Former Huddersfield gymnast and pub landlord Brian Hayhurst and his wife Elaine are ex-pats who have lived just outside Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol for 20 years. He writes every fortnight for Huddersfield Hub.
With the weather improving and temperatures ramping up, the beaches are very popular and plans are in place for dozens of celebrations to mark The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
You could say it’s ‘another day in paradise’ for most people who live here or for those enjoying a Springtime break.
That assumes, of course, travellers can get through the turmoil at Manchester, Leeds-Bradford or Birmingham airports, and get through those long queues which have left many stranded!
An interesting/concerning item that has appeared in the press here, is a requirement by the Spanish Ministry of Interior that British tourists and other nationals from outside the Schengen bloc must have proof that they have at least €100 per person per day for their stay in Spain.
We have yet to hear of anyone being stopped and questioned by border officials. But the big question is: How do you prove it?
Do they want to see bank statements, do you show them the bank app on your phone, do you throw open your wallet in a crowded airport? If you can’t or won’t show them the money will you be sent back home? The €100, officials say, represents 10% of the Spanish minimum wage.
With tourist officials and those in the hospitality industry doing all they can to coax Brits back to sunny Spain, there are others, locked away in offices, making up laws and rules which might deter folks from even contemplating a trip here!
Over the years, Elaine and I have always enjoyed the various Fuengirola ferias – joyous and fun-filled events for children and adults.
Last weekend the International Feria took place over six days, the first for two years due to the pandemic. This multi-cultural festival attracted 33 countries offering the biggest crowds ever to sample music, dance and food.
Now when I say crowds, I mean people crammed shoulder to shoulder with mums clinging onto their kids seeking some space.
On arrival near the fairground, we drove around for 40 minutes to find a parking spot – to no avail.
We gave up, drove to an out-of-town shopping mall and got a taxi in.
Each country was allocated a caseta (club houses owned by unions or families) in which each country can perform traditional dance and other cultural events to enthusiastic crowds with food and gallons of drinks served from the bars.
READ MORE: Catch up on Brian’s previous blogs HERE
The British unit was so full we could not get in to see one of the 10 bands performing throughout the event.
We did find a quieter unit where the Turkish dance troupe were exciting a large audience in sweltering heat – with no air conditioning!
Finally, whilst at a sassy restaurant with a group of pals I thought I would try out the latest law passed here in Spain which requires all restaurants and hotels serving food to offer tap water if requested, to reduce the use of plastic bottles.
“Sorry, sir. We don’t serve tap water here!” said the wine waiter who instead offered a very attractive oblong bottle – already opened.
In my next blog on May 28 I am hoping to mention a special Queen’s anniversary event being arranged in Paddock by a group of former Huddersfield customers and friends – our old stomping ground. Rock on ‘Padstock’!