Saturday, June 04, 2016

Thoughts from Santander 4.6.16

Spanish Birdlife: Apparently 24 million birds have been lost in the last 20 years. I'm glad I wasn't the poor bugger who had to count them.

Spanish Statistics: The local newspapers tend to be full of these, recording that some region, province or town is the 4th best for this and the 2nd worst for that. In fact, I do wonder whether the statistics are gathered(invented?) just to ensure the rags have something with which to fill their pages. Alongside the traffic acidents, the local murders and the road closures. Daily.

Driving in Spain: The most annoying drivers are those who overtake you ever-so slowly as you approach a slow vehicle 300 metres or more ahead of you. So unaware are they of your existence that you're eventually forced to either pull right out in front of them or brake to avoid hitting the slow car or truck. I don't mean to imply this is deliberate. Rather, it's a reflection of my oft-quoted comment that the Spanish lack antennae when it comes to the existence of others on the pavement/sidewalk or the road. That famous individualismo?

Which reminds me . . .

1840s Spain: I'm reading something Richard Ford 'wrote back in the day' and finding that some of his comments remain very apt today. I'll be citing some presently. Which word means 'later' in British English and 'right now' in American English. I believe. Separated by a common language, as Shaw said. I think.

Fun in Oviedo: I was back in this city yesterday, to catch a bus to Santander, whence today I will walk (mostly) to the beautiful village of Santillana del Mar. And hopefully the nearby caves. Sadly, I missed this bovine incident earlier in the day in the Asturian capital.

My Coastal Camino: My trip to Santander was to meet the colleagues with whom I'll be walking much of the coastal route this week. Needless to say, thing got off to a great start. One of my sandals dropped off my rucksack somewhere in Oviedo; I walked 15 minutes the wrong way towards our Santander hotel when the phone battery died on my arrival at the bus station; and an arm fell off my reading glasses as I checked in. But it wasn't all bad news; we found a great tapas place and they neglected to put the desserts on the bill. That said, it's 4am and I can't sleep. Guilt?

Finally . . . RT TV: Believe it or believe it not, there are Twitter accounts in Russia which satirise the pro-Kremlin line and lampoon/spoof individual officials. Or, rather, there were,  as they were suspended last week. RT News apparently didn't have time to mention this in any of the bulletins I saw.

2 comments:

Alfred B. Mittington said...



Oh dear…. Santillana del Mar on a Saturday… You'll be caught up in the massive weekend holiday making from Bilbao, especially on such a sunny afternoon…

If you do get into the Altamira Cave, do let me know how you managed. Last time I looked, one had to reserve a place (10 people a day max) a year in advance. Or know a bigwig from the local town hall…

Anyway: have a nice walk today.

SabbaticAl

Sierra said...

...more like winning El Gordo:

"From now until August, on a randomly selected day of the week, visitors to the replica cave in the Museo de Altamira will be invited to enter a draw; five will be chosen to take a guided tour including 37 minutes inside the cave. Visitors will have to put on special suits, masks and shoes before entering the site. Up to 192 lucky winners are expected to visit the cave in total. While they admire the red and black paintings on the limestone walls, researchers will measure their impact on the cave's temperature, humidity, microbiological contamination and CO2 levels."

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