The story of our adventure in Spain

In October 2002 we purchased a holiday flat in Guardamar on Spain's Costa Blanca - not far from Alicante and Torrevieja and we try to spend a good part of the year in Spain.

This blog hopefully will contain our thoughts and impressions of Spain - the good and the bad and lots and lots of photographs of not only Guardamar but the rest of Spain as we eventually get to explore it.


Wednesday, 31 December 2008

La Mata - Beach & Boats

Another winter day down on the beach - this time at La Mata with the upturned boats.

If you want a good walk then try Guardamar to La Mata along the beach - takes about one and a half  hours each way . In summer take a drink because it can become quite hot...


Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Spanish Proverb

Casa sin madre, rio sin cauce ...

A house without a mother , a river without a course

Literally - The woman is the key of a house ...


Guardamar - Playtime

This play equipment caught my eye  - situated amongst a ring of trees - looking rather magical I thought !

Guardamar is well served with play areas for children ..


Monday, 29 December 2008

Guardamar - La Playa

A dark and wintery day down on the beach at Guardamar - dark clouds gather ..

Picture taken in November on a deserted beach - just us and the wind ..


Saturday, 27 December 2008

Torrevieja - Graffiti

Another wall in Torrievieja painted with graffiti - not a bad job this time !

Torrevieja has lots of graffiti - most really bad and it makes the place look so tatty in parts ..


Monday, 22 December 2008

Torrevieja - Belén

Belén means Bethlehem ...

In Spain Belén also means a nativity scene . Most towns in Spain have a Belén on show at Christmas time, usually in the town's main square ..

This rather large one can be seen in Torrevieja and certainly attracts crowds of viewers.

In some towns there are actually museums dedicated to showing these nativity scenes.

The work involved in setting up these displays must take up an huge amount of time and effort.


Sunday, 21 December 2008

Alicante - Circus

Christmas time is often circus time.

Here in Alicante the the circus has been erected near to the port and is eagerly awaiting customers. I was attracted to the bright blue and white stripes of the tents.

It's many years since I have been to a circus .. it's the sort of place you tend to take children.


Friday, 19 December 2008


Poinsettia - very red, very bright and colourful..

This is the plant for Christmas in Spain - it's planted out here in a flower bed in Alicante and can be found at this time of year  all over the Costa Blanca. People buy pots of it to decorate their houses and very bright and cheerful it looks.


Thursday, 18 December 2008

Alicante - New walkway ..

Down by the port in Alicante a new walkway has been opened to the public recently - not very long but it lets us to have a different view of the port and the surrounding hills.

Here is the city of Alicante complete with its many tall apartment blocks and a view of some even taller mountains to the rear.

The position of the walkway now allows unrestricted views of the outer harbour and the large vessels that dock.

It is quite pleasant to walk around the port and marina - Sunday afternoons are quite busy with many people strolling around.


Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Bags of Christmas fun in Guardamar

Here's the local Christmas Tree in Guardamar  - looking very pretty and all ready for Christmas Day.

But - what is it made of ??

Closer inspection will reveal it's made of white plastic bags

Each bag contains a message from one of the local schoolchildren.

An unusual and practical way of disposing of plastic bags ......


Return of the stranger.

Back in the UK now after one month on the Costa Blanca - with some cold weather on the coast this last couple of weeks  - further inland Spain has had a lot of snow already and it is one of the main topics on the TV.

The town of Guardamar is rather quiet - not many people about and since our last visit many more bars and shops have closed down due to the economic crisis. We feel that we are strangers - our favourite bars are closed and we now have to find others that suit us - it's like turning the clock back 6 years and starting again.

Building of new properties has virtually ceased - the house builders are asking for direct air links to Russia and Eastern Europe and the relaxation if entry qualifications in the hope that they can find new buyers from those countries for their properties.

The builders just can not understand that they have built too many properties and that the market is saturated ...  so many flats and villas for sale and many of the estate agents closing !!


Monday, 15 December 2008

Alicante - Street Art

Not sure what this is meant to represent - it can be found in the centre of Alicante.

Modern art ........ !!

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Guardamar - the castle.

Guardamar's very own castle - not too much to it - surrounding walls but no buildings inside - all rather bare and barren.

Good views towards Rojales and Santa Pola can be had from the top - quite a steep walk for those not used to steep gradients.

Walkways have been created recently around the outside of the castle on the steep slopes - a good idea but two problems - most visitors to Guardamar head to the beach and not the castle and secondly when I was there last, the undergrowth had already started to encroach on the paths making it difficult to walk.


Tuesday, 9 December 2008

How long

How long before this rock goes crashing into the sea ? The coast here near La  Zenia is crumbling away - every time we go for a walk  we see some more signs of erosion.

It's a very pleasant walk along the cliffs  - but not in the height of the summer - far too hot.


Friday, 5 December 2008

Blue Blue

Blue sky , blue sea and long golden beaches .....

This is why we go to Spain ...


Monday, 1 December 2008

Alicante - Old Town

Another Sunday morning shot taken in the old town - Alicante

I think I've said before it's pleasant to wonder around when there are no people or heavy traffic.


Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Guardamar - rio Segura

All lined up and waiting for somewhere to go on the rio Segura at Guardamar.

I do not think these have moved for some time - perhaps the owners are waiting for better fishing.


Friday, 21 November 2008

Guardamar - A quiet Sunday morning

A quiet Sunday morning here in Guardamar - looking over the main road that runs the whole length of the town.

Just a quick coffee before we head to the bus station .


Friday, 14 November 2008

PhotoHunt - Ruin

This sad old ruin is not far from the centre of Guardamar - just near the bus station.

In the old days this may have housed a family - now it lies a sad reminder of the past amongst the orange trees.

No doubt it will stay like this for some time unless a builder wants to acquire the land which is unlikely in these uncertain times ..


Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Torrevieja -Submarine

This submarine can be found down in the harbour in Torrevieja - I think it is called the Delfin.

It is open to the public but when we went down to look and asked in very basic Spanish if it was open,  the attendant decided he could not understand us. So that was that - not attempted to visit it since.


Friday, 7 November 2008

PhotoHunt - Together

I'm early for PhotoHunt this week ..

This lot are certainly together !!!  Scores of them all over the fence and in the bushes.

What are they ???

They appear to be small snails ..

Staying together may form some sort of protection but not for long  - soon the local people will be picking these for the pot and enjoying a meal.

Not sure why they are eaten - they are either a delicacy or people have been brought up in harsher times to eat such things when other food was scarce. You do not see many of the younger generation picking these - they prefer food out of the micro ! I do not blame them for that.


Torrevieja -Time for a ride ?

This brightly coloured horse can be found on the sea front at Torrevieja.

Very bright colours indeed .....


Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Alicante - Port time ..

Lots of traffic congestion here in Alicante - not on the roads but in the marina.

Glad I do not have to navigate a boat around here ..


Monday, 3 November 2008

Fútbol 4

La Liga is well underway and Real Madrid have played 9 games of which they have won 6, lost 1 and drawn 2.

Their best performance was on September 24th when they beat Gijon 7-1.

However they lie 3rd in la Liga behind rivals Barcelona who are 1st.

The fans will not be pleased with their performance - expecting brilliance only. So watch this space - will there be a change of manager ?


Spanish Proverb

Ojos que no ven, corazón que no siente ..

What the eye doesn't see , the heart doesn't grieve over ..


Sunday, 2 November 2008

Alicante - " Once "

Here we are again in Alicante and in front of the "Once" kiosk.

"Once " raises money to help  blind people by selling lottery tickets. There are daily draws and the results are shown live on Quatro TV.

This Spanish foundation was founded on December 13th 1938 and is very popular with Spanish people. I personally find it a little difficult to follow the complicated rules.


Friday, 31 October 2008

PhotoHunt - Blue

What should we choose that's blue ?  Well after searching my photo collection I came up with this bright BLUE Turibus.

It will take you on a round trip of the Alicante city centre and deposit you at the top of the castle and allow enough time to wonder around and take photographs .

I was disappointed with the route taken by the bus and had  hoped that it would show parts of the city that  were unfamiliar to me, however the route kept to the main central area.


Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Guardamar - Las Frutas

This hoarding in Guardamar is  ( I think) encouraging us to take more fruit and vegetables each day - with the help of Minute Maid of course.


Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Torrevieja -The old fisherman.

Down on Torrevieja's sea front .

This stern looking fisherman can be found.

If you have arranged to meet someone it's a good focal point.

He's keeping a look out for the returning fishing fleet - though now I think he is more likely to see a tourist boat or pleasure yacht.


Monday, 27 October 2008

Guardamar - Places to go ..

Guardamar may be a small seaside resort but there are long distance coaches carrying people to Madrid and San Sebastion and all points north from the local bus station , virtually on a daily basis.

Going south is a different matter - buses for the Costa del Sol can be found in Elche which is not too far away. Whilst waiting for a bus at Elche I saw an advert for travel to Rumania - now that must be some journey !!


Friday, 24 October 2008

PhotoHunt - Scary

This tunnel is scary - it's cold and wet and very often there are no other people around .

Go to the end of the passage and turn a corner and you will find a lift that takes you from the ground floor up to the top of the castle in Alicante

Once you proceed down the tunnel you do not know who is stood around the corner until you reach it and there is nowhere to run if you suddenly come across muggers.

The entrance to the tunnel is not too good either - a narrow little pavement alongside a busy commuter ring road leads to it - no attendants or security !

This picture was taken halfway down the tunnel so you can guess how long it actually is.

The view from the castle is very good though ...


Guardamar - El Siglo

Time to relax and have yet " another " beer here at El Siglo in Guardamar

El Siglo has a wide choice of dishes and beers to suit all tastes and you'll find it near to the park. Sorry no draft GUINNESS yet but it does have free Wi-Fi.


Tuesday, 21 October 2008

ABC Wednesday - N for Night

N is for a night scene here in Guardamar.

At Autonautica the boats are lined up for lucky buyers who have the ready cash or credit card.

Expensive hobby I would think.


Sunday, 19 October 2008

Alicante - Rooting for you

Trees like this are not that unusual in Alicante city centre - there are quite a few with their roots showing like this ..

Most unusual.


Friday, 17 October 2008

Torrevieja- Early morning

Early morning in Torrevieja - cafes are just opening on the sea front and not many people are about.

The people in the shop are busy putting their wares onto the pavement.


Thursday, 16 October 2008

Guardamar - The Marina

I guess everywhere needs a symbol or emblem to represent themselves and this is what the Guardamar Marina has chosen .

It's a sailing boat, made by the look of the rust,  in cast iron .

Sat in it's own fountain on the approach to the main marina and looking very impressive ...


Tuesday, 14 October 2008

ABC Wednesday - M for Me

Today the M is Me...

I did not realise that this photo was being taken using the  " solarize setting ". I was only a few months later when looking through my photographs that I realise it was there and I thought that it was quite good - unusual anyway...

Taken whilst sitting at one of our usual cafe haunts in Guardamar..


Monday, 13 October 2008

Spanish Proverb

No hay mal que por bien no venga

Every cloud has a silver lining ...


Alicante - Bright Shop Shutter Number 2

Here's another highly coloured shop shutter in Alicante .

I'm not really sure what they are supposed to sell here ??

Photo taken again early one Sunday morning not far from the bus station .


Friday, 10 October 2008

Alicante - Bottled up !

Is it a screen of green bottles or art work ?

I think it's meant to be art work - according to a display panel this screen lights up at night.

It's an unusual use to put your empty bottles to  ....

Central Alicante  is where you will find this " art work "

Torrevieja - What's this ?

I've always wondered what purpose this unusual building serves. It appears to be abandoned - no sign of life at all !

It can be found near to the port in Torrevieja.


Thursday, 9 October 2008

Guardamar - The Marina

For all those that enter the harbour at Guardamar Marina from the sea, the first sight is this vessel high and dry on the quay side.

Sailing days over, it is now a tourist attraction and certainly " attracts " many a holiday snap.

Less well known is this vessel, also high and dry and situated on the road leading into the town

Not as grand as boat number one but still a photo opportunity ..


Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Alicante - People on the move.

Early Sunday morning in early September and people on the move down near the sea front in Alicante

You can often find market stalls here selling the usual tourist " stuff " and I notice a couple of Guinness bars have opened recently - I have made a mental note to return and sample some liquid refreshment.

One needs to be wary here and watch for pickpockets or bag snatchers  

Early one morning I had my haversack sprayed with cream -

The would be robber sprays the cream on your bag - you take off the bag and said robber  ( a friendly chap ) offers to help clean your bag - should you let him then  away he goes with all your goodies at a rate of knots.

Luckily I was in such a hurry to catch a bus I did not stop to clean the bag and carried on as fast as I could to the bus stop ..