“By the end…it was clear that Spain’s spiritual and cultural isolation was at an end, overwhelmed by the great alien invasion from the North of money and freedoms. Spain became the most visited tourist country in the World, and slowly, as the foreigners poured in, its identity was submerged, its life-style altered more in a single decade than in the previous century.” Norman Lewis – ‘Voices of the Old Sea’.
No golf today but I reverted to my natural tendencies and despite the tightly closed shutters I was awake at my usual early hour. Richard was still fast asleep so I did my best to keep appropriately quiet as I crept about the apartment and made an early cup of tea. Opening the shutters was a challenge but I was successful and I spent a leisurely time on the terrace drinking tea and watching the sun come up and flood the garden with comforting morning rays. There was a blue sky and it was going to be another good day.
Our plan today was to drive to Torrevieja for breakfast and take a look at one of the Costa Blanca hotspots (or perhaps black spots depending on your point of view). We were in no hurry so there was plenty of time for Richard to make his morning estate inspection, clean the apartment right through and take the rubbish to the recycling centre down the road. After he done all of this we finally got away and made our way back to the untidy coast road and drove to our destination.
It has to be said straight away that this is not a place that I will be rushing to for my holidays! There is a long concrete strip overlooked by 1970’s high-rise hotels and apartments and littered with bars with cheap plastic orange furniture and tacky pictures of the food on the menu. I really hate that! I know what bacon and eggs looks like and I know what spaghetti bolognese looks like (or what it should look like) and what I also know is that these pictures bear absolutely no resemblance to what you are likely to get if you are demented enough to order it.
One thing that I did like was the impressive sandcastle artists who had constructed the most amazing displays of castles, dragons and ogres and were diligently carrying out constant running repairs to prevent the things drying out and collapsing back into the sea. Next to them on the beach were the army of ex-pats who must now have little else to do everyday than to find their favourite pitch on the sand and wonder what else to do.
There are an enormous amount of British living in this part of Spain; in Torrevieja alone there are about twelve thousand and this accounts for about thirteen per cent of the entire population. In fact the Spanish themselves are in the minority here at only forty-eight per cent and soon it is estimated that there will be one million Brits living on the Costa Blanca.
That is a lot of space freed up at home for the Eastern European migrant workers who want to come to Britain! The sad thing of course is that they don’t want to seriously integrate and the place is awash with British pubs, British breakfasts and British newspapers and that really is a great shame. In more glorious times the British gave the world great architecture, magnificent civic buildings and culture and now all we have to give is Burger King, Newcastle Brown, fish and chips and England football shirts.
That is just my point of view of course and it is possible to look at it from a different perspective as I was reminded by fellow blogger roughseasinthemed:
“I think you are missing the fact that ex-pats in little England actually do enjoy their view and their way of life in Spain. What’s wrong with sunshine and cheap booze – and cheap fags if you smoke?”
It was a bit late for breakfast by the time that we completed our walk along the seafront and when we eventually selected a restaurant it was practically lunchtime. Luckily this place didn’t have pictures of the food and was semi-traditional place with a heritage going back to the 1950’s so we ordered tapas and beer and sat in the sun and watched the increasing beach activity.