A-Z Practical Information
These are as follows: Plaza Santa Liberata 27, 3 dcha. 36300 Baiona Pontevedra. This means Santa Liberata Square no.27. Or it could be a street (Calle or Rua in Galician). 3 is for third floor. Dcha. (derecha) is right-hand flat or office, or izda. (izquierda) means left, cto. (centro) means centre. 36300 is the postal code for Baiona (for list of postcodes see www.codigopostales.com) and Pontevedra is the province.
Dial 112 for an ambulance(emergencias sanitarias).
Banks are generally open from 9 am to 2pm Monday to Friday.
It is quite common to pay for everything when you leave the bar not when ordering.
When you order a beer you will normally be served a lager-type beer like Estrella de Galicia, strong and refreshing. Other popular brews include Mahou (from Madrid), Estrella Damm (Barcelona) or Cruzcampo (Sevilla). Other related drinks:
Clara or shandy, lager and lemonade
Una caña glass of draught beer
Un botellín a small bottle of beer
Un bock is a pint of beer.
For groups it is customary to share the bill but when someone invites other people out or for a celebration they are expected to treat you.
- Colin Davies Life in Galicia through the eyes of an englishman
- Pedro Villamarin Wine/Food expert and his reviews of Galician Restaurants (in spanish only)
- Xacobeo Holy Year of Saint James
- Adrian McManus A scotsman's wine and gastronomic blog about Galicia especially Rias Baixas
- Luis Domenech A food enthusiast and his guide to alot of restaurants throughout Galicia (in spanish only)
For breakdowns phone Ayuda en Carretera on 902 999 024.
Tickets can be bought on the bus from the driver and it’s usual to have the right change. It’s better value to buy a book of 10 tickets.
These serve not only superb fresh coffees, tea and cakes but alcoholic drinks, light meals and platos combinados such as meat or fish with fried potatoes and salad.
It is legal to camp almost anywhere in the countryside unless there is a sign prohibiting camping.
These are widely available throughout Galicia (normally in 4 languages) so with most credit cards it’s easy to get money or from the bank itself. You may have to pay a service charge. It’s worth checking with your bank their arrangements with the banks here.
Farmacias (pharmacies) are able to give advice on minor ailments. There’s one or more open all night in the larger towns/cities. It’s easy to check in the local newspaper which one is on duty or in the shop window.
Un café solo is a strong black espresso style coffee
Un café con leche is a coffee with hot milk, grande is a large one
Un cortado is with a dash of milk
Un carajillo is with a liqueur like a brandy or whisky
Un café descafeinado is decaffeinated coffee made with hot milk.
You can pay for things with most credit cards although in a lot of small Galician establishments which include some small hotels, restaurants and shops they still only accept cash.
Popular country codes: UK 44 US/CANADA 01 AUSTRALIA 61 FRANCE 33 GERMANY 49 IRELAND 353 ITALY 39 PORTUGAL 351 then dial the area code and number omitting the initial zero.
DIRECTOR OF ENQUIRIES
For Spain it is 003, 008 for Europe and 005 for the rest of the world.
It is popular to have wine and water with a meal and in summer people have the red wine with lemonade (gaseosa). Usually people have a apertivo (drink) and tapa before lunch or dinner.
Most foreign driving licences are accepted in Spain but you can also get an international drivers licence. If you do bring a car you must have valid insurance with your motor insurer as in the event of an accident it is always your fault. The speed limit on most roads is 60 kilometres per hour in urban areas, other roads 90 kph and motorways 120 kph. On the spot fines apply in the event of a violation.
The Galician’s usually have a light breakfast (desayuno) with a coffee and a cake. The main meal (comida) is at lunchtime between 2 and 4 pm. It is three courses: a starter, main and a dessert and is usually excellent value for money at about 12€ including a drink.Dinner (cena) at 9 -11 pm is usually light and may be some tapas.
EMBASSIES & CONSULATES IN SPAIN
Some presents are given at Christmas but the majority are given on 6th January, la noche de los Reyes Magos (night of the tree wise man, 12th night).
This is a bank holiday and there are processions in the main towns and cities.
It is normal to greet people by kissing them on both cheeks or perhaps more formal is to pretend to kiss the cheek although for men a brief handshake will do.
The least expensive are fondas then casas de huespedes (guest houses),pensiones and hospedajes. Slightly more expensive are hostales and hostal-residencias which vary from 1-3 stars. Then there are hotels from 0-5 stars. Finally there are the state-run Paradores.
These are yellow.
Galicians like Spaniards have two surnames, the father and mothers’ first surnames. Women continue to use their maiden name when they get married.
La Noche Vieja is New Years Eve which is usually celebrated at private parties or on the street. It is popular to have a special dinner with friends or relatives. At midnight it is traditional to eat 12 grapes for good luck one at each stroke of the clock.
Opening hours for most public related establishments are generally 9.30am-1.30 pm and then 4.30-8.30pm. El Corte Ingles, larger stores and offices are open all day.
Most payphones which have instructions in other languages, take coins and phone cards which you can buy in a estanco (tobacconists). There are also call shops or ciber-cafe style establishments which have booths for cheap international calls. Phoning abroad is cheaper after 10 pm and within Spain it’s cheaper to call after 8pm.
See www.paginablanca.es for Spain 11818 International 11825.
Super is 4-star petrol, normal is lower grade and sin plomo is unleaded.
The Guardia Civil (T 062) are dressed in green and Policia National (T 091) in blue. There are also local police in each town, Policia Municipal (T 092).
- There are three different types of police: the Guardia Civil, the Policia Municipal and the Policia National. The Guardia Civil are dressed in green uniforms. The Policia Municipal wear blue and white uniforms and are normally the best police to approach. The Policia Nacional mainly police the larger cities and are heavily armed.
Correos (Post Offices) are open Monday to Friday from 8.30 am to 2 pm and in large towns they open again from 4.30 to 8 pm. It normally takes a few days for a letter to arrive if posted within Spain. You can pay more for a quicker service or use a private company like DHL. Stamps are available from an estanco.
SPANISH LANGUAGE TRANSLATION
- Galicia is one hour ahead of the UK, six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time and nine hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time.
It is customary to leave a tip in restaurants and bars serving food and up to 10% is sufficient. Hotel porters are also tipped.
Public toilets are quite rare so best use one in a hotel, bar,restaurant,museum or other tourist attraction. They are usually marked hombres,señores or caballeros for men and mujeres ,señoras or damas for women.
These are two pins so a travel plug is essential.
- Weather information from Xunta de Galicia (Regional Government)
- National Institute of Meteorology
- Wind Guru Sporting Weather Information
See www.paginasamarillas.es for Spain 11888 International 11886.