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The Iberian Horseshoe — A Journey

Part IV. North East


Steve Porter
Smaller text sizeDefault text sizeBigger text size Add to my bookshelf epub mobi Permalink Ebook MapOporto, Ponte Dom Luis

The railway station is like a Spanish Crewe with tracks shooting off in all directions. I leave the large concrete building behind and descend the hill past a few stalls set up to frisk tourists coming in from France.

The German philosopher, Walter Benjamin, who was being pursued by the Gestapo, arrived here in 1940 and never left. It wasn’t that he liked the place—he was dead the next morning. The official line was that he took a lethal dose of methadone.

I go to a restaurant on the seafront. I eat a starter of fried fish and then chicken breast with chips and no vegetables. There are three flags flying on the edge of the beach. The Spanish flag is in a very poor state after years of neglect and buffeting from tramuntana winds. The Catalan flags are in better condition and have clearly been replaced at some point in the last twenty years.

The only other customers pay their bill and get up to leave. I’m seated under a tarpaulin at a sea of tables; the last diner in a Titanic restaurant where the waiters are determined to serve terrible food to the end.

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Copyright ©Steve Porter, 2004
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Date of publicationNovember 2007
Collection RSSGlobal Fiction
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