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Altea's colourful parade

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Monday night was the second of the two parades which celebrated the annual Moors & Christians in the town, the highlight of Altea's fiesta calendar. This fiesta is celebrated in many Spanish towns and cities – but particularly across the Costa Blanca and commemorates the battles, combats and fights between Moors (or Muslims) and Christians during the period known as "Reconquista" - the time from the 8th century through to the 15th century. Hot on the back of Altea’s parades, Benidorm will also be celebrating from Thursday, September 28 until Sunday October 1 -this year marking the towns 28th successive one and the spectacular parade will be taking place this Saturday September 30, starting at 8pm.

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Benidorm's eyesore to be resurrected

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Many of you will have walked down the Avd Europa and passed what can only be described as a concrete monstrosity, surrounded by corrugated metal sheets about half way down towards the main Avd Mediterraneo. This is hopefully not Benidorm’s Sagrada Familia – the still unfinished Gaudi Basilica in Barcelona, which was started in 1882! The 11,000 square metre structure is a blot on the landscape but one that will hopefully at long last be addressed in the coming months. The project is for a cultural centre, which originally included a 1,200 seater auditorium plus second smaller one, museum and parking for 400 cars when it was proposed back in 1996 - with an initial budget of €12 million. However, as with most things, by 2003 this had escalated to an eye watering €48 million.

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Benidorm Pride 2017

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The highlight of Pride Week – the vibrant and colourful parade, took place in Benidorm on Saturday afternoon, with the rain just about holding off... well for the beginning at least! Participants gathered at the Rincon end of the Levante beach, wearing an array of eye catching outfits, along with a number of floats and decorated cars… not forgetting the beautiful horse, with Miss Coco Chanel taking the reigns.

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Hand Luggage changes

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Many holidaymakers, especially those only coming to Benidorm for a long weekend, opt for hand luggage only for speed of disembarkation on arrival. But with limited space in the overhead lockers, tempers are often raised when travelers find no room left. A standard aircraft has space for approximately 90 pieces of hand luggage of the specified size, although no doubt everyone has witnessed passengers with far bigger coming onboard. The subsequent delays in trying to find space often results in time slots being lost and so departures delayed. Ryanair, a favourite for many traveling here to Benidorm via Alicante airport have just announced a new policy, which will come into effect from November 1. Those booked to come over for the Benidorm fiestas and British Fancy Dress Day on Thursday 16 November take note.

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La Vuelta 2017 hits the Costa Blanca

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The 9th stage of the La Vuelta 2017 passed through Benidorm and Alfaz this afternoon, on route to today’s finish in Benitatxell. The 174km leg started off in Orihuela and took in much of the Alicante coastline, although earlier in the week the Mayor of Torrevieja said that the route would not pass through the town as there was insufficient police to guarantee a safe secure passage.
Crowds of supporters lined much of the route, waiting for the cycling packs to whizz past.

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Benidorm's cocktail sellers jailed

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Some will see it as justice and a long overdue – two of the illegal cocktail sellers, or as they say here ‘mojiteros’ have been jailed following last Friday’s confrontation on the Levante promenade. During a routine patrol the local police apprehended one of the touts and a heated exchange took place, which escalated very quickly. Within a matter of minutes over 20 vendors appeared and started throwing punches at the police, who had to use their taser guns to bring them under control. One of the police needed medical attention and three of the vendors were taken to hospital – two of which were released then taken straight into police custody. Yesterday they appeared in court where the judge ordered a father and son to be sent to prison. However, all is not quite as it seems for they were not imprisoned for selling the illegal cocktails but for assaulting the police.

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Sun and Tapas in Benidorm

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Think of Spain and the three S’s instantly spring to mind - Sun, Sea and Sangria! But food wise, certainly in Benidorm you’d be led to believe that it is all typically British fare. But Fish and Chips, Pie and Chips, English fry-up's… the renowned greedy mans breakfast has been well documented here and Sunday roasts are not the only things on offer. Certainly down in the Rincon area, where the majority of British holidaymakers go it may be. When it comes to food, countries are automatically associated with a certain dish: Italy - pasta and pizza; the UK once upon a time it was fish & chips, now it’s more than likely to be curry; Austria – schnitzel; Hungary – goulash; Greece - moussaka and here in Spain, tapas and paella. Now ask anyone for the best place to try tapas and you will undoubtedly hear two words – Tapas Alley.

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Benidorm - 'Feeling hot, hot, hot'!

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Welcome to Benidorm in August, traditionally the month when the Spanish from Madrid also descend on the resort! The golden sandy beaches, along with the fantastic weather are what attract millions here every summer – and this year is no exception. The popular Levante beach, in particular at the Rincon end, is completely ram packed with holidaymakers and multicoloured umbrellas are virtually touching one another on the sand.

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Fireworks in Benidorm

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If there is one thing that they do well here in Benidorm then it has to be the fiestas… and in particular, the terrific firework displays! On Tuesday night it was the fiesta of San Jaime, the patron saint of the town… not that they really need an excuse to party here - celebrated up in the Old Town, in the Plaza de San Jaime. From here you get a breathtaking view of both bays - the Levante and Poniente and it should certainly be on your list of places to visit when here in Benidorm.

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BGT talent scouts in Benidorm

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Yesterday afternoon the first of a number of scheduled auditions took place here in Benidorm, looking for who may be the next potential winner of “Britain’s Got Talent 2018”, which is broadcast on national television! Teams are here in the resort, having arrived on Tuesday afternoon, to record acts to take back to London for the production crew to view.
This year, the nations’ favourite talent show, broadcast on ITV is casting it’s net further afield in its search for talent – and they couldn’t have chosen a better place. Traditionally teams search across the UK but for the very first time ever they have come abroad and Benidorm was chosen, in part due to it’s high concentration of British expats.

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Payback time for false holiday claims

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Great news and not a moment too soon – a Liverpool couple, Julie Lavelle and partner Michael McIntyre who tried to make a fast buck by submitting a false holiday sickness claim for £10,000 have had the case thrown out by a judge. Not only that, but they have to pay the tour operator, Thomas Cook £3,744 compensation within 28 days. What is really intriguing is that the holiday was taken in 2013 and the claim was not submitted until 3 years later. Interestingly, neither made any complaints or notified the hotel or tour operator at the time that they were suffering from sickness, diarrhoea and vomiting, returning to work as per normal the day after they got back.

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Beach safety in Benidorm

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In a bid to promote safety and warn holiday makers of dangers on the beach, which includes the peddlers selling their wears, the town hall are putting up signs along the front. They are also planning on printing 2,000 leaflets to hand out but it is unclear where they will be available or who will be handing them out. I can only imagine they will be at the Tourist Information centres and at hotels. Although the sentiment is there, is anyone actually going to read the sign as the writing is so small you really need to get up fairly close.

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Alcohol restrictions

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Benidorm is a mecca for drink fuelled partying, attracting thousands of Brits every weekend. Sadly, numerous stories of drunken loutish behavior are being reported on a regular basis, of it must be said, a minority, but it is slowly ruining it for everyone. Mallorca is fed up with what they call ‘trash tourism’ and the antics taking place in Magaluf, which is destroying the image of the island. Last week a video was posted onto social media showing British and German thugs fighting on the streets, enraging local businesses and hoteliers. Officials have taken swift action and amended the Tourism Law, restricting how much alcohol can be served on all-inclusive package holidays… I wonder if it’s something that they will look at here in Benidorm?

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Legal cocktails on Levante ?

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The Mayor of Benidorm, Toni Perez is proposing to authorize bars along Levante beach to sell drinks on the beach in an attempt to eradicate the illegal cocktail sellers. Since the beginning of June there have apparently been undercover police posing as holidaymakers in an attempt to catch the perpetrators in the act. But all they do is confiscate the drinks and issue a fine – which in reality both know will not be paid. As tempting as they look - do not buy them - ever. They are prepared in the most dirty unhygenic conditions, on the floor and in doorways.

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Located in the Old Town

Grupo Aurrera is Tapas Alley

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News Snippets

  • Car colours +

    For the first time, Britain’s favourite car colour is black – overtaking white, which was the number one for the last 4 consecutive years. Over half a million black cars were registered in 2017, followed by grey in second position. Bottom of the colour chart was yellow, with just over 10,000
  • Bath tax +

    Bath could become the first UK city to introduce a tourist tax! A proposal has been drafted to charge hotel guests £1 per night - which could potentially generate over £2 million. This would be used to maintain the attraction such as the Roman baths and abbey.
  • Final straw +

    A campaign is gathering momentum to ban single use plastic straws, which can take up to 500 years to decompose. Pub chain Weatherspoons have revealed that they get through 70 million straws in a year! As of today, manufacturers are banned from using plastic microbeads in toiletries such as face scrubs, toothpaste and shower gels and later this year, there will be a ban on their sale.
  • Blue is back! +

    The iconic dark blue British passport is making a comeback and will start being issued from October 2019. The old hard cover blue passports were introduced in 1920 and changed to the current burgundy version in 1988 – eight years after joining the EU following sustained pressure from Brussels. It will still cost the same, £72.50 to renew.
  • Cinema ban lifted +

    Saudi Arabia has lifted a 35 year ban on public cinemsa! All but one of the country's cinemas were shut down in the 1980's as many religious leaders believed Western films encouraged sin. Over the next decade around 300 licenses are expected to be granted, creating many 1000's of jobs.
  • Obesity capital +

    Britain is shamefully at the top of the leader board for obesity in both males and females. The report shows 26.9% of British men are obese compared to an average European rate of 22.9% - the least obese are in Portugal, at 19.8%. Women fare even worse, with 29.2% obese versus Austria at only 16.3%! Failure to exercise and an excessive drinking culture are thought to have contributed to these shocking statistics. Soon the Brits will be taking the crown off America...
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Wed Feb 14 @14:00 - 17:00
Charity Fundraiser at Memories Bar
Sat Mar 03 @09:00 -
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