Category Archives: Local News

Spanish Airport Strikes Called Off!

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Airport Strikes CancelledThe 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.

 

The Thyssen Museum of Málaga Opens its Doors on 25th March

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Thyssen Museum in Malaga

"La Buenaventura" by Julio Romero de Torres - one of the paintings being exhibited in the Museum

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

New Speed Limit in Spain: 110 Kph

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New speed limit in Spain

From 120 Kph to 110 kph...

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!

Jet 2 Announces New Flights from Malaga to Edinburgh

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jet 2 flights from malaga to edinburghGood news for all our Scottish guests: Jet 2 airways have just announced that they will be introducing new direct flights between Malaga and Edinburgh as from the 2nd April 2011.

Initially there will be two weekly flights, one on Wednesday and one on Saturday. I’ve just had a look on their website and they are advertising one way flights from 29.99 pounds including taxes J

This will actually be the 5th route connecting Málaga and the UK as the low cost airline already has regular flights to Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and Blackpool.

Great news for Málaga and the Costa del Sol as it means that we can welcome more tourists from Scotland as well as allowing locals to jump on a direct flight to visit the beautiful city of Edinburgh!

60 Scuba Divers Take Part in the XIII Underwater Ecological Day Celebrated in Benalmadena Port

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Last weekend, 60 scuba divers from two local clubs – the Delfines Scuba Diving Club and the Benalmadena Scuba Diving club – met at Puerto Marina to celebrate the XIII edition of the Underwater Ecological Day.

This is an initiative which takes place yearly, helping to shed awareness amongst the local community on the importance of keeping our underwater ecosystem clean and free of contaminants.

Looking after the environment in Benalmadena - Underwater ecological day

Some of the "Treasures" found in the waters of the Marina

This is how it works: All participants get allocated a specific area of the Marina and have to clean the interior underwater areas of the ports facilities. The objective is to recover and re-float all elements that damage the underwater ecosystem, above all, those that cause contamination, such as boat batteries, mobile phones, etc.

The results? Well, the divers managed to recover approximately two tons of rubbish and residues (see photo): Batteries, supermarket trolleys, a car windscreen, a microwave, various tires, mobile phones and even propellers from boats; these are just some of the “treasures” in the ports waters!

At the end of the event, there were prizes for divers who re-floated the biggest object, the most original, the one that caused most pollution and the most valuable.

No doubt that this is a great initiative which, we hope, will  be repeated all along our Coasts!

British Airways Increases Number of Flights to Malaga

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BA flights to MalagaAs from the 27th March 2011, British Airways will be increasing the number of flights into Malaga airport from two to four a day. All of these extra flights to Malaga will depart from Gatwick airport and the total number of weekly flights to the Costa del Sol’s capital will be 28.

British Airways will be using Boeing 737 or Airbus A319 aircraft for this route; the service will include Club Europe and Euro Traveller cabins catering to both the business traveller and those looking for a cheaper alternative.

This is welcomed news for many travellers who prefer to fly with one of the larger carriers rather than the often – although not always – cheaper alternative of budget airlines. Let’s not forget that British Airways flights include onboard catering, online check in with the option to reserve your seat 24 hours before departure, all free of charge (makes a nice change from all the extra charges on most airlines).

Let’s hope that increase in flights will eventually translate to cheaper air fares for anyone wanting to fly from London to Malaga!

Photo Credit: Kok Vermeulen

The Fuengirola “Feria” – Your Chance to Experience True Spanish Culture

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Feria de Fuengirola

Poster for the Fuengirola Fair

This Wednesday sees the start of the Fuengirola Fair. Lasting a total of 7  days (from the 6th until the 12th October) the fair will be the perfect excuse to take in some traditional Spanish culture – and have some great fun whilst you’re at it –

The fair takes place in the “Recinto Ferial”(Fair Ground) which is situated in the centre of the town and has easy access either by bus or by train.

The Fuengirola fair has a something for everyone: a wide selection of rides for children and adults as well as the traditional “casetas” where you can enjoy a nice glass of wine and a tapa of “jamón Serrano” whilst you listen to typical flamenco music. If you are feeling in the spirit, you may even want to have a go at the “Sevillanas”, the typical dance for these occasions.

These are some of the highlights of the fair that might be interesting:

Saturday de 9th October

  • The Virgen del Rosario Equestrian Show in the main fair ground.
  • Top grade Bullfight with some of the best names; El Cordobés, Francisco Rivera and El Fandi
  • Evening Concert – Lolita (daughter of the famous Lola Flores)

Sunday 10th October

  • Bullfight on Horseback. (If you’ve never seen this before, this is really worth watching)

Monday 11th October

  • Children’s Party with Clowns, face painting and balloons.
  • Special Children’s evening with all fair rides at 50% of normal price (If you have kids, this will save you a fortune!)

If you’d like some more information or would like to buy tickets for the bullfights, just ask at our Leisure Desk and they be able to fill you in on all the details.

Giant Pacific Octopus at Sea Life Aquarium Lays Thousands of Eggs

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Pulpo gigante en Sea Life Benalmadena

No messing with this Fella!

If you have been to the Sea Life Aquarium in Benalmadena Marina, you will have had the chance to meet one of their star attractions: a giant pacific octopus weighing in at an amazing 15 kilograms! I actually took my family a couple of weeks ago and I have to say that this creature is impressive; every time it moved around the tank, water spilled out over the top –that’s how big this thing is!

Anyway, I digress…… Apparently, last weekend, the octopus in question laid thousands of eggs; she’s going to be a busy mum over the next few weeks as she protects the eggs and keeps them oxygenated until they hatch. Once they hatch, the babies which will measure between 3 and 5 millimetres will be kept in quarantine so that keepers at the aquarium can feed them, thereby, increasing survival rates.

Here’s an interesting fact: the giant pacific octopus is the largest of its species; the largest specimen found measured 9 metres and weighed a staggering 272 Kilos! No messing with him! Wow, it’s like something out of a Jules Verne novel.

The octopus is considered a highly intelligent creature with a great capacity for learning; they have been known to take tops off containers, make their way out of man-made labyrinths and, of course, predict football results!!!! J

New Amphibious Chairs for Benalmadena Beaches

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amphibious chair ob benalmadena beach

Amphibious Chair

Many people who suffer mobility difficulties are unable to enjoy what many of us take for granted: a day on the beach and a refreshing swim in the sea.

Thankfully, many towns along the Costa del Sol, Benalmádena included, have gradually been introducing new facilities for elderly people and anyone with mobility difficulties. The highlight of these new facilities are the new Amphibious Chairs (see image above) which are specially designed to allow easy movement through the sand and are able to float in the water.

The Malapesquera Beach near the Marina in Benalmádena is a perfect example of these new services and facilities at work: adapted showers and changing rooms as well as specially designed crutches – for those with a little more mobility – for use on the sand and in the water complete the range of facilities available.

Anyone interested in using the above services just has to head over to the Civil Protection Post (Protección Civil) where volunteers will provide more information.

A great initiative which deserves applause!

“It’s a Celebration” – Kool & the Gang Live in Concert in Marbella

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Kool and the Gang Concert in Marbella

Kool & the Gang

Where? At the Puente Romano Tennis Club in Marbella

When? This Friday the 6th August; doors open at 8pm

The legendary 70’s Band known for their mix of R&B, Disco, Soul and Funky music will get the crowd moving with classic tracks like Celebration, Get Down on It, Ladies Night and Jungle Boogie.

You get the real deal at this concert as the band is made up of all the original members; they’ve been delighting their fans for over 40 years!

So what are you waiting for? Get down to one of the El Corte Inglés centres or online at www.ticketmaster.es and get your tickets before they sell out! Prices start at €30.

Get ready to Boogie the night away!

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