8 January 2023

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

If you’re lucky enough to live in or near London, why not pop along to see ‘a ravishing exhibition’ on Spain and the Hispanic world. I certainly would.

Good News 1: Says The Guardian here: Free train travel introduced by the Spanish government in September to offset the rise in the cost of living has been extended to intercity bus services with free travel on the 389-mile (626km) Madrid to Barcelona route as of 1 February. A 50% discount has been in effect on this and 41 other bus routes since September and it is expected that the 100% discount will be applied to all long- and middle-distance journeys.

Good News 2: Those road tolls throughout the country planned for 2024 – a la Portugal – have been postponed. Sine die?? As I often say here: Spaniards don’t really have plans, only intentions.

Bad News: Tourist taxes – to keep out the wrong sort of tourist and to preserve urban areas not yet taken over by ‘tourist flats’ – are becoming increasingly common. And (swamped)Barcelona has has just increased its tax rate.

There’s an awful lot of red wine produced in Spain. Some of it is great and some of it is not so great but very cheap. A lot of the latter has recently ended up in Bordeaux bottles sold at rather higher prices. Click here for details of this viticultural fraud. No Spaniards were involved, it seems. Which was a bit of a surprise, after I’d seen the headline.

Galicia cartoon no. 4:-


A reader (and now ex-friend) says my comment yesterday was about pronunciation, not spelling. She might be half-right. As it’s possibly both.

Some new words in our wonderful tongue:-

Fictosexual: Someone who is sexually attracted to non-existent people, such as a character from a TV show or a novel.

Objectophile: Someone who lusts after objects, like the German woman who declared she was “in a relationship” with a Boeing 737.

Fauxmad: Some sort of nomad, such as an architect, who works in, say, London and from (tourist) flats in other (sunnier)countries. Also called demi/semi-nomadic.

Did you know?

This is animal called a caracal. If you cross one with a domestic cat you get a caracat. Though Spanish Wiki says it needs to be an Abyssinian cat. Either way, there’s been one running loose down South somewhere. You can breed out its savage tendencies, it’s said.

For new readers:-

1. 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.

2. Should you want to, the easiest way to to get my post routinely is to sign up for email subscription. As opposed to using a Bookmark or entering the URL in your browser.


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