Viva Almuñécar!

It’s nice to be back in good old Almuñécar. Our club has started its activities with mingling, talks, walks and golf. The event of the month was the inauguration of the Velilla car park. What a show!

There was something for everyone: music, flamenco, sports, activities for children, fireworks and a fantastic cavalcade of colourful people with the giant figures of Ferdinand and Isabella leading the way. The people of Almuñécar and their alcalde certainly know how to arrange a good party.

This year the traditional Fiesta de Europa, the regular get-together for foreign associations, was combined with the Velilla event. I think this was a good idea, although we were informed about it in the last minute. But with some flexibility on the part of the associations, as well as the Town Hall, we managed to set up a fairly good presence. At the stand of the Nordic associations there was no end to the queues for our wafers and meatballs. Statistics say that 1,300 wafers and 600 meatballs were consumed at our stand.

Chatting with the crowd, we had the opportunity to practice our Spanish, which tends to get a bit rusty during the summer in Scandinavia. Especially the verbs are tricky. I use to slip back to the use of the perfect tense instead of applying the whole gamut of complicated forms to choose from.

It felt so good to see that the restaurants and terraces on the Paseo de Velilla were absolutely crowded. The owners got a little compensation for the long, gloomy, inactive period during the works with the car park and the paseo.

Among the most talked about news downtown is the planning of a new 7-star hotel in Marina del Este. Officially, no such classification exists. ‘Six”’ and ‘seven’ star rating is just something some members of the hostelry industry claim for their operation. The fact is that no formal body recognizes any rating over 5-star deluxe, such ratings are meaningless and mostly used for advertising purposes. It is said that the only ‘7-star’ establishments that have successfully managed to get their rating to stick is the Town House Galleria in Milan, the Burj Al Arab in Dubai and the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. ‘Standard’ in these hotels is a personal butler, a Bentley, luxury, plush furniture (I hate plush) golden taps in the bathrooms, private check-in, etc.

Somehow, all this seems a little out-of-place here in rustic Almuñécar with tourists and expats in T-shirts, shorts and sandals going about with walking sticks or backpacks. But this hotel will probably operate during the summer months, when these dwellers are back to their Nordic haunts, and the scene is free for ‘the beautiful people.’

It will take a lot of changes in the infrastructure for such a hotel to fit in, one of them being to continue the Paseo Marítimo from Cotobro to Marina del Este. And at least, one golf course.

Talking of infrastructure, we heard that we have to wait until 2014 for the motorway from Almuñécar to Salobreña due to the lack of funds. Pity, but you can’t have everything, can you?

Marianne Lindahl

Born in Helsinki, Finland, many decades ago and a resident in Almuñécar since 2001. I have a M.Sc in Economics and Business Administration and an Authorized Translator´s exam. Prior to this I studied art in Helsinki and Paris. After a career in business I started painting again, (oil, impressionist with a touch of naivism)and have participated in many exhibitions in Spain and Finland. I am active in Asociacion Hispano-Nordica in Almuñécar, a meeting point for people from Sweden, Norway and Finland. I am married, with 3 children and 9 grandchildren. Hobbies: Cats, golf, trecking, jazz. 

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