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.


Saturday, 31 July 2010

Guardamar -Sun Beach Hotel

This building on the left was built as a hotel - the Vacanza Sun Beach a couple of years ago.

Suddenly it started advertising tourist apartments for sale and there were very few people around - it looked as though the hotel had closed..

Their web site does not appear to have been updated and still shows offers for the summer of 2009.

So I wonder what has happened here ??

The river has been cleaned up a lot here and many of the reed beds removed allowing the river to fill up with water.


Friday, 30 July 2010

Guardamar - Black Winged Stilt

If you stand still no one will see you .. perhaps !!!

Black Winged Stilt on the Rio Segura at Guardamar.


Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Hot News !!

The Canary Isles were the first to ban bullfighting in 1991 and today Catalonia follows.

The parliament voted to ban the sport from the 1st January 2012 - 68 voted for the ban, 55 against and 9 abstentions.

The vote took place as a result of a petition presented to parliament and signed by 180,000 people.

Many people believe bullfighting is cruel and barbaric but also many nationalistic Catalans wish to mark their difference from the rest of Spain.

Whether other regions will follow is hard to say .. perhaps in a few years.


Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Real Madrid - Let's go ...

Real Madrid is to lose two of their most influential players.

Midfielder - 33 year old Guti after 15 seasons and 86 goals in 542 appearances is deciding whether to accept an offer from the Turkish side Besiktas.

Raul after 18 years with the club is to seek an English or German club and recently has been linked to Shalke.
The international player has scored 323 goals with Real Madrid in 741 games.

It looks like there are going to be a lot of changes in Madrid.


La Marina

This seems to be the only building of note; with some architectural merit; down the main strip of La Marina - the rest being the usual square apartment blocks and shops.


Monday, 26 July 2010

La Marina

For us La Marina is just a stop on the bus journey to Alicante - nothing of great interest except an English butcher by the name of Mr. Lamb.

Hopefully we'll try and get there during our next visit and pick up a few joints of lamb - we've not tried the meat there before and I'm not sure how expensive he will be.

There is a very large housing complex at the back of La Marina which attracts many northern Europeans.

The bus connections to these places are not good hence we tend to stick to the main towns.


Friday, 23 July 2010

Spanish Proverb

Come para vivir y no vivas para comer.

Eat to live - do not live to eat.

Very true ...

Thursday, 22 July 2010


This is an imposing building down by the River Segura with the red and white front - very impressive.


Wednesday, 21 July 2010


Some of the local housing near to the cathedral - I bet this is an expensive area to rent !


Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Murcia - Cathedral

The cathedral from a distance - looking very impressive !!


Monday, 19 July 2010

Murcia - Cathedral

Another view of the cathedral ... rather a dull and cloudy day.


Sunday, 18 July 2010

Murcia - Cathedral

This certainly looks like a grand place of worship - very ornate ..


Saturday, 17 July 2010

Murcia - The shop ..

If you want to sell your goods get them on the pavement for all to see.

Need a chair ??


Friday, 16 July 2010

Salis In Periculis

The Madonna - in bright colours - overlooking the Old Bridge in Murcia centre.


Thursday, 15 July 2010


I'm now informed that it is a free connection .. very good !

I'm not sure that this is free W-Fi or just a connection to the local town hall ?

The latter I think .


Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Sardinero ?? I get it wrong !!

I'm kindly informed by the Murcia Daily Photo that this statue is actually a porta-estantes - one of the float carriers at the Easter procession.

Oh !! Sorry for the mistake ..

Here's the famous sardine man of Murcia ..


Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Iglesia del Carmen

May 2010 saw us on our second trip down to Murcia to view the sights.

While taking this photograph there was an almighty bang and some debris fell off the building opposite and on to the pavement. I guess we were lucky not to have crossed to that side of the street.

This is of course the Iglesia del Carmen.


Monday, 12 July 2010

Blue sea.

This picture was taken early this year before the crowds arrived - I assume the beach is now crowded ..


Sunday, 11 July 2010

World Cup - Spain win ..

It's all over ( for four years anyway ) and Spain have won.

A goal from Iniesta in the 116th minute - yes it went to extra time.

What a niggly match - lots of yellow cards and even a red one.

I understand that the next venue is Brazil - let's see if England can qualify !!



Barcelona the Catalan football club failed to pay their players at the end of June it was revealed by club president Sandro Rosell.

A loan of about £125m has been agreed with the banks in order to pay wages.

This is the first news I've had that the club is in financial problems but they insist they are still in the transfer market for new players. Recently they sold Dmitro Chygrynski to Shakhtar Donetsk and Yaya Toure to Manchester City.

The club insist that they still generate income and that there will be no problems - the fans do not need to worry.



Angel di Maria

The World Cup may not yet be over for Spain but still Real Madrid is in the market for new players.

The 22 year old Argentina winger Angel di Maria has completed his transfer from Benfica to Real Madrid on a reported 25 million euro deal.

This is the first signing for new manager Jose Mourinho since taking charge of the club.

No doubt he'll be the first of many signings as Real Madrid strive to hit the number one spot next season in La Liga.


Guardamar Hill - Spring flowers

Just some more spring flowers growing up the hill on some waste land.


Saturday, 10 July 2010

Guardamar Hill - The view ..

Some of the views from Guardamar Hill

The main town , bay and hills together with Santa Pola in the distance.

The town church in the centre.

Castle and industrial estate - Guardamar has it all ..


World Cup - Who will win ?

Spain meet Holland on Sunday but who will win ? - we all seem to have our favourites ..

There are two unusual sources of prediction however -

From Germany we have Paul the psychic octopus from an aquarium in Oberhausen who thinks Spain will win. The octopus has correctly forecast the Germany results in the competition by picking a mussel from a choice of two boxes , each emblazoned with a team's flag.

From a Singapore fortune telling store a parakeet called Mani chooses cards printed with the countries' flags. Mani's prediction is Holland.

Who do you believe Mani or Paul ?


Friday, 9 July 2010

Guardamar Hill - The park ..

At the top of the Guardamar Hill construction site is a small park - newly created it is quite pleasant and once the plants and bushes have grown it should be a good area to sit, relax and watch the views over the town and sea.


Thursday, 8 July 2010

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

World Cup - Spain win !!

A goal from Carles Puyol in the 72nd minute against Germany see Spain through to the World Cup final on Sunday.

I must admit I did not see the whole match on TV - the final of the quiz ONLY CONNECT on BBC 4 had to take preference - for those interested the Rugby Boys were the winners.

So who will win on Sunday - Netherlands or Spain ?? Will it go to penalties ??


Guardamar- The cafe ..

I do not know the actual name of this cafe but you'll find it at the entrance to the pine forest. A very handy stopping point when you've walked through the forest on a hot day and are in need of refreshment.


Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Guardamar- The Centre ..

This photo was taken early Spring when there were not many people around.

The new casino and library can be seen behind the church. It looks very modern !


Monday, 5 July 2010


Well I'm now signed up to SKYPE - yet another new thing for me to master.

You need a PC/Mac + internet broadband + built in microphone + web cam. If you have all these then you can have free video and voice calls to other SKYPE users.

We do not have internet connection in Spain - it is too expensive for the amount of time we are actually there. However we'll be able to go to the bars with free WiFi - take our laptop or iPod Touch and get in touch with our family and all for the price of a few beers.

Sounds good !!


Sunday, 4 July 2010

Spanish Proverb

Camarón que se duerme, se lo lleva la corriente.

The current carries off the shrimp that falls asleep - we would know this better as don't rest on your laurels.


Saturday, 3 July 2010

I am informed ..

I am informed that the heat on the Costa Blanca is increasing in intensity every day and the mosquito population is increasing to.

The rise in the mosquito population is due to the very wet spring - the opposite to England where a dry spring has left us with warnings of hose pipe bans and standpipes. The plus side is that the dry weather seems to have helped control the number of weeds growing..


Friday, 2 July 2010

Santa Pola - Fountain ..

A rather modern fountain in the centre of Santa Pola - in the main square opposite the castle.


Thursday, 1 July 2010

Santa Pola - Castle

This castle or fort looks as though it could be on the North African coast somewhere in the desert.

In fact it's in the centre of Santa Pola - not much of a castle compared to Alicante or the Tower of London but it does have a couple of museums that are well worth a visit - they show the lives of the "common" people - as they were in days of old ...


Instituto Cervantes

The Cervantes is famous throughout the world for the teaching of Spanish - we attended several courses in Manchester some years ago now ..

Here is the local branch in Sofia Bulgaria .. a country we have just visited this week.

There are now direct flights from Manchester to Sofia with easyJet - just over three hours flight.

Funnily we met a Bulgarian lady working in a post office whilst trying to post a card to England - we managed to communicate in Spanish - it's a funny old world !!