Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Tourist interest!

And suddenly summer is here. All right, I exaggerate somewhat but walking into town yesterday it almost felt uncomfortable walking across the long stretch at our end of Rosalía de Castro. That was not the only reason we stopped for a little refresco en route. We were heading for the barber's shop down near the port, where Phil reckons they do a much better haircut than the local barber back in the UK, and he wanted some small change for the barber's tip.

So we stopped off for a mineral water and were given huge raciones of very tasty-looking tortilla to go with it. Unfortunately we had had lunch not long before setting out and really could not do justice to it. It seemed a shame to leave it to be thrown away, which is what I suppose happens to stuff that is left on the tables. So I explained the situation to our waitress, telling her how much we normally appreciate the free tapas they provide. After all, we don't want to to go there on another occasion and find that they serve us nothing, believing us to be ungrateful foreigners.

While Phil had his hair cut I was harangued by an old bloke with only one tooth. He was telling me a long and rambling story about someone who had died after drinking large amounts of brandy. I have no idea who it was who had died, nor why he felt the need to talk to me about it. Finally he asked me if we were still in March. When I told him that, no, in fact we are already in April and yesterday was the fourth, he went into a minor panic, picked up a tray of plants of some kind that were on the window ledge and hurried off! Strange!

Meanwhile Phil was manfully setting the worlds to rights with the barber. He claims not to understand more than a third of what the elderly chap tells him but they managed to cover a range of topics: the weather, terrorism, Brexit, Donald Trump, and the tourists the barber had seen that morning, walking past his shop on their way from the cruiseboat to the town centre. He was amused to see them all in shorts and summer shirts, the women with bare arms, all shivering at 9.00 in the morning. The sun was shining and the sky was blue but it was still early(ish) morning and this is the northwest of Spain not the Costa del Sol.

Just as many Spaniards still believe that England is permanently foggy, so many English believe that everywhere in Spain in baking hot and sunny all year round. By mid afternoon, of course, their garb would have been perfect. I spotted 27 degrees on one chemist's sign: perhaps a little over the top but not far off. The locals, naturally, are mostly not out and about in shorts and summer frocks. Far too early for that. They must have heard, and adhere to, the old north of England saying about not casting a clout until May is out!

According to something I read last week, there will be fewer cruise ships calling in at Vigo than in previous years. I wonder why it has fallen out of favour. In its heyday there were often several ships a week in the summer months and sometimes three ships in one day. I would imagine Vigo is one of the few places that could accommodate three such huge tourist boats at one go.

Maybe the city needs to work a bit harder on smartening up the old quarter and tidying up the main shopping street, Principe. Walking along it yesterday, we noticed rather more boarded up shops than ever there used to be, making the place look rather scruffy and run down. And there has been scaffolding around the rather posh Club Social for almost a year now. It looks as though they have gutted the inside: total renovation with only the old grand facade remaining as it was. But, once again, it doesn't look good!

All is not doom and gloom on the tourist front however. The Faro de Vigo newspaper that I looked at in the barber's shop reported the great success of the Reconquista celebration events, held in the old quarter last weekend. Apparently the city has put in a bid for the event to be officially declared a "fiesta de Interés Turístico"! Watch this space!

Back in the UK, tourists will soon be able to see a display of gifts the queen has received during her visits to foreign parts. "Some of the more unusual gifts presented to the Queen, including a beaded throne, a totem pole and a novelty Buckingham Palace London Underground sign, are to go on show in a special exhibition. Previous exhibitions of gifts at Buckingham Palace have included a yellowing cloth rectangle, spun as a royal wedding present by Mahatma Gandhi, and once erroneously believed by Queen Mary to be a loincloth. Other gifts have found good homes, including a pair of sloths from Brazil, and an elephant called Jumbo from Cameroon." So said part of a report in the newspaper.

As for us, we are still waiting for work to start on the "humanizaciön" pf our bit of the street! Life goes on!

1 comment:

  1. Here are the cruise ship calendars for Vigo and La Coruña 2017