Monday, September 25, 2006

 

Mama Mias pizzeria Noia

Since starting to visit Noia 6 years ago we have always frequented a pizza restaurant called Mama Mias – actually located at the foot of the apartment block where we stay.

Anyone seeing galiciaguide.com may have seen our reviews of this eatery and we have always been complementary about it. That is however about to change!

This year a new arrival on the staff was the owner’s daughter and she seems to have been given the role of head waitress.

Having got to know all the staff over the last few years, including Moncho the proprietor, we have always had both good food and friendly efficient service, but things took a change for the worse this year.

For reasons that we simply do not know, the owner’s daughter seemed to take an instant and extreme dislike to us and went out of her way to be unpleasant and rude. This manifested itself in everything from banging plates and cutlery down on the table to giving us desserts quite literally half the size of what we (and everyone else) normally get.

We went back to Mama Mias a couple of times to make sure that we had not caught her on a bad day, but on each occasion she ensured that she (and not any of the other waiters/waitresses) served us, and her ignorant and ill mannered performance was repeated.

Our ultimate conclusion was that she was one of a very small number of Galician nationalists who dislike foreigners. This appeared to be confirmed when, on bumping into both her and her father at the end of our vacation, she faked pleasantries, something she most definitely would not have done had he not been there.

Update - We never quite figured out what this was all about. We now know the family pretty well and yet she is the only one who seems not to acknowledge us. I am sure that our nationalistic assumptions were wrong, but to this day I do not know what it was all about.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

 

Improvements to Noia 2006

Whilst the local beach situation (Testa and Taramancos) has become nothing short of disgusting, there have been some important improvements in the old quarter of Noia.

Over summer around 25 streets, or really passages and narrow streets, have been uplifted and re-laid in granite. The effect is very good and was completed (in most instances) amazingly quickly. The roads given this treatment are primarily those running off the areas close to the Canton and Tapal plazas, although a main road leading from the alameda and out of town towards Testal has also received the same treatment.

Noia’s apparent lack of enthusiasm towards tourism continues with the Tourist cabin opening during very limited hours and with nothing other than local events to promote. A leaflet is however available in English and it does highlight several of the towns worthy attractions – plus one, a watermill, which sits on private property and which you are not in fact able to visit! The local police remain comical and are ignored by everyone.

My next entry will be about the demise, at least for us, of Mama Mias pizza restaurant in Noia.

Monday, September 18, 2006

 

la praia de taramancos y testal

This is my 1st serious attempt at a blog for several days having been pretty ill for the last 2 weeks.

GaliciaGuide update

All the new guide sections for GG are now finished, but as yet not uploaded. I have also got some pages about the medieval festival at Noia, plus dolmens, more on castros and a huge amount of information (yet to be written up) about Galician cuisine. All will appear on galiciaguide.com in the very near future.

I will also have to decide the sequence in which to upload, on a staggered basis, all the new town guides. With 35 of them this will be a challenge in itself.

The site is now performing very well on google and yahoo, although it has slumped on msn. The msn slip can be corrected to a degree by optimising certain pages specifically for that engine, but as ever, time is the limiting factor and I have several more demanding tasks relating to perform first.

The beaches of Testal and Taramancos

Over the last 2 years the beaches of la praia de testal y taramancos have been virtually destroyed by Noia’s council. This they do of course deny, but it is the case nonetheless.

The destruction takes 2 forms. Since 2004, the beaches have been left to clog up with seaweed and now cans, bottles and general waste have started to appear on them. None of this rubbish is ever removed or cleaned.

This year, 2006, we noticed an even more disturbing change. The level of the sand had dropped some 6 to 9 inches and the fine white powder like grains were no longer there. The top area of la praia de Taramancos in now full of rocks, previously under the sand and the sand itself is a dirty brown.

So what has happened?

Noia council deny all knowledge, but in reality they sold the sand from Testal and Taramancos to the manmade beach at Bayona, the opposite side of the bay. This beach is now twice the size it was last year, despite the fact that every tide removes much of its sand.

Why has this happened?

The council of Noia undoubtedly have an aversion to tourism, one that is not shared by its local businesses, but one that they pursue at any rate. They have supported a by-pass that diverts traffic away from the town and, as I have said before, they are the only Galician town we have ever visited not to offer any local guides produced by the major state funded tourism organisations. One assumes that they reject them, or have been able to block their publication.

This summer has also seen less visitors and tourist money enter Noia and we were shocked to discover that our favourite tapas bar would be closing next year as a result. The owner of the busiest bar in Noia also told us how frustrated he was at the decrease in tourists visiting the town, especially since he was aware that Galician tourism as a whole was on a rapid increase.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

 

Fools

I have left my sick bed for a brief blog.

I got an email in French last week from 12 supposed monks interested in accommodation and a route in Galicia. It all sounded vague and slightly unlikely and I have heard nothing since.

Probs with my PC still prevent any new material being uploaded to galiciaguide.com (at least securely), so my myriad of new guides remain unavailable.

Fools

Its interesting that when you set up a new site you want backlinks and they are hard to get, but once the site is underway and achieving some success the situation is reversed. I am now pestered by sites after backlinks on a daily basis, but sites that do not read my linking information and as such waste their time and mine.

A few weeks ago I actually had a site refuse to honour their link exchange request to me when I (generously in my opinion) gave their new (un-indexed) site a link from a PR3 page. They told me they were unable to exchange links unless I added their link to my home page. All their pages were un-indexed and had no PR at all. Who pays these morons to design and build sites for them.

The unfortunate upshot of all this is that I now completely ignore any link request that does not comply “totally” with my published link exchange requirements. The classic case of one idiot ruining it for everyone else.

Friday, September 01, 2006

 

Galicia

Regrettably the virus problem with my PC still persists and is preventing me from doing work on my numerous websites – it also explains my lack of blogging.

I will endeavour to buy a new PC next week, where upon I will start to write about our July 2006 visit to Galicia, what we saw and what we did.

I also have around 60 new pages comprising 35 guides about the places we saw. As I have said before I will post these to the Galicia site progressively.

New sections on cuisine will also be added as will some enhanced pages on tourist advice.

Previous search engine problems also seem to be at an end and, in keeping with this, I will also start looking for new advertiser in the next few weeks. The big area where the site lacks holiday content is “villas for rent” and since we are now the highest independent google listed site about Galicia, it should be an attractive prospect to anyone wishing to promote holiday accommodation.

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