Steve's World Blog Information and articles on cities, towns and villages around the world.

November 30, 2009

L’Escala Costa Brava

Filed under: Costa Brava,History,Spain — Tags: , , — needahand @ 4:45 pm

A smallish but popular coastal resort on the Bay of Roses, L’Escala is one of the many attractive Costa Brava resorts of the Catalonia region of north-eastern Spain. Having a resident population of just over 8,000, L’Escala has an ancient fishing port surrounded by the narrow streets of its old delightful old town. A historic area, the neighbouring Empuries (St Marti d’Empuries) boasts one of the oldest Greek settlements in Spain, also featuring later Roman parts giving evidence of their time on the Iberian Peninsular. Especially important for fishing and the salting of fish, L’Escala is well known for its anchovies and its sardines, and a number of its many fiestas are dedicated to this industry. As a tourist resort L’Escala has two distinct areas, the old town (favoured by Spanish tourists) and the newer area of Riells (favoured by International tourists). The town has a decent range of amenities and a couple of small beaches near the old town and a larger ‘blue flag’ beach in the Riells district. For nature lovers and culture seekers there are plenty of places to visit and for sports enthusiasts there is a wide choice of facilities. L’Escala Map.

November 29, 2009

Still Need Car Hire at Murcia Airport

Filed under: Costa Calida,Spain,Travel — Tags: , , , , — needahand @ 9:42 am

Visitors finding it a little strange when arriving at Murcia airport and noting that the airport is actually a long way from Murcia itself, will be pleased to know that there is now a new Murcia airport being built at Corovera in the Sierra de Carrascoy, however they may not be so pleased when they realise that this airport is also going to be at least a 20 minute drive from the city itself. Of course the vast majority of arrivals at Murcia (San Javier) airport are actually heading for the coastal resorts of the northern Costa Calida and southern Costa Blanca, so San Javier, site of the existing Murcia airport, is actually better placed than the new airport for these visitors. Plans for the airport were first discussed in 2005 and despite objections to the construction, work has continued, and the new airport is due to be completed in 2010 at a cost of 266 million euros. Whether you are arriving at the existing airport or the new one when it opens, you will probably need to book car hire to get you to your resort and then around the area to make the most of your stay, other options include taxis, or a pre-booked airport transfer, in both cases once you arrive at your resort you will be somewhat confined to that immediate area if you have not booked a car hire vehicle, so you had better check that your destination accommodation is within easy reach of local facilities and beaches or you could be in for a long walk.

November 27, 2009

Llafranc Costa Brava

Filed under: Costa Brava,Holidays,Spain — needahand @ 10:38 am

A charming and unspoilt resort on the Costa Brava coastline, Llafranc has long been the destination of the rich and famous along with well-heeled families from Girona and Barcelona. Visited by such names as Margaret Thatcher, Elizabeth Taylor and Salvador Dali, this beautiful resort situated in a picturesque crescent shaped bay should be at the top of your holiday list for trips to the Costa Brava and Costa del Maresme. Private luxury villas dot pine clad hills around the bay and the white-walled houses of the old town look down on the beach, promenade and harbour filled with pretty yachts. The beach is golden and sandy and one of the main attractions of this resort, Llafranc and the surrounding coastline is renowned for its diving and three diving schools operate from the town. There is also a big tennis club with 24 courts, and three golf courses nearby, for golfers to get their weekly fix. A decent range of hotels includes the Casamar Llafranc Hotel and the Terramar Hotel plus some privately rented apartments and villas. Just 40 kilometres from Girona and its airport Llafranc is relatively easy to access and obtaining car hire for your stay is recommended to get the most from your trip. The area benefits from a wonderful climate and Llafranc weather is ideal for summer holidays between June and October, golfers may prefer the cooler months and divers may wish to avoid the summer crowds. The stuff of dreams Llafranc is a perfect holiday destination. Llafranc Map.

November 25, 2009

Sagunt Costa del Azahar

Filed under: Costa del Azahar,History,Spain — Tags: , , — needahand @ 10:41 am

An important ancient city in the Comunitat de Valencia, Spain, Sagunt (Sagunto) is located in the fertile region of Camp de Morvedre. Built on a raised hill site approximately 25 kilometres north of the city of Valencia, Sagunt was founded as a fortified settlement by the ancient Iberians (early Spanish peoples) in the fifth century BC, some of the original settlement remains, notably limestone slabs from the Temple of Diana. The year 219 BC is the most notable for Sagunt, as it was then that Hannibal and his Carthaginian troops put the town under a siege which lasted some months and ended with the town being severely damaged and its people put to death. This directly led to the Second Punic War between Rome and Carthage, leading to the defeat of the Carthaginians and the occupation of Spain by the Romans. Sagunt is located on the Costa del Azahar and can be reached via the A-7 motorway or from the A-23. Map of Sagunt.

November 24, 2009

Club de Golf Costa Brava

Filed under: Costa Brava,Spain — Tags: , , , — needahand @ 6:30 pm

If you are visiting the Catalonia region of Spain this year, and are looking to play golf, be sure to take time out to try the Club de Golf Costa Brava course located a little inland from the coastline near to the small town of Santa Cristina d’Aro. This fine 18 hole golf course is set amongst stunning scenery, and offers a great challenge to golfers of all abilities. Established in 1968 the course has a technical first nine followed by a more relaxed second nine. Places to visit nearby include Santa Cristina D’Aro and the historic coastal town of Sant Feliu de Guixols.

Who Would Have Cosmetic Surgery?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — needahand @ 9:05 am

As there has been quite a bit in the news lately about women, these days, being less happy with the way that they look, than they used to be. The obsession with looking good, promoted by magazines, newspapers, TV and other forms of media creates this vacuum in which women (and in many cases men) seem to think that they are some way inferior. I have experienced this myself, not because I feel this way particularly but because a couple of years ago my wife Gill had a facelift and it was hard to understand exactly why. I have to say that afterwards she was very happy with the results although now you would be hard pressed to spot any difference although familiarity makes it hard to judge. People seeing her now, who have not seen her for a while, say she looks good (younger or whatever), and for her, it reinforces the idea that she has done the right thing, though from a personal point of view I do not understand why anyone would want to put themselves through cosmetic surgery, or for that matter, any kind of surgery, without actually having to (ie a necessary operation), but then I guess if you can afford it and you want it done – why not? For anyone who is interested in what a facelift involves, you can read Gill’s own story on her little website that she did (Cosmetic Surgery), you can also see before and after pictures and judge for yourself, although it has to be said that the afterwards pictures were taken some time ago and the effects of the surgery have perhaps worn off a little more now.

November 22, 2009

Hiring a Car at Alicante Airport

Filed under: Costa Blanca,Spain — Tags: , , , , — needahand @ 11:01 am

It was very noticeable that during the summer past it was very difficult to obtain car hire in the Alicante and Costa Blanca regions. Here in Cabo Roig we had lots more enquiries for car hire than we have ever received before and it seems that the major car hire companies set aside many less cars this year than in previous years due to the recession, and demand outstripped availability making it almost impossible to book car hire in the area after about April time. It would therefore seem advisable, if you are travelling to the area next summer, to book your car early to avoid disappointment and the get the exact car that you require, rather than just opting for whatever is available. The vast majority of visitors to the area arrive at Alicante airport, so the best , and it seems cheapest option is to book an Alicante airport car hire, rather than booking one at your resort destination. Many visitors are somewhat reluctant to jump straight in at the airport, but in the long run this will prove to be the best option and you should not be put off as the roads in this part of Spain are excellent and signposting generally better than in the UK. Bon voyage. To help with your journey, you can find a handy Alicante airport map here: Alicante Airport Map.

November 20, 2009

Carmona Andalucia

Filed under: Spain,Travel — Tags: , , — needahand @ 3:48 pm
Seville Gate Carmona

Seville Gate Carmona

A historic town in south-western Spain, Carmona is situated in the Seville province of Andalucia and has a population of around 27,000. Gathered around a ridge overlooking Andalucia’s central plain, Carmona has a history stretching back to the times of the ancient Romans, and the remains of a Roman necropolis just outside the town are among its great tourist attractions today. Carmona was an important city around the time of Julius Ceasar, and continued to be important after the arrival of the Moors in Spain. The Moors built fortified walls around the town and built palaces and fountains within its walls. Arab control of Carmona ended in 1247 after Ferdinand III of Castille invaded and took the city back for the Christians. Modern day Carmona is a popular tourist destination with good road and bus links with the city of Seville, around 40km to the west. Carmona Map.

Watford Hertfordshire

Filed under: England,History,United Kingdom — Tags: , — needahand @ 1:25 pm

First mentioned in Anglo Saxon chronicles of 1007, the town of Watford, in Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, was never listed in the Domesday Book, and remained a small rural community ruled by a succession of feudal lords for many centuries, becoming a market town during the 18th century. The Industrial Revolution of the late 18th and 19th centuries brought industry to the town, accelerated by the arrival of both the Grand Union Canal and the railway. As the factories and mills fell into ruin and disappeared, Watford became an important commercial centre for the Home Counties. Watford these days has a population of just under 80,000 and is well known for its football club Watford FC, and its chairman musician Elton John who grew up in the area. Watford Map.

November 19, 2009

Majorca Resorts Puerto Pollensa

Filed under: Balearic Islands,Holidays,Spain — Tags: , , — needahand @ 7:07 pm

Located on a beautiful bay some 4 miles to the east of Pollensa, the resort of Puerto Pollensa is one of the most popular on the island of Majorca. Situated on Majorca’s north-east coast, Puerto Pollensa attracts families and those seeking a more laid back holiday. The resort boasts a pretty harbour, a fantastic climate and a fine gently sloping, sandy beach, it has plenty of hotels and holiday rental accommodation and a lively, but not frantic, nightlife scene. If you are looking for all night clubs and raves, then look elsewhere in Majorca. Places to visit in the area include the historic town of Pollensa (Pollença) itself, the 330 metre Puig de Maria, and its 17th century hermitage.

November 18, 2009

Bradford West Yorkshire

Filed under: England,History,United Kingdom — Tags: , , — needahand @ 6:19 pm

A large city located in West Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom, Bradford has a population of around half a million, making it one of the biggest metropolitan boroughs in the country. Situated in the foothills of the Pennines, Bradford was listed as “Bradeford” in the Domesday Book (1086), originally settled during Saxon times, Bradford later grew in prosperity around the wool trade, this increased rapidly during the Industrial Revolution, when it became known as “the wool capital of the world”. Bradford became a municipal borough in the mid-nineteenth century and gained city status in 1897. The wool industry declined during the 20th century and the city experienced considerable immigration during the second half of the century making it a diverse and vibrant community. Worth visiting in Bradford are the National Media Museum, Saltaire (an example of a Victorian village and a World Heritage Site) and Cartwright Hall.

See a map of Bradford here:

And the latest weather in Bradford here:

El Mojon Costa Blanca

Filed under: Costa Blanca,Costa Calida,Spain — Tags: , , — needahand @ 3:39 pm
El Mojon Beach

El Mojon Beach

A small coastal resort located near to Pilar de la Horadada on the southern Costa Blanca, El Mojon is right on the border between the regions of Valencia and Murcia in fact some of the homes come under the control of one region, whilst other come under the auspices of the other. Situated beside the Salinas y Arenales de San Pedro del Pinatar (Natural Park of the Salt Lagoons), its development threatens this protected area. El Mojon has excellent beaches and its small population of around 600, increases many fold during the summer months, when many visitors arrive to enjoy the climate, beaches and sea. Quite a bit of property development has taken place in the area and many have chosen to settle in El Mojon or buy holiday homes there.

Llanes Asturias

Filed under: Spain — Tags: , — needahand @ 11:52 am

Formerly a significant fishing port and these days one of the most popular coastal resorts in the Asturias region of northern Spain, Llanes is a charming little town with some delightful tapas bars and seafood restaurants. It has the reputation of being one of the most dangerous ports in the north of Spain, as many ships were lost off this coast over the centuries, you can check out the maritime history of the town at the interesting Maritime Exhibition Centre. Be sure to visit the ‘Old Quarter’ of Llanes, here you will find the old town wall, the tower and the church dedicated to Mary Magdalene. In the fishing harbour, you can still watch fishing craft arriving with their daily catch, as this is still a working port. Map of Llanes.

November 17, 2009

Santiago de Compostela Galicia

Filed under: Spain,Travel — Tags: , — needahand @ 12:31 pm

One of the world’s Holy Cities, Santiago de Compostela, located in Spain’s Galicia region is a great city to visit, has some interesting historic buildings, and has a wonderful story to tell. Supposedly the burial place of St James the Apostle in AD44, it became a place of pilgrimage after the rediscovery of his remains by a religious hermit in the 9th century. The original Basilica built by Alfonso II, was replaced by the present cathedral during the 11th to 13th centuries. The cathedral and most of the historic buildings are gathered around the Praza do Obradoiro, and this is a good place to start a visit to the city. Other interesting places to visit in Santiago de Compostela include the Pazo de Raxoi, the Casa do Cabildo and the Museo da Catedral. The climate of the city is mixed, with the weather generally sunny and warm during the summer, but very rainy during the winter, with 1,900mm of rain annually it is one of Europe’s rainiest cities, the Galicia region is in fact one of the greenest in Spain.

November 16, 2009

Playa de las Americas Tenerife

Filed under: Canary Islands,Holidays,Spain — Tags: , , — needahand @ 3:17 pm

A built for tourism resort in the south of Tenerife, Playa de las Americas is one of the major holiday destinations in the Spanish Canary Islands. Especially popular for winter breaks, Playa de las Americas caters for family holidays and is particularly attractive to the younger set, having a great selection of pubs, bars and clubs. Noisier and more crowded than nearby Los Cristianos, Playa de las Americas may not suit everyone, and if you’re looking for something typically Spanish, head elsewhere, because in this resort you’re more likely to find an English pub! The night-time is when it all happens in Playa de las Americas, with more bars and clubs than you can wave a stick at, the best places to head are the Starco Centre and Veronica’s Strip. When you wake up with a hangover in the morning, you will probably want to head for the beach, and Playa de las Americas beach will not disappoint, being composed of fine golden sand imported from Africa. With kids in tow, you will likely want to visit the water park, a free bus is generally available to take you there. The fabulous weather in Playa de las Americas is, of course, one of the biggest draws for holidaymakers, and is pretty reliable all year round, expect pleasant sunny days right through the year, the best time to visit is during the English winter time, when the temperature is not too hot. Playa de las Americas is located just of the TF-1 motorway, to the west of Tenerife South airport.

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