Exchange rate 1105

Work begins on the new SATE office in Benidorm

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Work has at long last begun on the new SATE office in the Rincon de Loix. SATE stands for "El Servicio de Atención al Turista Extranjero" - hence the abbreviation, which roughly translated means the Foreign Tourist Assistance Office. This is where you should go to file a report if you are in the unfortunate situation of being a victim of crime. There was much criticism when the current one was opened in the Old Town back in 2013 – with virtually everyone in agreement that it was the wrong place. But to everyone's shock and amazement, workmen and a digger arrived this morning to begin the construction – which is estimated to take up to five months. It will be located beside the current tourist information office on Calle Derramador – opposite the Flash hotel. The Town Hall have promised that it will be fully operational for Spring.

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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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Located in the Old Town

Grupo Aurrera is Tapas Alley

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Quote of the day

Rain is one thing the British do better than anybody else

Latest Comments

  • Benidorm´s El Cisne rastro

    Geoffrey Parkes 23.07.2017 17:42
    Hi. Can anyone tell me who the guitarist/singe r was on July 20th 2017? He was fantastic.
     
  • Buying medicine in Spain

    Vincent Greene 38 19.07.2017 13:11
    Can you buy librium over the counter in Spain four detox
     
  • Forget the peamen - Fine the punter!

    Irishgirl 17.07.2017 10:51
    The dsrk haired guy in the photo is psrt of the gang. I was robbed just down the road from the Police ...

News Snippets

  • Unusual Kit Kat flavours +

    Nestle are opening a factory in Japan to keep up with demand for exotic flavours of Kit Kat. Around 30 varieties have been introduced there including wasabi, soy sauce, green tea, custard pudding & ginger and sake rice wine. But you'll be coughing up substantially more than you do in the UK - these alternative ones cost around $13!
  • Card fee racket +

    From next January, rip off card fees imposed by many airlines and shops are to be banned - and also include American Express, Apple Pay and Paypal transactions. It will hit local authorities such as DVLA, who charge a £2,50 flat fee to use a credit card, which in 2010 generated an estimated £473 million! Currently Flybe charges 3%, Swinton Insurance 2.5% and Ryanair 2%
  • Parents be warned! +

    Schools across England & Wales will be issuing fines to parents of children who are persistently late for school. This follows on from fines issued for unauthorised absences such as taking holidays during term time. Some have already introduced the scheme, which offer a 50% discount if paid promptly otherwise doubled then prosecution could follow.
  • BA fees +

    British Airways - once dubbed Britain's favourite airline have enraged travelers by following in the footsteps of the low cost carriers. In order to guarantee sitting together, which includes families with children, customers are having to pay for seats - £7 for short and £20 for long haul flights. They have already done away with free refreshments... maybe they are having to claw back the millions it cost when the complete BA system failed recently!
  • McDelivery +

    McDonald's and UberEats have teamed up to trial a home delivery service in London, Nottingham and Leeds. Customers living within one and a half miles of one of the 22 select restaurants will be able to order their Big Mac's and fries between 7am and 2am which will be delivered by Uber drivers via the food app.
  • Rip Off fees +

    Brits using their debit or credit cards abroad are losing around £60 per person for each trip by opting to pay in £ sterling rather than euro's - ALWAYS pay in local currency. Third party currency exchange providers add on between 6-10% per transaction then on top of that, your bank will charge a fee for using their card abroad. Over £20 billion is spent on debit and credit cards and a further £2 billion of foreign currency is bought back each year.
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Upcoming Events

Sat Aug 12 @20:00 -
David Guetta Concert
Sat Aug 12 @23:59 -
Altea La Olla fireworks
Sun Aug 27 @11:00 - 18:00
Costa Blanca Bike Show in Albir
Sat Sep 09 @17:00 -
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