Wednesday, March 02, 2005

People continue to follow me to northern Spain.

I have told the story of my trip to Spain last August, and how the fact that there were no discount airlines flying to anywhere along the coast of Spain and Portgual between Bilbao and Faro was a major factor leading in my having to make an absurd overland journey from Porto to Bilbao, but was also a major factor responsible for their being few Anglophone tourists in that part of Europe, even in high summer.

I have also observed that since then Ryanair have announced flights from London to Santander, Santiago de Compostela, and Porto, meaning that the places I visited will be much more accessible this year.

Subsequent to that, I now see that Easyjet have added a flight from London to Oviedo in the Asturias. (This part of Spain has a twin city structure. The cities of Oviedo and Gijon are very close together, with Gijon (where I spent a night) being on the coast and Oviedo being a few kilometres inland. Although they are not contiguous they are close enough together that by many measures they would make up a single agglomeration just the same).

What does this mean? Well, the last gap in my journey has been filled. Whereas last August quite a lot of travel was necessary to get to some of the places I visited, it is now possible to get to pretty much anywhere on the trip inexpensively out of London in a couple of hours.

The mood of these places is going to change. Of course I will be one of the people using these flights, as I enjoyed myself a great deal last year and want to go back to some of those areas. In particular, I want to drive up the Douro valley from Porto to the vineyards where the grapes for port wine are grown, and I want to see more of the estuaries of the Galician coast.

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