Out and about on Saturday March 7th, I noticed a larger than usual number of children carrying balloons, almost all pink (the balloons that is) and marked with a large R.
Was there a new balloon seller around? I had only seen the usual one who twists balloons into animals, flowers and other "interesting" shapes and the man who sells Disney character balloons: the ones children clamour for, nay, whine, whinge and wheedle for, until the parents give in and buy one. Said balloons, if they do not escape immediately and head for the wide blue yonder, are carried proudly home, float up to the ceiling, hang around for a while, gradually losing their lighter-than-air gas and finally sink to the floor, deflated, ending up in the bin.
No, these ballooons were definitely not of that type, just ordinary pink balloons with a large R.
Was it a promotional device by R Galicia? Apparently not, it was the wrong kind of R.
Then a police car appeared, driving slowly down the pedestrianised Principe shopping street. As it approached, above the sound of the engine you could hear snare drums and horses' hooves. It all became clear.
R is for RECONQUISTA - Reconquest. Two hundred years ago, in March 1809, Napoleon's troops were expelled from Vigo. He was finally defeated and driven out of Spain in 1814. He had been trying to expand his empire but regular guerrilla action and a scorched earth policy by the Spanish, aided by British forces, pushed him back. And the rest is history.
Vigo was doing what Spain does well, commemorating an event from their past with a bit of fancy dress,
quite a lot of noise and a procession!