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 week for Huddersfield Hub.
As you read this, Holy week (Semana Santa) the most celebrated time of year for Spaniards, is almost ending after a two-year break.
With decent weather, thousands turned out to celebrate and commemorate the death of Christ with flamboyant, well-rehearsed processions carrying statues of Mary or Jesus, from churches throughout the country.
Many are accompanied by hooded penitents. For the strong men carrying the effigies is indeed an honour, and are carefully selected within each community.
Besides the Holy Masses and celebrations of the last supper, some areas have a ritual of destroying rag dolls that represent Judas.
Others indulge in sweets and cakes as they watch the precious statues intricately being manoeuvred through church doorways, missing frames by inches.
Near to where we live on the southern coastline of Spain, the one-time sleepy fishing village of La Cala in Mijas, is proving to be one of the richest in the province – according to population (officially registered).
Because there is a surplus in town hall coffers it has this week decided to increase its public spending by €78 million to almost double, confident that income from various sources are stable and a continued influx of residents and tourists will bring in the necessary wealth to the areas which will help fund some of the fascinating ideas in the pipeline here.
The list of new exciting projects such as extending the board walk linking Mijas with Fuengirola, extended leisure, cultural and recreational projects promoting health and wellbeing, and many more that will enhance the lives of those choosing to live here.
Two major projects lead the list. The Great Park, which is still on the drawing board, will offer a massive area of space with lakes, play areas, gardens and walkways. But when will it happen?
READ MORE: Brian writes every week – catch up on his blogs HERE
And opened this week was the first road safety park. Created on waste ground in Las Lagunas, it’s an enclosed park aimed at young people on their bikes, skates and scooters etc who want to learn the basic rules of the road with signs and markings in a safe environment. It cost €730,000 with councillors, public and children giving it a thumbs up.
It’s easy to see that the Easter holidays are upon us as the beaches and sea fronts have got much busier and, along with Spanish folks, there are multi-nationals queueing for ice cream and enjoying the now fresh, tidy beaches. But there is evidence that here, like in the whole of Europe, prices are rising.
Although prices fluctuate weekly, we paid €3.50 (£3) for two litres of milk from Iceland as Lidl had sold out, and €1.77 (£1.49) – the best around, for a litre of diesel midweek. I don’t know how this compares with the UK, but normally it’s cheaper to live here.
In other news:
- There is a shortage of cars to hire as rental firms sold off much of their fleet to stay afloat during pandemic leaving them to struggle with the upcoming demand.
- Malaga port has welcomed 11 huge luxury cruisers this week, bringing in tens of thousands of tourists. Ships include – Norwegian Epic (5,100 passengers), Wind Star and Star Legend, all well filled!
So, as the sun is shining in clear blue skies, people are desperate for the Ukrainian war to end and allow life to get back to something like normal. Hope you enjoy the Easter break.