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, 29 December 2010

Guardamar - Down in the park ..

This wall art can be found in the park where boules or bowls is played - there are three pictures but unfortunately the third has some rather rude graffiti and can not be displayed.


Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Guardamar - Christmas lights

Taking pictures of the Christmas lights is no easy thing even with a good camera - this is the best one I could find.


Monday, 27 December 2010

Guardamar - Decorations

These decorations are actually made from discarded water bottles ..

and this was an actual news item on the local TV channel Canal Nou ..


Sunday, 26 December 2010

Guardamar - Nativity Scene

This Belen or Nativity Scene can be found down by the restaurant at the marina in Guardamar.

Quite well done .....


Saturday, 25 December 2010

Merry Christmas

A very Merry Christmas to everyone.

The tree situated in the main square of Guardamar has been as usual decorated by the local school children. And very nice it looks as well.....


Friday, 24 December 2010

Costa Blanca visit.

We have just returned from another 3 week visit to Guardamar and had a very mixed time.

Colds and chills struck which hampered our enjoyment somewhat. Spanish apartments are designed for hot times and are difficult to keep warm during cold and wet spells of weather.

Sore throats are made worse by the habit of the locals of burning wood in their stoves and at night the smell of wood smoke covers the area where we reside.

Wet weather drives us inside bars rather than sitting outside - and of course they are thick with cigarette smoke !! As non smokers, the smoking ban, if it is ever introduced can not come soon enough.

I can not imagine a smoking ban - bars and smoking are such a big part of Spanish culture....


Thursday, 23 December 2010

Copa Del Rey

Real Madrid proceeded in the Copa Del Rey with an outstanding 8-0 win over Levante yesterday.

Goals from Benzema 3 Ozil 1 Leon 1 and Ronaldo 3

I bet there was some excitement in the bars last night !!


Monday, 20 December 2010


Santa Pola across the bay from Guardamar - complete with backdrop of hills...


Wednesday, 15 December 2010


Not many on the prom - a few dark cloud are gathering ..


Friday, 10 December 2010

La Mata

Handy little kiosk down by the beach in La Mata.


Sunday, 5 December 2010


This blue apartment block always seems very quiet - not many people moving around.

Being a little curious I looked at the names on the post boxes and they all seem to be Russian. I guess a developer must have bought the block and exclusively marketed it in Russia.


Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Guardamar - Fisher folk

It's a nice enough day for some fishing down on the beach at Guardamar.


Sunday, 28 November 2010

Guardamar - Music School

This building was originally built as an underground car park and there was a small square with seating.

However for some reason it remained half completed for several years. Now it is being rebuilt as a music school.

Hopefully it will regenerate the area and attract some trade to the local bars.


Friday, 26 November 2010

Guardamar - Meson de Laura

Looking up the street which I think is Calle Dunas from the bar/restaurant Meson de Laura.


Thursday, 25 November 2010


Another view of the the pine forest - very pretty in the October sunshine.


Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Gurdamar - Reina Sofia

In the Reina Sofia Park in the centre of Guardamar you'll find the local stage - used for concerts and film shows.

I sat on a chair here once only to find it immediately collapse - I managed to save myself but not before I did a hop and a skip down the walkway.


Tuesday, 23 November 2010


Down in the pine forest - a mixture of sun and shadow.

It all looks a little primeval.


Monday, 22 November 2010

Tourism in Spain

One consequence of the economic downturn is that Brits who headed for Australia, USA, Thailand and Hong Kong and other long distant holiday destinations may now be looking for a cheaper alternative nearer to home.

I predict that in the next couple of years Spain will see an increase in this section of the tourist trade.

People who enjoyed visits to their own holiday place in the sun plus the odd cruise or exotic destination will be holidaying exclusively in their own pad.

This could be of some advantage to Spain.


Sunday, 21 November 2010

Big wins in La Liga

There were some high scoring results this weekend in La Liga with hat tricks from Ronaldo and Mesi.

Almeria lost at home to Barcelona 0-8 and Real Madrid beat Athletic Bilbao 5-1.

This leaves the top table positions very tight - Real Madrid top with 32 points and Barcelona second with 31 - both teams having played 12 games.

Looks like it is going to get interesting ..


Saturday, 20 November 2010

Guardamar - Centenario

The church tower is always a good place for an advert ........


Friday, 19 November 2010

Guardamar -Contra El Deslinde

Deslinde in English means limit or borderline.

The local Guardamar authorities are basically complaining about the Ley de Costas - a national law which controls building within the coastal area.

Central government can overrule local authorities and declare certain properties built within the coastal area illegal and enforce compulsory demolition. This area is limited to a certain distance from the coast - hence the name Deslinde or border.

For more information those with fluent Spanish can search


Thursday, 18 November 2010

Joyful sight ..

This climber has soon grown - planted I guess only a couple of years ago.

Making an attractive sight in the October sunshine.


Tuesday, 16 November 2010


When we first went to Guardamar 10 years ago there were plenty of little dogs but we never saw cats.

Now they are there in some numbers - very feral ....

Helped no doubt by the number of people who have started leaving cat food around the streets.

These characters live near waste land next to the bus station.


Monday, 15 November 2010

TV reception in Guardamar

Since our last visit to Guardamar TV reception has greatly improved.

Now we can view some of the smaller local stations from Alicante and also pick up Murcian television .

From what I can gather from the local Spanish newspapers there was a general problem in the whole of Guardamar and not just our block of flats. Urgent action was being called for.

So now we have more choice of programmes which we do not understand due to our lack of fluent Spanish.

The local Guardamar TV is still broadcast on analogue and is completely unwatchable - a pity really because we used to enjoy looking at what was happening on the local scene.


Sunday, 14 November 2010

Rio Segura - Landing Stage

When you have your own landing stage I guess you may decorate how you please.


Saturday, 13 November 2010

Rio Segura

I may have taken a picture of this boat some time ago - I'm not sure ..

Anyway it's not improving !!

Needs more than a lick of paint now.


Friday, 12 November 2010

Living in Spain ..

On one of my lost Blog comments someone asked about life in Spain and what the local government officials were like.

Well firstly I would say that I am not a resident just a part time holiday maker.

My advice to would be residents of Spain would be to rent a place for 6 months at least before moving over on a permanent basis and do remember if purchasing a property that prices are still falling.

Search the internet and read the English language newspapers - they will have a lot to say about life in general and what people think of the local councils and the rules and regulations.

Spain is not all sun and sea - it can be jolly cold in the winter. Some goods in the shops can be more expensive than the UK especially now that the exchange rate to the Euro is bad.

Do your homework.....


Wednesday, 10 November 2010


While away in Spain I accessed my Blog and e-mail account and published some Blog comments that I had received - all well and good.

On return to the UK I note that these comments have not been published and seem to have disappeared into thin air !!!

The reason for this I do not know - perhaps something to do with the server I was using in Spain.

In future the publishing of comments will be left until I return to the UK.


Monday, 8 November 2010


I think it is the first time I've been in Guardamar for Halloween

The reason I say this is that I do not remember seeing the young children dressed up as witches and demons trawling around the bars and restaurants with their parents in tow and receiving handfuls of small sweets from the bar staff. This may of course be a recent trend??

I suppose it would be difficult to access the apartment blocks and knock at each individual flat hence concentrating on the bars.

Unfortunately some of the older children /teenagers take delight in throwing eggs mainly at bars and Bank ATM machines.

I hope this craze does not get copied in the UK.....


Sunday, 7 November 2010


Well we have just returned to the UK from a three week visit to the Costa Blanca - the first visit to Spain since the late Spring.

Beautiful weather was to be had and we had a very relaxing time.

Afraid not many photographs were taken this time - reason being is that Guardamar is a rather small place and I can not be repeating all the same scenes over and over again. Utter boredom would follow .......

Nothing much has changed in Guardamar - the bar Candil is up for sale again and is now closed - El Siglo has new owners - Tim & Leon is now the name of the bar - not that I've visited the place.

Luka another bar has now got free WiFi connection.

We are of the opinion that the local council has cut down on street cleaning - usually of a very high standard we are seeing quite a bit of litter lying about.

Further reports to follow ..


Wednesday, 3 November 2010


Unusual corner - cross plus art decoration ...


Thursday, 28 October 2010


Blue sky even in February ....


Sunday, 24 October 2010


Pleasant little square ...


Wednesday, 20 October 2010


No leaves on the trees in this winter photo ..

Somewhere in Madrid.


Saturday, 16 October 2010


Interesting ....


Tuesday, 12 October 2010


Early morning in Madrid - the bright sun is just starting to warm up the day - motor bikes ready for action.


Saturday, 9 October 2010


A quiet corner of Madrid - February 2009


Friday, 8 October 2010


Strange looking trees !!


Wednesday, 6 October 2010


The Retiro - looking rather splendid in the winter sun...


Monday, 4 October 2010


Well I've managed to find some old photographs of Madrid - taken in 2009.

Here we're somewhere near the Retiro - no idea what this place is - looks a bit like a church.


Sunday, 26 September 2010


Yesterday saw a disappointing draw between Real Madrid and Levante 0-0.

This has now left Real Madrid in third place in La Liga with 11 points and behind rivals Barcelona 12 and Valencia 13.

Watch out Jóse Mourinho - only 1st place will be tolerated .....


Thursday, 23 September 2010


Alicante's crowded harbour.

This is the last of my current photographs of Spain before we return to the Costa Blanca and get the Panasonic out again.

Follow up photos will have to be dredged from the files - so we'll see what we can find.


Tuesday, 21 September 2010


Another view of the harbour with the cranes in the distance.


Monday, 20 September 2010

Property Sales

Property sales in Spain are improving.

The number of dwellings registered as sold increased in the first half of 2010. In July sales of new property was up 16% and re-sales 16.8%.

This increase has been fuelled by the impending higher sales tax which is now in force. Another reason for the increase is the fact that some owners are taking advantage of the low mortgage interest rates and trading up.

However there are few new buyers on the market and we'll have to wait now and see what happens over the next 6 months of 2010.

As the UK sinks deeper into the mire and unemployment rises Spain can not expect many buyers from that direction..


Sunday, 19 September 2010


Looking into the city of Alicante from the port area.

A few clouds about but I suppose that is to be expected as the photo was taken in the spring.


Friday, 17 September 2010


From our flat in Guardamar the hills in the distance look like a small blue smudge on most days.

This is what they look like close up in Orihuela.

It must be some climb up to that cross !!


Thursday, 16 September 2010

Fútbol - UEFA Champions League

The UEFA Champions League has started with very good results for the Spanish teams and it looks like they will be progressing quite far in the competition.

Real Madrid beat Ajax of the Netherlands by 2 goals to nil - both scored by Higuain

Our local regional team Valencia beat Bursaspor 4-0 and Barcelona managed to put 5 goals past Panathinaikos of Greece in a 5-1 win.

I suppose it is still early days and who knows what will happen in later games.


Saturday, 11 September 2010

Fútbol - Surprise result !!

A shock result today in La Liga was the 2-0 defeat of Barcelona on their home ground by the newly promoted Hércules from Alicante.

The two goals were scored by Nelson Valdez.

A most tremendous result !!

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Spanish News 1

The following has come to my attention this week and may be of interest ..

Unemployment in Spain has risen by 61,083 at the end of August.

20,000 young people applied recently for just 116 jobs in the Guardia Civil.

Ryanair increased passenger numbers to Spain in the period January to July by 32% to 12.34m while Iberia saw a 5.7% drop to 11.85m passengers.

Spain is no longer the number one tourist destination in the world - they now lag in 4th place behind China, USA and France.


Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Jaime Nunó

On this day in 1824 Jaime Nunó the Catalan composer was born at Sant Joan de les Abadesses in Girona province.

After the death of his parents he went to live with his uncle Bernard in Barcelona and it was he who helped finance his musical studies. Eventually he won a scholarship with Saverio Mercadante in Italy.

In 1851 he was named director of the Queen's Regimental Band and went with them to Cuba where he befriended Antonio López de Santa Anna the former Mexican president.

When Santa Anna returned to Mexico in 1853 he was invited to lead the Mexican military bands and in 1854 he composed the Mexican national anthem.

Jaime died in New York in 1908 but his remains were exhumed and he was laid to rest in the Rotonda de los Hombres Ilustres in Mexico City.


Tuesday, 7 September 2010


More photographs of Murcia - the last from this city for a while .

Hopefully I'll return during one of our winter visits and perhaps capture other parts of the city with the Panasonic.


Monday, 6 September 2010

Spanish Proverb

La experiencia es la madre de la ciencia ..

Experience is the mother of science.


Sunday, 5 September 2010

Murcia - Cathedral

Murcia's cathedral dominating the skyline.



Spain have got off to a good start in the European Championship qualifying round - they beat Liechtenstein easily by 4 goals to nil which was not exactly going to be a surprise.

Goals by Torres (2) Villa and Silva.

No major games this weekend in Spain - in the Spanish Liga Adelante local teams Elche and Cartagena played - result was a 1-0 win to Elche.

Tuesday will see a more difficult game for Spain when they meet Argentina in a friendly.


Friday, 3 September 2010

Murcia - Rio Segura

The Rio Segura making it's way slowly through the centre of Murcia.


Wednesday, 1 September 2010


Odd looking statue - set among the white flowers ..

Murcia city centre.


Monday, 30 August 2010

Rojales -San Pedro Apostol

The church of San Pedro Apostol peeping out above the roof tops of Rojales.

I guess similar to any other church in this region in design and build.


Sunday, 29 August 2010


Rojales town centre with fancy lamps and small museum - a museum I've yet to visit so I've no idea what awaits the casual visitor.


Saturday, 28 August 2010


The first game of La Liga 2010/2011 has been played and the local Alicante team Hércules newly promoted have lost their first game of the season.

The went down to Athletic Bilbao by one goal - scored by Llorente in the 47th minute.

Let's not hope that this is not a bad omen for the rest of the season.


Wednesday, 25 August 2010


Down by the river -this old building complete with advertising ..

Any old building will do to paste your poster.


Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Back to Rojales ..

Back to Rojales for another photo taken earlier this year.

I'm now in the situation that until I return to Spain I'm starting to run out of photographs - it's a case of trawling through the Mac and looking for something suitable.

The artistic problems we Bloggers have !!


Sunday, 22 August 2010


La Liga starts next Saturday 28th August and the first game of the 2010/11 season kicks off at the Estadia José Rico Pérez stadium in Alicante.

This is where newly promoted Hércules are based - they will meet Athletico Bilbao and this game will be a tough one for them.

Nicknamed the Herculanos or Blanquiazules the club managed by Estaban Vigo was founded in 1922.

As a local team to the area we wish them all the best ..


Saturday, 21 August 2010

Spanish Proverb

Al César lo que es del César y a Dios lo que es de Dios.

To Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.

My book of Spanish Proverbs states that the literal translation of this means give credit where credit is due but I would dispute this - the religious meaning is quite plain to see as far as I am concerned.


Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Santa Pola - Grasses ..

Springtime in Santa Pola and these rather attractive grasses were growing in the nature reserve not far from the beach area.

No doubt that in the summer sun these will now have wilted and the seed dispersed ready for another year.


Monday, 16 August 2010

Postcard ??

Postcard ??

No just me messing around with the picture - it would make a pleasant postcard though.


Saturday, 14 August 2010

Outside work ..

When the ladder is too short get yourself a crane - it's the only way when that special outside job needs doing.