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.
The temperatures in Southern Spain have definitely eased off a little with most days quite bearable.
Everyone in this province had been praying for rain – and thunderstorms arrived in recent days. What a relief. The lack of rainfall hasn’t been repeated everywhere in Spain. Madrid, for example, had flooded streets which brought most things to a standstill.
We are aware that in Huddersfield you had an exceptional September heatwave.
The Mijas International Music Festival last week has been hailed once more as a huge success, with 110,000 people attending the well organised event on the outskirts of La Cala.
Headlining the 70 artists were: The Strokes, Florence & The Machine and Arcade Fire. (Do you know any of these? I’m not sure I do!)
Over the three nightly performances, music blasted out on four main stages until 4am, followed by DJs ‘til dawn! (Remember those days?)
The Mayor Josele Gonzalez said: “A superb event with no incidents, and we have already printed tickets for next year – August 29th to 31st. This is a big boost to the local economy.”
The event – the biggest International festival throughout Spain – had a boost when the acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez made a visit.
Estepona is among the first towns on the Costa del Sol to announce a low emissions zone (ZBE). Like any municipality with over 50,000 inhabitants they must, by January 2024, introduce measures to reduce polluting vehicles, according to European regulations.
This form of disc display control is bound to restrict visitors entering the centre but plans are in hand to allow delivery and work vehicles entry.
We know some popular entertainers who are considering swapping vehicles for low emission types, as they will not be able to get to perform at venues in town and city centres.
It has been reported that foreign tourists spent a staggering 14 billion euros in Spain during July, with British being the top spenders.
They averaged over 10 million of the tourists holidaying in mainland, and on the islands of Spain. They spent €1,367 during their stay on an average seven days. Quite a task obtaining these results I think?!
But a surprise rise in unemployment was also reported this summer, mainly due to the thousands on temporary contracts ending in August for workers in hotels, restaurants etc.
READ MORE: Catch up on Brian’s previous blogs HERE
Costa del Sol has definitely helped to elevate Malaga Province as the most popular – with the city itself attracting millions, along with cruisers whose ships have berthed at the beautiful nearby port.
And an all-time record number of visitors came to visit the historic, and quite magnificent cathedral. Many think that Malaga is just an airport town but it’s steeped in cultural history.
This news comes as the city exceeded 300,000 overnight stays according to Spain’s National Institute of Statistics.
And staying within Malaga province, the latest data shows the share of international property purchases is now higher than the Balearics. That’s the first time for a long while.
The house sale market remains buoyant despite a desperate shortage of properties, especially high end villas in the Marbella areas.
There have been an interesting, varied programme of events. Here is a sketch of some of them:
- National Day in Gibraltar Sept 10th (surely affected by irksome extra document checks clogging the border?);
- Torremolinos held two big sporting events – Strongman and sea swimming contests – as part of their San Miguel fair;
- The town also celebrated ‘Asturias’ weekend based on local folklore and cuisine of north-western Spain;
- And Mijas Pueblo held its annual flamboyant procession and feria, with music, dance and traditional costumes as they celebrated ‘Virgen de la Pena – The Patron Saint of Mijas. A free dinner was offered in honour of the elderly.
Finally, we are to get an English-speaking breakfast TV show starting on September 25.