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Christmas comes to Benidorm

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Benidorm is now on countdown to Christmas, following the official inauguration of the Christmas lights in the Town Hall square on Saturday evening. The weather, is also unfortunately following suit and has turned distinctly chilly since the weekend, with the cold arctic winds making their way down to us here. As always, no event here is complete without the compulsory fireworks and surprisingly, it was actually dark so you could see them for a change – lunchtime fireworks are often the norm here and the crowds were showered with red snow!

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Fancy Dress - The Benidorm way!

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If any place knows how to do fancy dress then it’s definitely the party capital that is Benidorm! Official town hall figures estimate that 35,000 people attended this year and many still appear to be here. The assortment and variety of costumes was incredible – some a little near the knuckle when it comes to taste, but hey ho, this is probably to be expected here, but full marks for effort. The entire Calle Gerona, as well as roads leading down to it, were closed to traffic, with numerous gun-totting National police on stand-by. Thankfully there was no sign of any serious trouble, just typical drink induced scuffles, which are the norm here when people have been drinking for hours on end!

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Correfocs - Firework madness

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Probably one of the madness events of the Benidorm fiesta calendar took place in the early hours of the morning – Correfoc! Translated into English, Corre means run and Foc is fire… and that is exactly what you do, run from the fire! It is a tradition that has been enjoyed for many years and sees a group dressed up as devils, chasing the crowds with fireworks attached to a fork.

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Fiesta time

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November is fiesta time in Benidorm, a celebration of the towns Patron Saint - "La Virgin del Sufragio". There are five days of celebrations – they certainly don't do things by halves here and today was officially the Day 1. All the events are concentrated in the Old Town – where the streets are transformed with bunting and embellished with floral decorations and Holy Artwork hanging from the balconies.

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Crash simulation

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A simulation plane crash took place this morning just outside Alicante airport, in a training exercise, which involved over 500 people from 25 different organisations and 157 vehicles. Numerous officials were also there to observe, including Sara Munsterhjelm – British Vice Consul along with other consular staff. The scenario was that a passenger jet with technical problems crashed on approach to the runway, rolling a number of vehicles, destroying a building and leaking fuel from the plane igniting a nearby forest.

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Buying medication in Spain

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In Spain if you require a chemist you need to look for a ‘farmacia’ and in this region there is one per 2,200 head of registered population. There are many in Benidorm and two 24 hr ones located in the popular Rincon area - one on the main Avd Mediterraneo and another on the Avd Europa. The staff all speak good English, so you shouldn’t have a problem with communication in either. In smaller towns, by law there must always be one open 24 hrs as well as on Sunday and they operate on a rota basis. If you go after closing time then there will be a sign on the door informing you which one is open in the area.

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RBL Poppy Appeal Launch in Benidorm

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The 2017 Poppy Appeal Launch took place in Benidorm today – to much pomp and ceremony as it rightly deserves. The wonderful sound of the Torrevieja Pipes and Drums headed the parade, which certainly attracted everyone’s attention along the Levante promenade. Then followed the immaculately turned out Standard Bearers and behind them, probably the real stars of the event – Arthur ‘Skippy’ Teasdale and Wayne Campbell, the two Chelsea Pensioners in their distinctive scarlet coats and medals who come over specially for this prestigious occasion every year… and it is a real honour and privilege to have them here.

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Unusual Benidorm souvenir

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Most visitors bring something back from their holiday here – cigarettes, alcohol, t-shirt etc, but one lady can certainly top that, bringing back a baby when she went into labour early. Although it may not seem that unusual, this was back in 1971 when package holidays were not as popular or affordable to the masses as they are now. Sean Thomas Herron was born at the Hotel Rey Mar - now the Ambassador on August 28 and made a return trip, 45 years later with his own family in tow.

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Increased security in Benidorm

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Following the devastating terrorist attack on Barcelona, many Spanish towns and cities reassessed their own security precautions – and Benidorm was no exception. Sadly driving vehicles down pedestrianized routes appear to be a favoured method of extremists and in response large heavy planters were positioned at many busy areas around the resort, including The Square, which is particularly popular with the Brits. The Levante promenade has been a particular problem and the police have now requested that vehicular access is even further restricted, presenting a proposal to the town hall. Most holidaymakers are totally oblivious, thinking it is a pedestrianized road anyway and startled when beeped to move out of the way.

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Drug mafia dismantled in Benidorm

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Following an undercover operation lasting a number of months, the National Police have dismantled and arrested 14 members of a group linked to several bars and clubs in Benidorm. Those arrested were all of Spanish and Romanian nationality and ‘controlled’ the supply and sale of cocaine, hashish, marijuana, MDMA and ecstacy as well as other drugs on Avd Mallorca – better known to most as The Square. It will come as little surprise to many that club bouncers were in charge of controlling the square, using violence and intimidation on both suppliers and users.

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Altea's colourful parade

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Monday night was the second of the two parades which celebrated the annual Moors & Christians in the town, the highlight of Altea's fiesta calendar. This fiesta is celebrated in many Spanish towns and cities – but particularly across the Costa Blanca and commemorates the battles, combats and fights between Moors (or Muslims) and Christians during the period known as "Reconquista" - the time from the 8th century through to the 15th century. Hot on the back of Altea’s parades, Benidorm will also be celebrating from Thursday, September 28 until Sunday October 1 -this year marking the towns 28th successive one and the spectacular parade will be taking place this Saturday September 30, starting at 8pm.

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Benidorm's eyesore to be resurrected

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Many of you will have walked down the Avd Europa and passed what can only be described as a concrete monstrosity, surrounded by corrugated metal sheets about half way down towards the main Avd Mediterraneo. This is hopefully not Benidorm’s Sagrada Familia – the still unfinished Gaudi Basilica in Barcelona, which was started in 1882! The 11,000 square metre structure is a blot on the landscape but one that will hopefully at long last be addressed in the coming months. The project is for a cultural centre, which originally included a 1,200 seater auditorium plus second smaller one, museum and parking for 400 cars when it was proposed back in 1996 - with an initial budget of €12 million. However, as with most things, by 2003 this had escalated to an eye watering €48 million.

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Benidorm Pride 2017

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The highlight of Pride Week – the vibrant and colourful parade, took place in Benidorm on Saturday afternoon, with the rain just about holding off... well for the beginning at least! Participants gathered at the Rincon end of the Levante beach, wearing an array of eye catching outfits, along with a number of floats and decorated cars… not forgetting the beautiful horse, with Miss Coco Chanel taking the reigns.

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Hand Luggage changes

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Many holidaymakers, especially those only coming to Benidorm for a long weekend, opt for hand luggage only for speed of disembarkation on arrival. But with limited space in the overhead lockers, tempers are often raised when travelers find no room left. A standard aircraft has space for approximately 90 pieces of hand luggage of the specified size, although no doubt everyone has witnessed passengers with far bigger coming onboard. The subsequent delays in trying to find space often results in time slots being lost and so departures delayed. Ryanair, a favourite for many traveling here to Benidorm via Alicante airport have just announced a new policy, which will come into effect from November 1. Those booked to come over for the Benidorm fiestas and British Fancy Dress Day on Thursday 16 November take note.

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Latest Comments

  • Police reinforcements for Benidorm

    Peter Townsend 18.06.2018 11:05
    It's great to be able to "let you hair down" and get nicely merry and have a good time in Benidorm. The ...
     
  • Buying medicine in Spain

    Sunil Arora 18.06.2018 06:07
    Send me details
     
  • Police reinforcements for Benidorm

    Cath Taylor 12.06.2018 15:09
    I have no problem with people enjoying themselves but there is a big issue with pissed up idiots ...

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