Vigo, Spain...the flag from here flies on the sun
Rick's visited a lot of small burgs in his reportorial travels; this one, though, has an astronomical claim to fame now.
Winter rain was drenching Spain's north coast, so I ducked into a tiny cafe in the port of Vigo, which hadn't seen the sun for days, little realizing someone there would someday own it. The sun, that is.
I sat down rubbing my hands together when an elderly man at the next table looked over, then handed me a dish of these delicious razor clams right off his table.
Now, Vigo has superb seafood, and plainly sets a high bar on hospitality. But it has other claims to fame besides being Europe's largest fishing port.
The Spanish trawler Monte Galineiro "sank like a stone" within minutes of issuing a distress call in February, 2009.- on a sunny day about 400 kilometres east of St. John's. All hands returned safely to her home port of Vigo.(Canadian Coast Guard)
...You're not there long before someone'll tell you Fidel Castro's parents trace their bloodlines to the surrounding region once known as the Kingdom of Galicia.
His father was born above a cattle shed not far away, but wound up a millionaire in Cuba, fathering Fidel by one woman, while still married to another.
And Vigo also claims a relentless work ethic.
It's bracketed by two towns, one with a famous church, the other with beaches popular with the tourists. Vigo has neither.
Or as the saying goes there; "In one town they pray. In the other they play. Here in Vigo, we work."
And work for many, means fishing, though fishing can mean trouble.
Vigo after all, was home to the Spanish fleet which included the Estai, the trawler with the undersized nets that triggered the political brawl with Canada known as The Turbot War of 1995.
Sitting in the cafe that wet winter day, it was clear that history and halibut shaped this industrious little city, because tourism wasn't in the cards.
Which brings me to this business with sun. It may rise in the east, but head office is now, Vigo.
It's being reported that one Angeles Duran, aged 49, received the legal document this month formally proclaiming her the rightful owner of 5,000 degrees of burning hydrogen and helium.
Governments it seems, are prohibited by international treaty from claiming celestial bodies. Private citizens are not.
And as Angeles told reporters; "...anyone else could have done it. It simply occurred to me first."
So the local notary issued the papers.
Quite specific they are too, giving its address and declaring she is "the owner of the sun, a star of spectral type G2, located in the centre of the solar system, at an average distance from Earth of around 149,600,000 kilometres."
Apparently her claim's not entirely without precedent. An American's already claimed Venus, Mars and the moon.
Though it must be a bit like having three of the four railroads in Monopoly, knowing you're never going to get Pennsylvania.
Ms. Duran, for her part, aspires to profit, but will share the wealth. She claims to be negotiating with the Spanish government to put a new tax on factories using solar power.
She wants ten percent. The rest goes to the government, world hunger and research.
It's not entirely clear if she'll get a cut. Then again, she got the sun. How hard can a government be?
In Vigo, there's another saying. It says the women of Galicia are very hard-headed.
We're about to find out.
Categories: The View from Here
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