Viva Espagne!

More of a wake up call these days

While Northern Britain was rediscovering its roots as a seafaring nation in the worst flash floods since records began, I was having a weeks holiday heatwave just South of Murcia in the Alicante region, enjoying the high temperatures afforded by the Spanish ‘Plume’ (see previous blog for explanation) A useless fact for you is that in 1986 the World Health Organisation recommended the climate of this area as one of the most equitable in the world. On average it can boast 325 sunny days each year making it an ideal all year round destination. For someone who suffers badly from SAD (seasonal affective disorder) due to our inclement cloudy island, this was a tonic indeed.

Beach business

This is one of the least visited regions of Spain by the package holiday community but is very popular with expatriates living the Spanish dream. Of course the Spanish dream has taken a bit of a nightmarish turn just recently with collapsing property prices and something of an oversupply of villas, flats and apartments which are not exactly selling like hot tapas.

Other interesting towns in the region are Murcia and Oriheula which is one of the most ancient cities in Spain and boasts a slew of those giant ornate churches which are still frequented by no less than nine convents of real live monks. There are still a fair number of lovely ancient buildings from the hey days of the Spanish empire to admire.

The Romans liked their entertainment
Must you insult the customers?

Of course the new buildings can never quite achieve the same grandeur..

One definite plus point of this part of Spain is that it is jolly cheap compared to many European destinations. The Tempranillo grape comes from hereabouts and the very best Vino Tinto is available for less than one English pound a bottle. Someone did say that the only people who would want to live here are alcoholics but I think that’s a little uncharitable.

How cheap is this tasty vintage?
Spanish related stuff

My obsession with markets was also well served by Torrevieja which has massive mad market every Friday selling everything from aubergines to underwear.

Indeed the Spanish food in these parts in the words of the immortal Mr Kipling is exceedingly good. Everything is fresh and tastes so much better than the plastic supermarket fare we have to endure in the UK.

Can you do a ham stand?

When life gives you lemons…

Howay the lads!

Spain may have recently had to have a very BIG bailout from Angela and the Germans in the latest European union crisis but I don’t get the feeling it will go down without a fight. This region was the last stand for the communists in the Spanish Civil war and it may well be a last stand for the Spanish capitalist dream. Spain will always however have the golden currency of sun sea and sand. They make a mean omelette, they are definitely very good at football and know how to name a brand of coffee…

Some people are easily amused