Archive for Local News
A couple of months ago I posted about the new speed limit which was coming into effect as from the 7th March 2011. Well, 4 months later and a whole load of dosh spent on new stickers for all motorway signs, the Spanish government has decided to reinstate the old speed limit of 120kph!
As you’ll probably remember, the reason for the original reduction was that it would save energy and money due to the high price of oil at the time. As it stands today, oil prices are pretty much the same as they were 4 months ago and whilst various drivers associations are happy that they’ll be able to shoot down the motorway at 120kph again, there are many who are up in arms about the decision; namely, environmental groups and families of car crash victims.
So what now? Well, for starters, road crews will be busy removing stickers on over 6000 road signs on the eve of July 1st! Apparently, this little exercise will cost the tax payer over 200,000 Euros… but it’s not all bad news; the estimated fuel savings during the past 4 months are estimated at approx. 450 million Euros
So if you’re planning on coming out to Spain on holiday this summer, as from Friday (1st July) you’ll be able to drive at 120 kph on all motorways; just make sure you don’t go over that speed, for the sake of other drivers and the old purse strings (the police are going to be keen to recuperate some of the “supposed” lost income in traffic fines over the past 4 months)
Last month, the Spanish Tourist Board (Turespaña) launched 13 new videos on their Youtube channel.
These impressive videos all form part of the new “Spain Timelapse Series”. They have been produced using a special photographic technique called “Timelapse” which consists in taking photos (they took over 300,000 photos to prepare the 13 videos in the series) at a much lower speed than that of reproduction. This means that when the whole sequence of photos is reproduced, reality seems to have been fast forwarded, creating a video with somewhat peculiar and “different” effects.
I’ve embedded one of the videos below which shows the beautiful area of Andalucia, albeit from a more modern and innovative point of view.
The video showcases the regions cultural attractions, it’s most emblematic cities, the wide choice of hotels and accommodation – from charming rural hotels in the interior to 5 star wonders on the shores of the Mediterranean – and, of course, the wide range of entertainment and services that visitors can enjoy in this wonderful part of Spain.
So, what do you think of the video?
For the first time in history, Benalmadena has received four awards for the quality of its beaches; it is now the municipality with the most Blue Flags on the Costa del Sol!
For those of you who may be unaware of what this means, the Blue Flag is awarded by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). It is voluntary eco-label which is awarded to over 3450 beaches and marinas in 41 countries around the world.
The award of a Blue Flag beach is based on compliance with 32 strict criteria covering the following aspects: Read More→
Every year, this popular event attracts large numbers of local residents, eager to help raise money for this much-needed charity!
Apart from the walking, there were plenty of fun activities organised for all participants: games for children, several large paellas, live music, to name but a few!
I decided to head down to the promenade at 10:30am – just before the first group of walkers set off on their 10 km route – to take some photos. Read More→
Here’s a short video clip we prepared with a collection of photos and short video clips from hte successful Cudeca Walkathon held on Sunday on the promenade in front of Sunset Beach Club.
Mark the date in your calendars: Sunday 15th May, 2011. Once again, Sunset Beach Club will be heavily involved in the sponsorship and organisation of the Cudeca Walkathon, the annual fundraising event which aims to raise funds for the Cancer Care Hospice in Benalmádena.
So what exactly happens at the Walkathon? It’s basically a sponsored walk; you need to get your friends and family to sponsor you for every kilometre you walk (or run!) and then head down to Sunset Beach Club on Sunday the 15th May – sign up starts at 9:30 am – and complete as many laps of the circuits as you can!
There will be 3 different routes or circuits to choose from: 10km for the super fit and sporty; 5km for those who enjoy a good brisk walk; and the 2km walk, specially adapted for children and for disabled participants in wheelchairs.
There is a registration fee for all participants: 10€ for adults if you pre-pay (12€ on the day) and 6€ for children. Obviously, organisers are keen to encourage participants to obtain sponsorship for every kilometre walked; there will be fantastic prizes for the participants who raise the most sponsorship funds! Read More→
If you are walking around Benalmadena this week – especially 24 Hour square or Puerto Marina – you might be forgiven for thinking you are in another country: Portugal to be exact!
Over 3000 portuguese students have chosen Benalmadena for their end-of-term trip; great news for the town as it means the occupation of more than 1500 hotel rooms in 14 different hotels, one of which is Sunset Beach Club!
We’ve only got a small group of 45 students staying with us, and to be honest, we don’t even see them as they are out all day taking part in the fantastic organised activities during the day, and experiencing some Benalmadena night life until early hours of the morning!
The trip has been organised by a Portuguese tour operator (Slide-in Travel) and during the whole week that they are here, there are tons of fun activities for the youngsters – all are aged between 17 and 22 – for example: paintball, games on the beach, go-karting, trips to Tivoli World, Selwo and Isla Mágica in Seville, and a Sunset Boat Party, to name but a few!
Here’s a great video of last year’s trip to Benalmádena: looks like they had fun!
The Spanish Airport strikes planned for the easter and summer holiday periods has been called off; great news for the Spanish tourism industry and for the thousands of holiday makers who had already booked to travel to Spain during this period.
On Thursday 24th March 2011, the airport workers unions held a referendum and voted to call off the strikes which had threatened to cause havoc in airports throughout the country.
The strikes were originally called by the unions due to their concerns about the part-privatisation of Aena, the national airport operator. Airport workers had feared that this privatisation would result in the consequent loss of jobs and deteriorated working conditions.
After weeks of negotiations, on the 16th March 2011, Aena and the Unions reached a pre-agreement in which the unions received guarantees over job security and conditions; Thursdays referendum ratified this agreement as workers voted to call off the planned industrial action (approximately 70% voted to call off the strikes).
A Union spokesman (from the CCOO union) stated the following:
“The ratification of this deal means the cancellation of the call for 22 days of strikes planned on different days between April and August.”
There is no doubt that this is fantastic news for the Spanish tourism industry; we can now focus our attention on profiting from the increase in tourists who have chosen Spain as an alternative to troubled destinations such as Tunisia and Egypt.
We’ve finally got a date for the official opening of the much-awaited Thyssen Museum of Málaga: The 24th March 2011 is the chosen date for the inauguration of Baroness Thyssen’s latest project.
The general public will have to wait one more day – Friday 25th March – in order to be able to enjoy the impressive collection which will be exhibited in the Palacio de Villalón, a XVI century building located in the historical heart of Málaga. This beautiful building has been completely renovated and fitted out for cultural exhibitions – Málaga Town Hall has already invested more than 15 million euros on this ambitious project.
For the first three days of operation, entrance to the museum will be free of charge; a great opportunity for locals and tourists to enjoy fine art at a great price…free!
The museum will have a permanent collection and three temporary exhibitions. The permanent collection is made up of 230 works of art from the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza collection covering Spanish art from the XIX. Visitors will be able to enjoy works of art from painters such as Sorolla, Zurbarán, Zuloaga, Romero de Torresy and Málaga favourites such as Gómes Gil, Moreno Carbonero o Barrón.
The series of three temporary exhibitions programmed for 2011 will start with “From Picasso to Tàpies” and will include pieces from Picasso, Torres-García, Saura and Tàpies. In September the museum will introduce work from Monet with “Monet: The house amongst the roses”. The final instalment of exhibitions will take place in November with “Sorolla in Andalucia”; 80 paintings from the Valencian artist’s repertoire.
Opening times are the following:
Tuesday to Friday – 10am to 10pm
Saturday and Sunday – 10 am to 9pm
Monday – Closed
As from yesterday, the 7th March 2011 (sorry for the late warning!) drivers in Spain have been forced to slow down on the roads as the Spanish Government has reduced the speed limit! This is definitely a good thing – there are way too many loonatics on the road – however, the reason for this reduction has nothing to do with road safety; it’s all about economics!
This new measure is the government’s response to rapidly rising oil prices due to the unrest in Arab countries such as Libya and is one of the principal initiatives to lower the countries energy bill. Until yesterday, the maximum speed on motorways (referred to as autopistas or autovías here) was 120 kph; this has now been lowered to 110 kph.
Road crews working for the transport ministry had a busy night on Sunday, replacing road signs all over the country. Actually, the signs haven’t been replaced, in most cases, large stickers have been placed over the existing signs. Why stickers? Because this measure is only temporary; it will remain in place until the end of June when it will be reviewed.
Also worth noting is the fact that all radar traps around the country (more than 400) have now been re-programmed. Anyone found speeding will be fined 100 Euros if caught driving at speeds of between 111 kph and 140 kph; if you are caught driving at over 140 kph the fine increases to 300 Euros. You have been warned!
Public opinion sways heavily against the measure with many saying that reducing the speed limit will only help to increase government coffers; just think of the speeding fines the Guardia Civil will be issuing. L
But there is some good news….commuters and passengers who use short distance rail services will be able to enjoy a 5% reduction in train fares; the perfect excuse to take a train from Benalmádena to Málaga and make the most of the sights and sounds of the Coast’s capital city!
What do you think? Will these measures have much of an impact on Spain’s energy bill? My experience on the motorway this morning leads me to believe that the answer to that question is a definite, NO!