I would guess that more than 1000 people, mostly seniors, from the Nordic countries spend from 2-8 months in Almuñécar every year, enjoying the tropical climate, healthy food, good wine and friendly atmosphere that the town has to offer.
About 700 of these ‘expats’ belong to the Scandinavian associations; Club Nordico with members from Sweden, Finland and Norway, and the Danish-Spanish Club representing the Danes of our town. In these clubs members participate in activities such as Spanish lessons, bridge, bingo, golf, petanca, mountain walks and trips to interesting places, not to mention lectures by experts on different topics, mostly related to Spanish life and culture.
Elderly Scandinavians are known to be fit. Every day you see seniors riding their bikes through town or walking up to the mountains with their Nordic Walking sticks and backpacks.
An elderly Swedish lady once said that some Swedish pensioners come to Spain to seek adventure and excitement in an age when the only trips many other people of their age undertake is to the mail box to fetch their newspaper. In the latest issue of Nya Svenska Magasinet the leading Swedish magazine in Spain, there was an article by Ola Josefsson on a Swedish lady who just celebrated her 100th birthday in Estepona, where she has been living since 1973 from September to June, travelling between her old farmhouse in Sweden and her house in Estepona.
She lives alone in her house with her cat, doing crosswords, painting and swimming in the communal pool. Her neighbours are paying her a daily visit to see that she “still stands on her two feet,” as she puts it. She says travelling is the hardest bit, because it has become much more tiresome nowadays, with all the queuing and controls. When her passport ran out last autumn she had to apply for a new one in her hometown in Sweden. At the police office, they gave her a long look, obviously finding her too old to get a new one. She got her passport after some discussion and now she is “back under the Spanish sun.”
The autumn activities of Los Nordicos are drawing to an end. There is still the Christmas market at Mariote with homemade cakes and Christmas buns (Lussekatter) handicrafts and all kinds of Christmas paraphernalia. The traditional Santa Lucia party will be celebrated at Chinasol on December 13th. The Nordic golfers are also taking a Christmas break.
The last weekly competition was on November 28, followed by a prize-giving dinner on the same evening. Some of the ‘Nordic migratory birds’ are leaving for their home countries to celebrate with family and friends. For those who stay here, there are a lot of activities during the Christmas holidays, such as Christmas markets, church concerts and processions.
At the tourist information in Palacete Najarra you will find the cultural agenda for December, now nicely presented as a colourful leaflet.
I wish the readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.