quite the serene experience it used to be. I wonder when it will peak. Not, I guess, before they stop introducing at least one new (‘truly authentic’) route every year.

Talking about visitors to Spain  . . . Last night there was a big football match in Madrid and today sees the Open golf championship in the city. Which surely explains why it proved very hard to find my visitor a room for last night, even far south of the city centre. And also why the room rate is €171, against the normal price of €60-100. The receptionist admitted she was embarrassed quoting the price to those calling about room availability. And usually ringing off.

Strangely, the hotel’s web page was only available in Spanish and Chinese. So, I wasn’t really surprised to find that it boasted a Chinese/Asian restaurant and a drive-in sushi place. Having decided to go there for dinner, we were then faced with the problem of a waitress telling us – several times – something clearly important but in Spanish which was utterly unintelligible. We eventually figured out that, because the restaurant was open to the public, we had to pay at the hotel reception desk before we could attack the impressive buffet. Back at the hotel the (inevitably South American) receptionist sympathised with me about the challenge and even amusingly imitated the waitress’s attempts at Spanish. The same problem arose when we ordered a bottle of wine but at least by then I knew how important it would be to imitate opening a wine list. Notably, the lady refrained from opening the bottle until we’d paid for it at the table. To say the least, we were taken aback when my friend asked her – in very slow Spanish – how long she’d lived in Spain and she replied – we thought -’10 years’. My friend then told her – in a very kind tone – that she really should learn Spanish. At which she just smiled, in incomprehension. But the buffet was excellent, so we took it all in good spirit. And good wines.

I’m guessing the same procedure will apply for my friend’s breakfast this morning. Before we set off for a day in central Madrid – gallerying mainly.

In case you’ve ever wondered, here – also from Fascinating Spain – is an explanation of how Madrid became the capital city.

And here’s Fascinating Spain on the Atlantic Islands of Galicia. Possibly a tad hyperbolic.

The UK

Richard North today: Britain of the 21st Century is not the Britain of the 70s. From mobile phones to computers, electronic tills in supermarkets and card payments for many of our routine payments, our society is dependent on electricity to an extent that it never has been before. Quite how we will react to prolonged, nation-wide power cuts is not known because the nation in its current state of technological dependency has never experienced the phenomenon.

Ukraine v Russia

More reports of Ukrainian successes. But are the Russians gearing up for a massive counter-attack when the ground is frozen later this year? Or will Putin unleash his latest supersonic weapons on the innocent residents of the country’s cities? Who knows. And who knows how the West will respond.


New word for me: Arrumacos: Cuddles/Cuddling. Between the presidents of Spain and Germany, would you believe.

Finally   . . . .   

To amuse . . .

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.

One comment

Comments are closed.