Ref Bandwidth in Portugal
Born in UK, I´ve lived in Spain a long time and visit Portugal occasionally. I like the way they do things there.....The two countries are very different and my impression is that Portugal tries very hard to keep it that way. It may be a natural reaction to a much bigger neighbour to the east, and Altantic Ocean to the west.
I do not have enough experience of Portugal to know why this is, but my observations are as follows. There is huge respect for the past and a need to preserve in Portugal. There doesn´t seem to be the same need to be modern, which may explain lack of bandwidth. Telecoms has never been cutting edge in Portugal. Spain is desperate to modernise, so buys indiscriminately into all kinds of infrastructure, for better or for worse. Spain is not about detail, Portugal seems to be about detail.
Every place I´ve been to in Portugal has had a lot of neglected buildings, but they look to be in waiting, more than abandoned. One day, someone will do something. In the meantime, things are preserved and not negelected. In Spain abandonment is part of daily life, houses, villages, entire areas just get left to nature and always have.
Back to cars, car culture is much more established in Portugal than Spain. The Portuguese look after their cars like good shepherds and most Spanish people don´t. Ref driving, even Spanish people tell me that the Portuguese drive crazy (I remember being told the same about LA. It was a kindergarten after 5 years in Mexico City, things are relative). It seems to me that, like Italians, the Portuguese seem to know what they are doing, whereas most Spanish drivers seem not to understand the basic physics of driving, the need for concentration, etc.
On the other hand, roads are amazing in Spain. I drove Alicante to El Escorial, north of Madrid in a Fiat Panda diesel (will not do 100mph, but holds 94mph all day long) in 4 hours yesterday. Google says 5.5 hours.....