Thursday, July 31, 2008
Noia says NO
I have been quite surprised at how downbeat everyone in Galicia is, particularly those involved in the building and property markets.
As with the UK, you wonder just how much of the doom and gloom is “talked up (or rather down)” and how much of it would really exist if moronic politicians actually tried to run the economy instead of just talking about it. In any event, the house market is very slow, new build has come to a virtual stop and people are watching their euros like never before.
The town of Noia, our second home, is somewhat different to many of the other more forward looking towns in Galicia. Of late it has developed a reputation for the word “no”. (I guess that NO is strongly featured in NOia)
In other words, anything that is suggested, put forward, or even mentioned as a possible option for consideration is beaten down by negativity and rejection – i.e. the response of no!
The best e.g. that I can give of this, is a ria (bay) crossing by-pass that was proposed just before traffic enters the town. It would give those commuting around the ria (e.g. to Muros etc) a chance to straddle the bay and avoid Noia.
The idea was first muted 4 or 5 years ago and, despite traffic grid lock in Noia every evening between 6.30 pm up to midnight (yes that is not an exaggeration), numerous proposals and amended proposals were rejected by the town. Many amid protests, meetings, banners and the usual palaver associated with those who ressit any kind of change.
This year, no doubt sick of the ongoing lack of cooperation, the regional government offered the by-pass to the neighbouring town of Outes (a few km down the road). Not surprisingly they grasped it with both hands and now also see a new marina as becoming a major tourism and money magnet attraction as a spin off.
So what of Noia?
Well complaints about the traffic problems continue (the gridlock is regularly shown on Galican TV) and now there are frequent protests in front of the town hall demanding a by-pass – No doubt by the same people who were protesting against it 12 months ago.
I strongly suspect that many of the “no-ers” will look back at this ill advised rejection in years to come as being one of the factors that led to the diminishing of Noia’s presence, economy and status in Galicia. Still, too late now.
Finally, on our Santiago to Liverpool Ryanair flight we sat next to Rafael Benitez (manager of Liverpool FC) – so who says that celebrities do not fly on Ryanair.
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Random comments on Galicia
I am hoping that at some point over the next week or so I will have an opportunity to do some work on Galicia Guide.
The other day I spotted on MS Explorer 6 that the hotel affiliate pages were not appearing as they should (something that I have no control over). This is the affiliate company’s problem, so I have asked them to sort it out.
More significantly, I have still got at least 3 new town guides from 2006 to finalise and upload. I wrote these guides almost 2 years ago, but never got round to uploading them and I am not even sure on which of my computers they now reside. I seem to suspect that the towns in question were in Ourense, but I am not even sure on that.
I notice that Colin Davies (in his Galician blog) sometimes mentions unusual ways in which his blog is found , so, on a similar theme, I will mention a couple of odd emails that I have had, all be they related to the Galicia Guide site rather than this blog.
Last year I got an email from some Americans who had visited Vigo a couple of months earlier. Whilst they were there they had apparently seen a motor cycle helmet in a store that they liked, but chose not to buy it. They emailed me with a description of the helmet, the location of the city (Vigo) and asked if I could buy it and ship it for them. Vigo is of course the biggest city in Galicia with thousands of shops spread over several square miles. But I guess that to an American it was just “a little old town” where everyone knew everyone else.
A common and regular reoccurring email is the one that comes from somewhere in South America and takes the theme of: My maternal great grandfather came from somewhere in Galicia (with 3 million inhabitants). I think that it may have been in the north, but it may also have been in central or southern Galicia. I do not know his surname, but my name is ********. Do you know of his family and can you put me in touch with them.
Needless to say, the Americans did not get the helmet and I never know the families of the genealogists – or at least not so far.