Saturday, May 05, 2007

Dude, That's Our Country

Ok now, all of you foreigners with two living brain-cells who keep getting mighty Portugal confused with shanty Spain, read the following and find out the difference between the two countries - an account made by a foreigner who visited an old Portuguese town, Olivença, occupied by Spain with the help of Napoleon's army, since the early 19th century; a situation akin to Gibraltar...

"Wandering around the old part of the town, what strikes me is how much cleaner and tidier Olivenza is compared with most Spanish towns. Then there is the noise - or lack of it. Walk through any town in Spain any time out of siesta hour and the decibel level can leave you wincing. In Olivenza people speak quietly - like the Portuguese, in fact. The past has left other positive traces. I have never seen a Spanish bakery with such a wide variety of pastries and marzipans as the one just off the Plaza de España. And the restaurants serving Olivenza's 11,000 population have plenty of Portuguese dishes on offer - notably cod, which is as close as food comes to being a religious offering in western Iberia". by Anthony Jefferies

THE TELEGRAPH, 19-Aug-2006

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