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.


Tuesday, 31 May 2011


Spain has been blamed for the outbreak of E.coli in Germany that has caused many deaths and resulted in several hundred being admitted to hospital. The outbreak- which centred in Hamburg - can lead to a fatal kidney condition called Haemolytic-Uraemic Syndrome.

Normally HUS affects children under five but with this outbreak 90% of those affected are adults - two thirds of them women.

The cause has been blamed on cucumbers imported from Spain - either contaminated at source or in transit. Spanish authorities state that this may not be the case and have started an investigation.

Already Russia and Austria have imposed a ban on the importation of certain vegetables.

The Spanish economy will suffer if food exports are restricted and we await the results of the investigations with some concern.



Over the weekend it was rumoured in the UK Press that Barclays were considering buying one of Spain's regional banks.

This report comes after the Barclays' boss Bob Diamond met Prime Minister Zapatero in Madrid last week.

Barclays would not comment but it is understood that they would not want to be responsible for any historic debt.

My money is on the CAM Bank being the intended target - they have a huge debt problem and are failing to meet criteria set by the Bank of Spain. Barclays will find that a merger will bring big saving to their current activities in Spain.

We await further news with interest.


Guardamar - Empty space ..

You are walking down the main street in Guardamar and you suddenly realise there is an empty space where once there was a shop or house. It takes some thinking time before you remember what was there before.

I'm surprised this demolition has taken place because not many builders are constructing new property. Once it was quite common for a single story house to be demolished and replaced by a block of flats.

We'll now have to wait until our return to Spain in the Autumn to find out if anything gets built here.


Monday, 30 May 2011

Alicante - Bus Station

Quite a bit of work being done down by the bus station in Alicante - shops and buildings nearby being demolished.

Perhaps the intention is to expand the bus station - however I have no idea and have seen nothing mentioned in the local press.


Sunday, 29 May 2011

Barcelona win ..

Last night was a disappointment for Manchester United fans as they were beaten 3-1 in the Champions League by Barcelona.

I can only say that on the night Barcelona were the far better side and United were outplayed.

That's it now for a few months apart from one of two international matches - cricket here we come ...


Guardamar - More damage

The sea is relentless - here is an example of more damage that has been caused by the pounding waves.


Saturday, 28 May 2011

Guardamar -Repairing the damage

Soon after the storm damage was created the reconstruction work started and the digger moved in.

Hopefully the building will survive a few more years ..


Friday, 27 May 2011

Guardamar - Damaged seafront

Rough seas have taken their toll - the path leading down to the beach has been badly damaged and the building is threatened by the elements.

The local police have taped the area off but this does not stop people getting down to the beach.


Thursday, 26 May 2011

Manchester United - Barcelona

Are you ready for the big match on Saturday ? Manchester United v Barcelona at Wembley.

Have you bought the beer and arranged for someone else to walk the dog ?

It would appear the Barcelona are the favourites but I'm not at all sure why !

One thing is certain - there will be a lot of noise, fireworks and shouting in the bars around Guardamar no doubt.

Torrevieja- Graffiti

Colourful graffiti in Torrevieja.


Wednesday, 25 May 2011

La Mata - Easter 2011

La Mata on a very wet and windy Good Friday .


Tuesday, 24 May 2011

La Mata - changes ....

Big changes in La Mata's main square - everything has gone - pulled down and new construction work started.

We'll have to wait until our return to Spain in the autumn to see what the new square will look like.

Spanish Economy

The closure of UK airports due to the volcanic ash cloud descending rapidly from the north could have a devastating affect on the tourist trade in Spain if the situation gets worse and lasts for several weeks.

Iceland's Grimsvotn volcano has erupted sending a cloud of ash towards the UK - Scotland's airports have already been closed and the cloud is likely to cover the whole of the UK by tomorrow.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond stated that the ash cloud .. would not cause as much chaos as last year because there are now much more robust systems in place - so we are all safe !! Good for the UK Government ..

I think the antics of King Canute comes to my mind .

Soon we will be starting the main summer holidays - a Bank Holiday next weekend. Not very good omens for the holiday industry.

Already Ryanair are complaining about the flight restrictions - so watch this space.


Champions League Final

Barcelona are thinking of flying to London early for their Champions League final on Saturday against Manchester United.

The eruption of the Grimsvotn volcano in Iceland has resulted in a cloud of volcanic ash descending over the north of the country and flights in and out of Scotland and the north of England are being cancelled.

Last year disruption of flights in Europe resulted in Barcelona travelling to Inter Milan by coach for a semi final match - a game they lost.

At least 20,000 Barcelona fans are expected at Wembley - there will be many disappointed people if the UK airports shut down - it's a long way to London via train and sea.


Monday, 23 May 2011

Spanish election ..

Yesterday the local and regional elections were held amid rising unemployment and demonstrations about the poor economy.

With 91% of the vote counted the PSOE have had the worst results in three decades and the gap between them and the PP has increased to 10%.

The control of important cities Barcelona and Seville have been lost by the PSOE.

If these results are maintained next year then we may be heading for a PP government.


Alicante - Domingo de Ramos

The last of the Palm Sunday photos ..

I think the palms are blessed in the church - people will display them on the balconies of their flats for some weeks - perhaps kept to warn off evil ??

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Alicante - Domingo de Ramos

Never far away in Spain from a band of musicians.


Thursday, 19 May 2011

Alicante - Palm Sunday

The Palm Sunday parade attracts lots of people - quite busy


Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Alicante - Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday - Domingo de Ramos

Alicante is host to a very large parade and over the next few days I'll be publishing a few photos.

Below with the pointy hats are what I believe to be Penitentes or penitents ( a society of individuals atoning for their sins - perhaps a good excuse for dressing up ).

Nothing to do with the Klu Klux Klan.

Lots of floats with scenes from the Bible.


Monday, 16 May 2011

Voting time ...

Voting time in Spain approaches for the local elections .

As an outsider looking in I guess the whole process generates as much interest as in the UK - very little ....


Sunday, 15 May 2011

Barcelona - Real Madrid

My last post about the Manchester football teams was posted on this particular Blog in error - it was intended for my Rambler Blog - but never mind there was a slight connection with Spain - that being Barcelona who meet Manchester United at Wembley on May 28th.

On our recent visit to Guardamar I had the misfortune to watch some of the Real Madrid v Barcelona matches and what a sorry episode they were - some really talented players but the antics they got up to was disgraceful.

Diving, pushing, tantrums, screaming, shirt pulling and lots lots more ... what a display of how not to play football.

Let's hope that the Champions League final will be played in a better spirit !!!


Saturday, 14 May 2011

A good football day ..

A good football day for Manchester - smiles all round ...

Manchester City win the FA Cup after waiting 35 years for another trophy - the one and only important goal scored by Yaya Toure. The other team Stoke City who now have the consolation prize of entry into the Europa League.

Our other team United secured their 19th premier League title after a 1-1 draw with Blackburn Rovers and set a new record for the most title wins ...

Roll on May 28th and their meeting with Barcelona.


Thursday, 12 May 2011


We returned from Spain yesterday after a 4 week stay and the first news we heard was that there had been two earthquakes and sadly much damage and loss of life in the Murcian city of Lorca.

When you are relaxing on the beach you tend to forget that Spain can be a centre of seismic activity.

Several years ago we stayed in Lorca for a night whilst touring around the south of Spain and found the place to be very pleasant - if my memory is correct it has the only church in Spain dedicated to Saint Patrick.

My sympathy goes to all affected.


Tuesday, 10 May 2011


Not far from the Panoramis centre in Alicante you'll find a small municipal exhibition centre - and this is where you'll find these fellows.

The centre often has some interesting exhibits on show - and it is "gratis"


Sunday, 8 May 2011

Alicante Promenade

This part of the promenade is not too far from the bus station so it is an ideal place to sit for a few minutes before hoofing it for our bus - buses are usually hourly to Guardamar but reducing to two hourly on a Sunday.


Friday, 6 May 2011

Alicante - Rowing Club

I think it will require some muscle power to move this rowing boat - the rowers look as though they are working hard.


Wednesday, 4 May 2011


This hotel the name of which escapes me at the moment dominates the skyline of Alicante.


Monday, 2 May 2011


Fairground attraction - next to Corte Inglés in Alicante.