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 December 2011

La Mata - changes !!

More photographs of the main square in La Mata ..


Friday, 30 December 2011

La Mata - changes !!

The main square in La Mata now has a makeover - not too sure if it is completed.

Out go the little fountains and seating areas to be replaced by this great expanse - which may be grand for holding meetings or markets but certainly lacks anywhere to sit.

Not sure I like it - it lacks any character .


Thursday, 22 December 2011

New bosses in power ...

The new Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy won a vote of confidence in parliament on Tuesday and King Juan Carlos swore him in on Wednesday.

Now the fun will start - increased taxes and cuts cuts cuts in services and projects...

Luis de Guindos ex Lehman Brothers will head the economy ministry and Cristobal Montoro will be treasury minister.

Fatima Banez lawyer and economist will head the labour ministry and overhaul the rigid labour laws while Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo gets the plum job of foreign secretary

New names and faces ...

Good luck !!


Monday, 19 December 2011

Construction work ..

The first few weeks of our holiday were disturbed by the construction work being carried on in the building opposite.

The work seemed to consist of knocking down a wall and rebuilding it in the same spot but with a slightly different entrance way to the pool.

I'm not sure if this was done correctly as there seemed to be many discussions with the property owners followed by the disappearance of the workforce.

No doubt on our return the work will have been completed or perhaps not.

It looks like rain water will collect at the side of the wall - not good!!


Sunday, 18 December 2011

Unpaid electric and gas bills ..

Electric and gas bills are not being paid in Spain and the main culprits are the town halls.

Unesa which represents Iberdrola SA, Endesa SA, E-On AG, Gas Natural SDG SA and HC Energia says the five power companies are owed about 500 million euro.

It looks like stormy times ahead for the Spanish economy.


Thursday, 15 December 2011

Cafe ..

On a pleasant day it is nice to walk through the pine forest and take a rest and refreshment at this cafe ..


Monday, 12 December 2011

Dark clouds

Dark rain clouds gather ..

This is the view from our patio - when the sun does shine the building actually reflects light into our apartment.



The CAM Bank has been bought by the Banco Sabadell SA for one euro - I realised that the CAM was in a bad way but this news came as a surprise.

Having only a current account used for paying bills I am not too concerned however I do hope that our current branch in Guardamar remains open.

Recently the Guardamar branch of Barclays closed which I did find annoying - Barclays as far as I was concerned provided the best deal when it came to taking cash from my current UK account at an ATM.

Now I must travel to Barclays in Torrevieja or Alicante if I do not want to be hit by high commission costs.


Sunday, 11 December 2011

Euro crisis

A Bloomberg report of the 9/12 suggests that some European CEO's believe that Spain will exit the euro and return to the peseta.

Already firms are making plans to move money to German banks or move their headquarters to northern Europe.

What are the consequences for the holiday maker or expat residing in Spain?

If Spain was to return to the peseta and then devalue it would make the country a cheaper place to visit ( assuming Sterling retains it's worth ), expats on a pension would receive a higher income but the value of our holiday homes and residences would reduce even further.

It's all swings and roundabouts.


Woe in Madrid ..

Yesterday Real Madrid lost on their own turf to Barcelona 3-1 and this leaves them both with 37 points in La Liga.

Good news for Real Madrid is that they have one game in hand.

There will be a lot of head shaking and arguments in the bars of Madrid this weekend especially as Barcelona are bitter rivals.


Friday, 9 December 2011

Modern day castle ..

This block of holiday apartments looks more like a modern castle or some army command post with it's grey painted walls and satellite dishes.


Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Death in August - Marco Vichi

Holiday time is a good time to catch up with some reading .

Death in August by Marco Vichi was among the books bought from Amazon prior to our trip out to Spain.It is the first Inspector Bordelli book and the setting is around Florence a city we went to recently.

Must admit it was not a book I really liked - rather a slow storyline.

Perhaps I crave for constant action and excitement in the books I enjoy.


Monday, 21 November 2011

Election Humiliation

The result is out and the PP under Mariano Rajoy have surged to victory with an absolute majority.

186 seats out of 350 in the Spanish congress.

The PSOE which has governed since 2004 had the worse result for nearly thirty years.

I hope the Spanish people will be happy when the austerity measures start to bite.


Saturday, 19 November 2011


Tomorrow November 20th is a general election in Spain.

When I was in Spain the electioneering had already started -low key compared to the UK- with debates on television, hoardings being erected and the noisy vans/cars roaming the streets with loudspeakers.

The good money is on the PP to win and triumph over the PSOE who are blamed for the economic mess and high unemployment.

I think the Spanish people will not be too happy if when elected the PP impose severe austerity and fiscal cutbacks. We holiday home owners will just have to wait and see if there are any new taxes imposed on us.

More news to follow.


Friday, 18 November 2011

Back home ..

Now back home in England after nearly two months in the Costa Blanca.

The weather was glorious - very warm and sunny for most of the time - in fact warmer then normal for Spain.

Not many new photographs taken - I think I've got to the point where I've photographed most places and there is no reason to keep snapping away at the same scenes.

So for the next few months, although there will be some photographs, I think there is likely to be more narrative and comments.


Sunday, 18 September 2011


Looking across the harbour to the casino.

This will be my last photo entry for a couple of months - have exhausted my supply of pics and now await my return to Spain with camera in hand.


Friday, 16 September 2011


Statue - somewhere in Alicante - have forgotten exact spot


Wednesday, 14 September 2011


Swanky building - lots of character.


Tuesday, 13 September 2011


Narrow street in the old town, Alicante.


Friday, 9 September 2011


Photo taken in March - nice and sunny unlike England in September where it is cold, dark and very very wet.


Wednesday, 7 September 2011


Another corner of Alicante ..


Saturday, 3 September 2011


Traffic moving along - through the streets of Alicante

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Alicante - Cross

I'm not too keen on this cross - centre of Alicante - it looks as though it is made from concrete .. not the best of materials.


Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Alicante - More photos

More photographs from Alicante - taken in March this year.


Monday, 29 August 2011

A good start for Real Madrid

A good start for Real Madrid yesterday in the La Liga - a six nil win over Real Zaragoza.

The scoreline included a hat trick from Ronaldo.

That will certainly please the fans.


Sunday, 28 August 2011

Torrevieja Harbour

This monument " sings the praises " of the local Torrevieja singers who are famed for their songs of the sea.


Friday, 26 August 2011

Torrevieja Harbour

In theory you should be able to see this rather strange statute sitting in the harbour waters without too much problem - however when walking along it is quite easy to miss or ignore.


Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Torrevieja Harbour

You could miss this little statue as you walk along - hidden away in a little corner of the harbour.


Monday, 22 August 2011

Torrevieja - Boatyard

Take your pick and then head for the wide ocean ..


Sunday, 21 August 2011

Football strike ..

No football in the top two Spanish leagues this weekend - and why ? - because they are on strike .

It would appear that the finances of some of the football clubs are not in too good a shape and there are delays in paying some players. The football unions are demanding guarantees, that come what may, players will be paid. These demands have not been met and hence the strike which is set to carry on until next weekend.

This situation will cause a backlog of matches which will cause severe congestion in the fixture list later in the season but will not affect games played in the European competitions.

Spanish fans will not be happy ..


Saturday, 20 August 2011

Spanish Proverb

Mente sana en cuerpo sano


Healthy mind : Healthy body


Thursday, 18 August 2011

Torrevieja - Boatyard

Now which way is the sea ?

This boatyard in Torrevieja always seems to be a busy and industrious place.


Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Sergio Aguero

Sergio Aguero the ex Atletico Madrid player has taken to the English Premier League like a duck takes to water.

Transferred this summer for £38m to Manchester City the 23 year old Argentine scored two goals in his debut game against Swansea City last night.

Manager Roberto Mancini likens Sergio to a photocopy of the Brazilian legend Romario.

We shall be expecting sparks to fly this season ....



I'm now getting low on the number of unpublished photographs I have from the Costa Blanca - so hopefully will be publishing some more but only every other day.

Here is the port at Torrevieja.


Sunday, 14 August 2011

Torrevieja - Graffiti

More roadside art ....


Friday, 12 August 2011

Meal of the day ...

Meal of the day or Menú el dia is famous all over Spain - usually for anything between 7 to 12 euros you can get a really good 3 course meal plus bread and wine.

Very very good value ...


Monday, 8 August 2011

Iberdrola ICP

Are you like me confused by Iberdrola and the mention of ICP switches?

Take a look at an interesting Blog - Sparks in Spain.

Many questions will be answered ....


El Mesón de Laura - Guardamar

Meson de Laura - a nice place to eat and drink plus free Wifi ..


Sunday, 7 August 2011

Side street - Guardamar

A typical side street in Guardamar ..


Saturday, 6 August 2011


Attractive building near to where we have our flat in Guardamar.


Friday, 5 August 2011

N332 Guardamar

This is the view from our balcony - a lorry thunders down the N332


Thursday, 4 August 2011

Car Park

Now where did I park the car ???


Wednesday, 3 August 2011

General Election

I understand that a General Election will be held in Spain on the 20th of November.

Current Prime Minister Rodriguez Zapatero will not be standing for re-election and has been replaced by the Minister of Interior Alfredo Perez Rubaicaba for the PSOE.

Watch out for funs and games ... what will the electorate make of Mariano Rajoy of the opposition PP ?

All good fun.


Monday, 1 August 2011


August is here and a new month - a photo from one of our favourite spots in Guardamar.


Friday, 29 July 2011

BBC iPlayer

The residents of Spain and 10 other European countries will soon be able to access an international version of the BBC iPlayer if they own an Apple iPad and subscribe at a cost of 6.99 euro per month.

This international version will be run by BBC Worldwide and subscribers will be able to view current and classic programmes.

A feature not available in the UK will be the ability to download content and watch offline otherwise the iPlayer will be similar to the UK version but function in a different way.

Enjoy ...



The palm tree in my UK garden has died off due to the very cold winter weather - perhaps I need one made from concrete like this one in Guardamar.


Thursday, 28 July 2011

What to do ...

Since the purchase of our holiday flat book reading has increased and we now have a considerable library.

It's nice to relax over the siesta time with a good book and a glass of wine.


Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Spanish gardening ..

When staying in Guardamar I do miss my large UK garden and allotment.

Below is the limit of my gardening in Spain - the geraniums do last quite a long time and are drought resistant for a few months but unfortunately will always need replacing on our return after the long hot summer.


Sunday, 24 July 2011

Tunein Radio Pro

Another useful and excellent App for the iPod Touch, iPad and iPhone is the Tunein Radio Pro.

I'm not the only one who thinks this because it has been awarded 5 stars by fellow App devotees.

At a cost of 69 pence it is certainly great value.

While in the UK not only can I carry on listening to Spanish radio stations but search the world for my favourite music on the 50,000 stations available.

From Australia to Argentina - they are all there ..


Saturday, 23 July 2011


Easter weekend saw a display of Harley-Davidson bikes in the main square of Guardamar - the heavy rain may have kept quite a few onlookers away unfortunately.


Thursday, 21 July 2011

Alicante - Sailing away

All hands on deck ....


Wednesday, 20 July 2011


Time to take a walk - photo taken in cooler times.

The temperature in Alicante I understand reached 102 F on Monday - a little hot for me ..

In the UK we were promised 61 F. that's more like it.


Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Spanish Proverb

El gato escaldado del agua fría huye ....

One bitten twice shy ( literally the scalded cat flees from cold water )


Monday, 18 July 2011

Keep Fit

Keep Fit - Alicante beach


Sunday, 17 July 2011


Elegant building on the Alicante seafront - I bet it is expensive to buy or rent here.


Saturday, 16 July 2011

Alicante - Ship

Ship design on apartment building - Alicante seafront.


Friday, 15 July 2011

Alicante - Runners

Alicante - early morning runners taking some exercise.


Thursday, 14 July 2011


A little bit of sculpture - Alicante seafront


Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Alicante - Map of Spain

Look closely and you'll see a map of the Iberian Peninsular ..

Looking a little tatty I'm afraid....

Tuesday, 12 July 2011


Pruning this tree would not be a task I'd appreciate ..

To be found on Alicante's seafont.

Monday, 11 July 2011


For those of you with an iPod Touch or Apple Phone a good little "App" is the RTVE Noticias y Directos.

It's free ..

I can watch La 1 , Teledeporte and Canal 24H while I am in the UK and all for free.

In addition for those with internet access TVE a la Carta will enable you to catch up and watch your favourite TV programmes from Spain.

Go to

Happy viewing ..



Impressive building ...

Somewhere in Alicante .

Sunday, 10 July 2011


During Easter scenes from the Bible are enacted here - part of Guardamar's celebrations.

Opposite Candils bar ( now closed )


Saturday, 9 July 2011


One of Guardamar's favourite spots ..