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
There is definitely an air of optimism here on the Costa del Sol, certainly for those hospitality businesses that barely managed to stay afloat.
Live music, an influx of more tourists (some Brits, but a lot of German and Scandinavian) are enjoying top class entertainment, mostly with super food from tapas to lavish banquets.
Although TUI has delayed flights to Spain until next month, EasyJet has established an operations base at Malaga airport creating 100 new jobs and will offer 14 destinations from this popular airport. The company has 12 aircraft based there which generates more than 400 people under local contracts.
This base along with another in Faro, Portugal, it is hoped will ‘explore new markets’, thinks J. Lundgren the company CEO.
We can remember Malaga airport having a wire fence between the main road and its boundary.
Thirty-plus years ago, you could sit outside and sip a last cold beer prior to boarding. It’s a concrete maze now sending you back and forth to find your flight.
One small but vibrant cabaret club/bar is ‘Legends’ in La Cala, near to where we live. The owners spent a huge amount on extending and totally upgrading the premises, only to be shut down for 15 months with the pandemic, just after the last picture was hung.
Now up and running it offers the very best artists and tribute acts in Southern Spain. Owners Paul and Andrea survived by the skin of their teeth but now loyal regulars and guests are well entertained with buffet included.
Anyone daring to surmount the complicated requirements of getting here can certainly look forward to many interesting and diverse activities, like beach bars with live bands daily, water sports, cultural tours of historic Mijas village, golf in abundance and food outlets eager to please including BBQs.
There are several incredible charity events weekly – with all-inclusive, raising much needed money for desperately neglected animals.
Elaine and me often reflect on the early 80s visits here, a bit younger and less sensible. On one occasion when we overstayed at a Sunday beach party, only to make a mad dash to the airport with minutes to spare.
We were last on board and were booed as we headed for our seats. We changed on board, and having dropped the cases upstairs we were straight behind our Angel Pub bar, still with sand between our toes!
It was as big a shock here with Boris’s announcement, putting on hold restriction lifting until July 19th, yet Spain and Portugal do not require holidaymakers to provide negative tests, despite Covid numbers (in Spain) rising very slightly.
Big hold-ups are being experienced at the Gibraltar border with officials checking documents and stamping passports on and off the Rock.
Many Brits who live in Spain but travel in to work are concerned that daily stamping in and out might fill their passports completely! And increased flights are holding up the crossing of the landing strip – the only way in and out of town.
STOP PRESS: Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez announces that no masks need to be worn outside from next Saturday June 26!