Exchange rate 115

Forget the peamen - Fine the punter!

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The peamen – sometimes also referred to as the potato men are the scourge of Benidorm and should be given a very wide berth. They operate in gangs, usually on busy thoroughfares such as the Levante promenade, on the Avd Mediterraneo or around the Indoor Market. They entice people to stop by shouting and cheering, waving €20 notes that they have supposedly just won by guessing which potato half the pea is hidden under – hence the name. But the ‘crowd’ is actually members of the gang, some of which are Brits to make it look more authentic.

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Altea on the march

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The much anticipated Moors parade took place in Altea yesterday evening – the highlight of the annual fiesta calendar. After the carnival in Rio this must definitely come a close second for elaborate and eye catching outfits! Hundreds packed the main street to watch and admire, with cameras poised while jostling for prime position.

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Benidorm campsites

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Now that the peak summer season is over, the resort sees the return of the ‘snowbirds' – retired Brits who flock here to escape the cold British winter. In fact, it is not only the Brits that repeat this annual pilgrimage but other north European citizens such as the Dutch, Germans and increasingly Belgian nationals. Each year the numbers appear to increase, with Brits in search of winter warmth and thus avoid the spiraling fuel bills at home. Many drive over, either with a caravan attached or in a motorhome, with bicycles tied to the back. There is certainly plenty of choice when they arrive – some will have pre-booked a site space, reserving from one year to the next whilst other take their chance and pull up with their life possessions, looking for the best bargain at one of the many sites.

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Colourful Benidorm Pride 2016

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It was a busy day in Benidorm today – firstly with the La Vuelta cycle race this morning, starting stage 20, a 193.2km route which was won by Pierre Latour (ALM) despite many attempts by Britain’s Chris Froome of Team Sky to overtake. But the real excitement was for the Pride Parade, which was scheduled for a 5pm start but was nearer to 6pm before it set off from the Rincon. Hundreds went to great lengths dressing up and getting into the spirit of the occasion – and even Her Majesty made an appearance...in addition to a number of other queens!

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Pride has arrived in Benidorm

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The sixth Benidorm Pride has kicked off and there are plenty of events on up at in Old Town throughout this week. Tomorrow - Wednesday is the official Opening Gala Party at the Mirador with drag queens, local artistes, DJ's, full bar service and best of all - it's FREE! On Thursday there is a ‘White Party’ up at the Mirador, starting at 8pm until 1am and the following night, Friday is the ‘Black Party’ - which will be staged at the Auditorium Julio Iglesias (behind the Town Hall). But what many deem the highlight of the week, the Parade, takes place on Saturday afternoon where glitz, sequins and feathers will be the order of the day!

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Port Benidorm Hotel open for business

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The newly refurbished Port Benidorm Hotel – previously the Dalmatas has undergone a multi million euro transformation and is stunning. It certainly couldn’t be better located – a mere stones throw to the sandy Levante beach and the nightlife of Benidorm... an ideal combination! Now a superior 4 star the first thing which strikes you is the modern open airy feel throughout.

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"Sinatra's Premium" - Benidorm's newest venue

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Benidorm’s newest venue to open is Sinatra’s Premium – a brand new Dinner and Show Bar, located in the Rincon de Loix opposite the Hotel Levante Club. The opening party took place last night, where Manolo proudly showed off the months of hard work that it took to achieve the spectacular result. The 550 sq mt venue has been finished to a very high standard and he knows exactly what does and doesn’t work - having a number of other clubs and bars in the area. But this is different to his other venues in that it will not just be serving drinks but snacks and food throughout the day and ultimately a sit down meal with show in the evenings.

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Will Benidorm's "sand sculptures" return?

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The iconic sand sculptures that graced the Levante promenade up until a few years ago are sadly missed by both holidaymakers and tourists alike. The historic figures were a real attraction and the PSOE opposition party raised the issue with Lorenzo Martinez today, the Councillor for Beaches at this mornings meeting. The Councillor has now said that their resurrection is subject to "technical reports" – so in reality, highly unlikely for this year. He pointed out that it was in fact the previous administration which did away with the sculptures following “complaints and irregularities” and “conflicts between the creators” … sounds like a turf war!

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Benidorm's sunbed scramble

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Reminiscent of a scene from Wacky races or a Carry On film, a video uploaded to You Tube of the daily sunbed sprint at the Flamingo Oasis hotel here in Benidorm has caused much amusement worldwide. It has even made headlines in the daily papers – but rest assured, sadly this is not an isolated incidence, which only occurs there! The Brits even put the Germans to shame, historically renowned for bagging sunbed at the crack of dawn.

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Segway - The fun eco way to see Benidorm

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The Segway originated in America but is now popular worldwide – and Benidorm is no exception. Unlike the mobility scooter, which you sit on and is almost out of control here – the Segway is a 2-wheeled electric vehicle which you stand on... hence doesn't appeal to those that hire mobility scooters purely out of sheer lasiness and as a cheap mode of transport, therefore making it difficult for the genuine users. You will see Segways around the resort but be careful who you rent them from. Just as there are counterfeits with everything these days, be warned that there are also inferior Chinese imitations about.

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The great exchange debate

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Despite repeat advice on changing money, many still continue to use the Bureau de Change at an airport – which offer by far the worse rate possible, almost tantamount to robbery in my eyes. As an example I was at Alicante airport this morning, where there is exchange kiosk beside the rental car section as you exit the baggage reclaim area. On enquiring about today’s rate the response was £1 gets you €1 on “smaller amounts” without elaborating on what signified small! The exchange rate in Benidorm is 1.155 today … at most places.

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Alcohol ban on Jet2 flights

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In a bid to try and tackle disruptive behavior caused by alcohol, Jet2 have announced that they are to stop selling alcohol before 8am across all their routes. The ban will come into force from Monday making them the first European airline to introduce such a measure – but will it realistically make any difference? It is nothing new to read a flight being diverted midway due to a passenger becoming disruptive – with the plane being met authorities to escort them off.

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Midnight fireworks in Altea

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The annual La Olla firework display will light up the sky on Saturday August 13 – it always takes place on the nearest Saturday to 10th August, which marks the end of the local San Lorenzo fiesta.
This year is the thirtieth anniversary of this spectacular event and Altea Town Hall have pledged €30,000 to the organizing committee. It attracts over 40,000 visitors so has a huge beneficial economic impact on the town, with many spending the weekend there.

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Flying with children?

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Low cost carrier Ryanair have announced that from September 1, customers travelling with children under 12 will have to purchase a reserved seat to ensure that they are seated together. But they have reduced the fee from €8 to €4 and the child will be allocated a seat for free. By law children under 12 have to be seated with their parent or guardian, but a number of families take a chance on being randomly allocated seats together, free of charge.

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Latest Comments

  • Benidorm to Alicante by tram

    Russ Hanson 18.04.2017 08:37
    It will be a great day out I promise you the scenery from Alicante to Benidorm is enjoyable and vice ...
     
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    As a British family we all love going to the bullrings in Spain. We have taken our children to ...
     
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News Snippets

  • Obesity War +

    The number of NHS obesity operations has increased by 500% in the last decade. 6,438 gastric bypass operations were performed on the NHS in 2015/16 compared to 1,038 in 2005/6 - costing up to £15,000. The highest number of operations took place in Telford and Wrekin in the West Midlands and lowest in West Norfolk.
  • Phone boxes +

    BT is to scrap 8,700 of its 46,800 phone boxes, which equates to one in five payphones over the next 3 years. They say that usage is down by 90 per cent over the past decade - but they are often a lifeline in remote rural areas where mobile phone signals are poor.
  • Snap UK election +

    UK Prime Minister Theresa May has called an unexpected snap general election for Thursday June 8... a mere 7 weeks away. There will be a vote in the House of Commons tomorrow to approve the election plan - the prime minister needs two thirds of MPs to vote in favour to hold a vote before the next scheduled election date of 2020.
  • Barista shortage +

    Statistic show that an average of 24 coffee shops open every week across the UK - but a shortage of trained baristas could scupper future expansion plans. There are 130,000 working in the UK, but projected figures estimate that a further 40,000 are required over the next six years. Coffee shops are expected to add £8.9 billion into the UK economy this year - a 12% increase on last year.
  • Brexit blues +

    The Home Office has announced that a £490 million contract has gone out to tender to design & produce a new British passport for when the current one runs out in 2019. Coincidentally, it happens to be in 2019 - when the UK leaves the EU, potentially paving the way for a return of the much wanted traditional blue passport.
  • Driving to France? +

    Paris, Lyon and Grenoble require cars to display an emissions sticker on their windscreen or face a £117 fine. They cost €4.18 from the official French Government website - but motoring groups warn that they could take up to 6 weeks to arrive, too late for those planning to drive over for the Easter break.
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