Here it is the morning of 7/15/2019 . Its hard to believe how quickly time has flown. There are always free musical shows, skits, and other displays in the Plaza de Mayor. There is the Plaza de Engles, which as been called the Spanish Version of Wallmart. Its a good place to walk around in the air conditioner, read books, and spend a day. There is horse back riding and canoeing down in the knee deep river surrounding Salamanca here that is inexpensive to do. Recently I had my suspicions confirmed by some British people I met regarding Spain as being the least expensive European country to visit.
The wife went out with the class to a town called Alise, just outside of Madrid. She put some decent pictures up on Facebook. Alise is a living museum of Roman built architecture. Marks of the old Pax Romana still lives around here in Spain everywhere. Often we will travel to a nearby villa or town. We walk around in these places and to my surprise, the area reminds me if Italy. Sure enough, when I investigate the history, the part of town I was in was the oldest section and Roman built.
In virtually all of the old areas inside these towns I can look at the walls on the structures and tell where it appears the buildings have crumbled during some time period, then been reconstructed with blocks, a different kind of stone, or concrete on top of an obviously very old boulder/ concrete and stone foundation. I know that Spain supported the Allied efforts during WWII, and some serious battles were fought in Madrid and surrounding areas, against Mussolini and the Germans . From the best that I can gather, the same rule would apply with Salamanca.
On the other hand, there was also serious resistance against Napoleon, not to mention the Vandals and the Moors long before him. In other words, the past destruction I can visualize in these buildings may have arrived from numerous sources, not to include natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods.
Spain, so it seems, has truly been a war torn nation all throughout its long history. Before the Romans arrived the land was owned and worked by a series of Celtic tribal groups. More than likely these Celts wrested control of the territory from other groups already here. These Celtic tribes battled one another, until the strongest tribe and their allies dominated. The Romans finally conquered these tribal groups after an enduring, drawn out period of warfare. It seems the area was very unstable in spite of Romes best efforts to quell the many rebellions.
When Rome finally backed out, there were a series of provincial wars, more than likely instigated by decedents of these tribal groups attempting to wrest control. There was continuing warfare with the Basque country, the Moors, and the Vandal tribes from Germany. Napoleon attempted to conquer Spain, and when he did manage to take an area, his control was unstable at best. There were many battles and wars in between all of this that have not been mentioned. We have yet to mention WWI.
The most stable period of time in Spain’s long history from my own perspective, appears to be from the end of WWII to the present day. In our own time, however, there have been a series of succession calls and a level of violence resulting from it. I find this interesting, since the long history of Spain, predominantly, has been rule by a series of tribal dominated provinces. The general spirit found in the speech of the people when asked about other areas tends to be from a stand point of the next province being “different” from their own, at times in positive or negative light. Could we conclude that some level of isolated provincial/tribal rule in Spain is still true in our own time?
That being said, the Basque country located in North Western Spain, has rattled its sword in recent years. The Basque people themselves are truly an interesting group of people, and are vastly different from the other people found throughout the nation. The Basque were always thought of as being in possession of wealth, according to legendary accounts, as far as I can ascertain. Largely speaking they are homogeneous. Their DNA in majority is lucid, reaching backward into time some 10000 years. People who devote their lives studying such matters have yet to firmly determine the origin of the Basque; however, they appear to have been the truly original people not only in Spain, but in all of continental Europe.
The Irish have long claimed in their age old oral traditions, to have originated with the Basque. On the map, Ireland is positioned immediately due North from NW Spain; thus the geography and present day DNA research substantiates the possibility. The DNA comparisons between traditional Irish populations and the Basque were virtually a perfect match. The Irish were always known/thought of stereotypically for having vast wealth stored up in gold coin, jewelry, etc, according to the age old stories. Maybe their past immigration from Basque country could be the source for this long standing legendary belief, with a grain of truth being that the wealthiest in Basque country constituted the primary families who exited out for virgin territory in distant antiquity, for some yet to be known reason.
Surely the Tuatha de Dannan stories seemingly from that time period of the Basque colony in ancient Ireland, are among some of the most interesting to read. It is possible that the “outer realm” referred to by medieval record keepers of these legends was the old Basque province. Some people claim that this “outer realm” referred to in these legends constitute an environment somewhere in the beyond, but we are getting into a deep topic here.
The industrious, creative, entrepreneurial Basque people still constitute the wealthiest province in all of Spain to this very moment. I hate to say it, but more than likely this province is carrying the dead weight in taxes of every Spanish province outside of their own, which explains the on going call for succession. (45 relatively nonproductive US states are supported by 5. Recollect the call for succession in Texas a few years ago, and the reason given for it) Remember I mentioned earlier that the Spanish government issues a “guaranteed income” check (free health care, food, housing, etc) to the Spanish people at large, who supposedly can’t afford it due to the most predominant sources for middle class employment being expunged so corporations could exploit cheap/slave labor in other lands. There exists little here in the way of a production base, since it was shipped out some time ago into third world nations. Sweet sounding socialist programs demand financing, while nothing in the real world comes for free, and money simply doesn’t grow on trees. The level of past violence due to this provincial call for independence seems to be on par with the IRA in northern Ireland.
Last night the wife and I attended the concert that was canceled Friday night. It was a good native Spanish display of music from the Caribbean. A man who appeared to be from one of these islands added in his own style to the music. Right at first I wasn’t very impressed, but the music became better as time passed. Several of Glenda’s classmates arrived. These people were from places as diverse as Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba. I was more than likely the only person born on American soil who was there. We all got up and danced, which added into the general fun and vibe to the music being played. In the end the evening and the day went well, in general.