Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Vigo to Porto to Liverpool to Delph.

We left Vigo in the sunshine yesterday and caught the bus to Oporto. On the bus a young woman from La Coruña - she had spoken to us earlier while waiting for the bus - complained about how hot it was. This was after she had rearranged her clothing so that she was wearing a thick cardigan throughout the journey. Which bit of removing layers did she not understand?

Behind her sat two people speaking in English. After about half an hour she apologised for listening to them but, she said, she could not help it as their conversation was so interesting. Well, yes, it was, and clear enough for all the rear section of the bus to follow if they so chose.

Salsa, tango, the problems of eucalyptus trees in Galicia, whole foods, organic living, communal living, yoga, eco-friendly architecture, alternative life style in general. They both dealt very competently with all these topics in a language not their own. He was from Argentina. She was from the Czech Republic. English is clearly the Latin of the modern age, spoken by well-informed people from all over the world.

Well-informed these two might have been but they were, nonetheless, totally bemused by the fact that if you travel from Spain to Portugal you go into a different time zone. One of Europe's little anomalies!

At the airport we had the worst lunch we have had in a long time. There must have been changes to the catering franchises at the airport as I am sure we have not been quite so badly served in the past. Surely it is possible to do better than inferior sandwiches and a bowl of soggy salad! There was a huge section that has been taken over by Burger King. Perhaps a burger would have been a better option.

And later I had to explain the difference between 14 and 40 to a waitress who insisted on speaking English to me. She asked me for €2.14 and simply glared at me and kept repeating €2.14 when I gave her €2.20 and expected change. When light dawned, the language teacher in me emerged and I gave her a pronunciation lesson. Memo to self: work on improving my Portuguese to prevent this sort of thing from happening in future.

After that the travel was without incident. Our plane came in smartly, off-loaded incoming passengers, on-loaded the Liverpool-bound and even arrived twenty minutes early. Cue fanfares from the Ryanair plane and a lot of crowing about 95% of their planes arriving on time. Perhaps it was our early arrival but Liverpool was seemingly unable to provide two lots of steps for passengers getting off the plane. Consequently those of us who were seated in the back few rows had to wait until everyone else had made their slow way out via the front doors. Frustrating! But at least we had not had to stow our luggage in the hold this time!

Walking from the plane to the airport I caught a glimpse of the so-called supermoon: full and bright but not exceptionally large. This might closest it has been to the earth since 1948, it did not look much different to me! After that the fog moved in and we saw only the haziest outlines of the moon. Just as I had predicted!

This morning there are lots of examples of bad photos of the moon around, including a few obvious circles of paper stuck on windows! However, despite the weatherman's promises to the contrary, after a rather gloomy start, today has turned into anither fine and sunny autumn day.

Keep it up, you weather gods!

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