This morning when I looked out of the window at about 8.30, there was a cruise ship down in the port, one of those huge ones that overshadow the A Laxe shopping centre and even the horrible hotel that normally dominates that area. No room for anything else to moor next to the Estación Marítima. The boat must have arrived early. Some arrive at 8.00 am. I imagine sleepy holiday-makers wandering into a city not yet awake.
It’s just as well they didn’t come yesterday; between rain and cloud they wouldn’t have seen much. On reflection first thing in the morning it wasn’t bad but it was starting to drizzle when I walked down into town to the hairdresser’s, by the time I walked back it was worse and it just got steadily heavier as the day went on.
Today, however, the rain seemed to have gone and so the boat people will have seen the city at its best, or maybe its second best as the cloud has come over again as the day has progressed. The floating hotel set off again under grey skies at about 5.30 this afternoon.
You need the kind of blue sky and baking sunshine that we remember from our very first visit here in order to really see the place at its best. And I don’t suppose any of them have had time to get out to the Islas Cíes, not unless they did their homework before coming and knew where to catch the ferry boat. Mind you, maybe they had had enough of boats by the time they got here. You never know.
By all accounts, the islands should have more visitors than ever this summer. I’ve read that Ryanair is using the Islas Cíes as part of their advertising campaign to promote their flights from Stansted to Santiago de Compostela not, as might logically be expected, Vigo, but thereby hangs another tale.
In one respect it’s perhaps appropriate that an airline that expects its passengers to pick up all rubbish before they leave the plane should make use of islands that won’t let you leave any rubbish behind as part of their publicity. Of course, in Ryanair’s case it’s all in the interests of a “quick turnaround” at each airport, while in the case of the Islas Cíes it’s for ecological reasons.
Once again I notice that flights direct from the UK to Galicia still favour those who live close to London. We northern types have to use our ingenuity to get here.
Of course, it may just be that signing Ryanair up to fly to Santiago is part of the supposed plot to do down Vigo’s Peinador airport. According to a leaflet thrust into our hands at the weekend, the Xunta de Galicia and President Feijóo are working together through direct or indirect financial aid to help develop Santiago’s airport, at the expense of Vigo’s, of course. And this despite the fact the Vigo is the biggest city in Galicia, or maybe because of that: a case of sour grapes, as the regional capital, Santiago, doesn’t like to appear smaller and less important.
Even the flights between Vigo and Madrid are now using smaller and less efficient planes, apparently, leading to fewer passengers going through Peinador. The leaflet explains that this is COMPETENCIA DESLEAL, in other words, Peinador cannot compete on an equal footing with the other Galician airports. Why does it have to compete? Have they not heard of co-operation? Working together to get more flights here and fewer into Oporto?
Oh, the joys of local politics!!
Anyway, the leaflet invites us to go along to Puerta del Sol (or perhaps I should really say Porta do Sol, as the leaflet is in gallego) tomorrow at 8.30 in the evening and add our voices to theirs:
grita con nós en defensa do aeroporto, en defensa de VIGO!!!