Apparently seven million Spaniards were on the move last weekend, due to the longer ‘Puente’ Holiday and although not all headed towards the sunny Costa Blanca, at least 10% of them found their way to Torrevieja and Benidorm. And if you were looking for different things to do, to visit, to participate in, Torrevieja was certainly the place to be.
On Friday evening the Giants and the Bigheads started their traditional walk through the streets of town followed in Pied Piper fashion by hundreds of children and what seemed like a similar number of mothers pushing prams. At different times of the weekend they made their merry way through the streets, accompanied by music and drums and fireworks. Fortunately, after a frenzied couple of weeks, the final pieces of pavement where in place in front of the Inmaculada Church to welcome the floral offerings from different groups and associations in the community including contingents from the British Services, who laid floral wreaths in front of the church on Saturday evening.
Sunday was one of those days when one really needed to plan ahead and even then, some of the best-laid plans could be scuppered! The morning started early for some with registration for the children’s 900-metre races around the seafront. Unfortunately, the event not only started later than advertised but some children missed out running altogether due to a mix up of ages and times of racing, something that the Sports department need to sort out for next year! Meanwhile, the other end of the seafront was covered in red and white; no, not Manchester United fans but 270 Santas, men, women kids and even a few dogs, who also dressup up for the this special annual occasion, all on a mission to raise funds for the cancer charity AECC by participating in a fun run around the seafront. A few minutes later, back in the Town Square, the Spanish flag was raised for Constitution day. It was now only 11.00 am!
Off to the southern part of town beside the old RENFE station was a display of classic and exotic cars from Club Torrevieja Classics and Specialists Cars who were off on their Christmas Run into the countryside towards Rebate and as they left, a procession carrying a float, dressed in costume from the turn of 19th-century were walking through the streets on the way to Inmaculada to make their offering of flowers. Noon approached and it was back to the town hall where the Big Heads and Giants made another appearance, accompanied by a couple of hundred adults and children who walked through the streets singing and dancing to the music. The Nativity scene was also open for viewing and a attracted a packed crowd to see the interesting mix of Torrevieja and mid-eastern models depicting the birth of Christ.
For some, lunch may have beckoned but back on the seafront in a specially erected marquee, local charitable associations were promoting themselves while over in Aguas Neuvas a Christmas Fayre, complete with Santa, was in full swing. Concerts followed that evening and Monday, the bridge day, saw the dedication of a roundabout to Lions International, a paella completion and to top it all, Torrevieja’s glittering event of the year, the Diego Ramerez Awards.
Tuesday started early for some with Mass at 7.00 am followed by processions through the streets and for those with energy left, a 13-kilometer bike ride around the entire city was held in aid of AFA, the Alzheimer’s charity. In between, there were other entertainments activities for kids, time for the beach in the glorious winter sunshine and even a few moments to enjoy a bite to eat. So much for a relaxing long weekend in Torrevieja!