As a lot of you guys know i do what I can do promote Málaga as much as possible. Not just because I live here but because Málaga has so much to offer these days.
In Calle Larios they are celebrating right now 50 years of Spain and Málaga´s most popular lager - San Miguel.
So much has changed since the beer came out. Tourism boomed, people bought houses all over Andalucia, then things went quiet and the recession hit us all. But tourism in Spain thrived again and this summer the province of Málaga was one of the most visited.
With me being on my hols from my full time job and yesterday organising my first proper meet for SpainLINKED, bringing together some of the nicest people I have met in my life and feeling proud of what I had achieved - I have more time to go what i called them - Walkabouts.
I am a big fan of taking photographs as well as some of you may know from our chats on Facebook or from you reading my older blogs. Photography is a passion of mine and although i do not posess a proper camera I do have that handy device called a smartphone.
I love to document as much as possible and have lately uploaded more photos and videos to Instagram also, as well as Facebook and Twitter. You could say everything that i do, or
put on my website SpainLINKED for other people gets posted vigourously. Yes i am a post freak!!
I believe in continuous contact with people and in keeping SpainLINKED updated as much as possible.
Anyway back to the theme of the blog. The Future of Málaga is bright. There are so many projects and extensions of projects going on around the city it's pretty amazing.
First of all is the next stage of the Metro, Málagas Underground system that has been running for a while now and is being extended further into the city centre and other urban areas.
Some of it will overground via tranvia - tram - and underground of course.
The stretch of line going past El Corte Inglés going on towards the Avenida Alameda is changing the landscape quite dramatically.
Half of the bridge has now been chipped away very carefully and slowly and now only half of it is left. I will be no doubt updating people with photos in another blog as the work progresses
as well as the other two projects I will mention here but see for yourself in the photos I took - and if you know the bridge and what it was like before - what a huge change has been done.
From another smaller bridge further towards the football stadium - La Rosaleda you can see just below the Ibis hotel an underground pass for cars that has been cut off, from the photo
of that it looks like a scene from The Walking Dead!
The second project is a larger big wheel than the Mirador Princess that came to a halt to move onto another city that they are going to build in Málaga´s port. The Mirador Princess
which I had the pleasure of going on is 70 metres tall. The new Ferris wheel be 100m, taller even still and reached via the ferry terminal roof opposite where the Mirador Princess still stands.
The name of the new wheel will be Estrella de Alborán - Star of the Alboran Sea. The company involved in the new wheel is the same as the present one - Mederyt.
Estimated costs to build the wheel and improve the general area is 40 million euros. A meeting held place at the end of July to discuss the idea and costs and for now it seems
that the project has a political go ahead.
FFinally the third project is believe it or not, bigger even still. 35 metres taller to be exact. A project that could create around 1,300 jobs during construction and when completed a further 350 when the project opens.
The Qatari group are bringing hopefully if all goes well an exciting set up on the furthest side of the port, past the lighthouse and near the Maritime Station where the big cruisers go from.
A new skyscraper hotel, 135 metres tall with a casino and shopping area. It will house a restaurant, auditorium, 280 standard rooms, 20 superior rooms,
24 standard suites, 16 superior suites, 12 royal suites, spa and gym. 35 floors in total. The developers feel confident that all permissions with be granted midpoint of next year. Work could begin at the end of 2017 or beginning of 2018. Construction is expected to last around two and a half years giving a opening date during the year 2020.
To spend a night there though wouldn't be for the people
that come to Andalucia with a rucksack on their back or an average couple or family.
A night at the hotel could cost you between 300 and 600€ a night. So time to save up and treat yourself guys!!
Gallery - Photos by Alistair Watts - Artist impressions above courtesy of Sur in English
Music moves you!! It can be one of the most important things in your life. Without music what would we do? Being myself a lover of music of various types I admire the way DJs project music to a room full of people, urging them to feel the sounds and lose yourself.
Recently i found someone with lots of talent while cruising through Facebook.
Isabela Clerc is a DJ from Seville, and she LOVES electronic music. She chooses the best music in all her sets, focusing on groove and elegant rhythms and mixes with the greatest technique.
She plays deep house, deep tech, tech house and her eternal passion… Techno!! Very powerful deeptech/techno sessions, progressives, with great harmony and her own style. Her sets explode with a great variety of rhythms that will make you dance and enjoy the music
In the summer 2014 she went to Ibiza and plays in clubs such as Veto Social Club, Aperture, Dharma, Shooters, Dunes, La Boutique, Hotel Es Vivé, Las Libertinas, Keeper,La Virgen,etc.
In November 2014 she was hired by the Promotora & agency Non Stop Music, We Project Booking (Barcelona) Minotaur-Minotaur Music Production (Greece).
She takes part in several festivals, such us "Ojeando"
Circus Nation 2015, Electronic City Festival,Coocon..In september she has her first EP Orapronobis with Audio Stuff Recordings
She began her career in the electronic scene in the best clubs in Marbella and in the Costa del Sol,
and her first residence was in Oh Yoko Marbella.
In 2014 she started her tour in the most important clubs and discos of Andalucía: Sala Wow, Industrial Copera,
Granero, etc (Granada), Sala Metrópolis (Cordoba), Discoteca Kiu, Metrica Club, Oh Yoko! etc (Malaga), Jerez, Jaén,
Dasava(Álmeria) Madrid, Asturias, Zaragoza, Segovia, Gran Canarias, Breisah (Germany) etc.
She worked with Deeplomatic y Heathroom records and she shared cabin with internacionals y nationals like: Sven Váth , Christian Burkhard, Markus Fix ,Carola Pisaturo, Fernanda Martins,Paula Cazenave, Daniela Haverbeck, 2Manydj´s,
Ilario Alicante, Detroit Techno Militia, Black Sound Empire, Wally Lopez, Ken Ishii, Gaetano Parisio, Rebekah,
Alex Under, Raúl Mezcolanza, Stevec, Horacio Cruz, Cristian Varela,James Zabiela, Uner, Mendo, Deborah de Luca,
Art Department, Nakadia... and with many sets and joint cooperations in national and international radios such as
BeachGrooves, Flying Proyect, S.M.E I remove, Cuebase.fm.d, Project Skims off Granada, Electronic Music Zone Carries
to extremes Venezuela, Zone Tech Granada, Planet X techno travel Paris, Seagrooves, Zawe Radio, Tempo Radio(Mexico) KsensationsLive Sesion Venezuela.
Info and editing for Isabela Clerc´s blog by Alistair Watts
More Videos of Isabela Clerc
If you are interested in contracting the amazing Isabela Clerc then you can either contact us here at SpainLINKED or email email@example.com
Ok maybe I made the mistake of trying to do a meet on a Tuesday morning when most people are working?
That´s fine and it's all part of the process of trying to setup events for my website SpainLINKED.
It was going to be a walkabout where people could discuss what they liked and above all it was going to be fun!!
Some people said it as a bit far but there are all kinds of transport going into Málaga at intervals of 20 to 30 minutes and there is an great bus service too.
One comment that did molest me quite a bit is that "Lots of people don´t like Málaga".
Ok maybe it's not everybody's cup of tea but a lot of people haven't even visited Málaga PROPERLY. They have maybe gone into the shopping areas - El Corté Ingles, Vialia,
Málaga Plaza, Larios Centro etc and just gone to have a look at the shops.
I could not praise Málaga enough, I feel like Antonio Banderas - I may not look anything like him though - talking about how wonderful his city is. Because I have to say
and as scary as it sounds I have spent more years of my life living in Spain and almost have of those years in Málaga city.
I enjoy so much doing a circuit of Málaga - that I was hoping to share with people and will not give up on trying to do a meet at Málaga again in the future - each street
and square has so much character and within those streets, especially Calle Larios there as I have told you before in a recent blog that there are many musicians and various acts -
human statues, comedy acts, acrobats and the one I like so much and is so very well done is a guy i´ve seen doing one of the BEST Jack Sparrow impressions!!
It's all there, the costume is SPOT ON, the makeup is uncanny and the guy is about the same height as Johnny Depp and as a huge fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean films
it just makes you stop and stare and take it all in. The guy is South American going by his accent, it's all done in spanish, but then again he doesn't talk much.
It's the whole act itself - the walk, the mannerisms, the hand movements and the whole thing put together - as you can see for yourself it's uncanny!
I had to go over, put a coin in his box and shake his hand and say to him in spanish "Very well done mate!! Muy bien hecho - Amazing!! De puta madre"
It's that time of year again!! It's August, it's the 15th and yesterday i took off into Málaga centre again for the Málaga Fair with the family.
The good thing is that everything is walking distance for me and when you're tired or had a few Cartojals - the sweet white wine that you typically drink at Málaga fair as well as of course a few beers to start with - but if you do try this guys then be careful not to mix
the both of them too much.
If you do that you'll have a rather sore head the next day!!
I got to the Plaza de Constitución maybe around half past 12 - midday and it was pretty quiet. A few people were just coming into the square
- the San Miguel tent was setup with its attractive young females behind the bar but there wasn't any music playing yet, so I decided to move on towards La Plaza de la Merced and purchase a large bottle of Cartojal and no it wasn't just for me!!
So as we approached the square we heard the sound of beating drums, there stalls selling crafts and other items such as clothes and souvenirs.
A guy I had seen before was sitting at a wheel - a car wheel - spinning it around and making little plates where he wrote your name on it and gave it to you for free. Obviously the idea was to give him a couple of coins, a great idea to make a bit of money.
So we heard the drums start up again and a crowd formed to watch a group of young people playing the drums.
As you can see in the video they were pretty amazing, with great rhythm and full of energy.
Time to move on and see what else was happening, the city was getting busier by the minute now. We carried on walking now to Calle Granada and into Plaza Carbón, hear we heard a band start up, pretty full setup with a volume which was just right for this little square.
The band played while we were there 2 songs before taking a break, they had obviously been playing there already for an hour or so.
The name of the band, a cover band is called funfiction and we heard their version of Bob Marley's - Everything's gonna be alright.
As you can see in the video below they are damn good!! Apologies for the audio, not best quality.
Erm and yeah that's me singing in the background...
Next, a change of tempo and they started up with Michael Jackson's - Billie Jean, a fantastic cover of a popular song. The guys certainly got the people singing and dancing to this one, including me. Also checkout Mr Balloon man!!
As funfiction rested, you could see the fair was livening up in the streets of Málaga, groups of people played their own music. A bunch of men were stood on tiny balconies above a bar just a few metres from where the lads were playing and the drink was going down well and the people were having a great time without being a nuisance to anyone else.
Later on after eating we journeyed back along from La Malagueta, through Muelle Uno and back to the Plaza Carbón to see what was going on and the streets
we so packed that you could hardly move. Things were getting pretty crazy!
And I was trying to fill an empty bottle from an empty barrel..... Doh!!
The city of Málaga is becoming more and more popular with tourists both coming in to the airport and by sea landing in Málaga´s port.
I am Alistair Watts, the owner of the website SpainLINKED and I have lived in Spain 26 years now, 15 or more of them in Málaga itself.
Each year the town hall of Málaga come up with new, exciting ideas to attract more and more visitors.
We have seen the amount of museums grow, Muelle Uno - which is the restaurant/shop area of the port become something spectacular, guided tours of some of Málaga´s most
important landmarks such as the Catedral - where now you can visit the top part of the famous tower - La Bodega, not forgetting the Mirador Princess, Europe´s largest
itinerant 70 metre ferris wheel which I had the pleasure of going on last month - which will later be taken over by one 30 metres bigger.
The great thing about when you walk around the many streets of the city is that you have plenty of beaches to sit on to rest. When i walk around Málaga i like to change my route slightly,
although I always like to pass the same areas.
I start from where I live which is very close to the Plaza Bailen (Bailen square where there is an indoor market) and work myself down to Calle Pelayo towards where El Corte Ingles is or
head towards a hotel called Málaga Centro, Calle Marmoles (Marmoles Street) which used to be a big shopping centre - Almacenes Merida.
Then i cross the river, a mainly dry river but with character where people play on skateboards and play ball games.
After that i would go right along sometimes to the Cathedral area, Roman Theatre or towards Calle Larios, the pedestrianised street which now has large coverings, shading the whole area making it more pleasant.
It's Calle Larios where you can find a range of different performers from live statues, acrobats the odd times but above all musicians.
I don't think there has ever been a time when I haven't seen anyone playing music or singing. From classical to rock you can see sometimes and as you wander further into Málaga every now and then you will see more and more street music, many stop - like me - for a good amount of time and relax and forget about everything and just take the melodies in.
The first video here is of a duo that I filmed with my smartphone and although the audio is pretty bad you can see the talent they have. The mix of acoustic guitar and the
amazing vocals of the female singer. I had seen them before but I wanted to stay longer this time, I think it was almost 20 minutes and after that time I thought I would go over there and ask who they were and congratulated them. They said they were playing in a local bar that weekend and if you want to check out more about the singer, Argentina was her homeland you will find her at: https://www.facebook.com/ro.philippens
Days before I was passing by the Roman Theatre which is located next to the Gibralfaro ( Gibralfaro you can walk too if you like steep hills) on my way to the Plaza de la Merced - a lovely square near Picasso's
birthplace where they is a statue of him sitting on a bench. I heard some pretty funky music going on that made me stop in my tracks too.
I took in this guy playing the guitar which was very good indeed but what really caught my eye was a mate of his doing his Mr Bean dance - well that's what it reminded me ok anyway - so that i HAD to record!!
Photos and Videos by Alistair Watts
Right now you might be thinking the same as me many many years ago “sitting can't be bad, what a BS!”, but then I got all the symptoms, even had sciatica. But no more.
“Sitting is so incredibly prevalent that we don’t even question how much we’re doing it. And because everyone else is doing it, it doesn’t even occur to us that it’s not OK.” – Nilofer Merchant at TED 2013
Prolonged sitting has been linked with obesity, weak muscles, abnormal cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, bad posture, cutting off blood flow, cardiovascular disease, back pain, tight muscles and excess body fat around the waist.
Where do we sit too long?
How to fix it?
How to break it up?
I've changed my job long time ago, but I still suffer from the ramification of sitting for many years. Now when I do need to work behind the computer I break up the time, also the position from sitting to laying and standing.
If you have kids, you owe it to them to create a schedule that breaks up their time sitting behind the computer. Don't stop with a schedule, start working out with them, motivate them to do better, to do more away from the computer. And most importantly, talk with them about the ramifications of sitting to long, if they don't understand it, they won't respect the schedule.
We run group fitness sessions each week from Fuengirola to Marbella, join us here https://www.facebook.com/groups/boot.camp.spain/ and we're also available for personal training.
Ask your questions for free on our facebook https://www.facebook.com/personal.trainers.costa.del.sol/
Our bodies are designed to be mobile, not sedentary – use it or lose it!
Sitting expands almost no energy.
Check out my beginners squat video, I created this for one of my online training clients (http://weightloss.community/members/anvigreen/), but it's great for anyone to start with
From there you can progress to the squat
And then the king of squats, the pistol squat
Trying to unpick what makes the circumnavigation of the humble roundabout in Spain such an event.
Roundabouts are a relatively new concept in Spain. They have been around for “only” 20 or 30 years so I guess it’s understandable that some older drivers might still struggle to navigate them. But no, it seems the humble roundabout defies even the youngest or most experienced drivers in Spain.
I don’t want to be seen as a grumbling Brit abroad and I know we’ve had roundabouts in the UK for many decades but whilst living in Spain for 15 years I have never ceased to be amazed how many toots, bumps, prangs and waved arms I have witnessed at virtually every roundabout I've had the dubious pleasure to circumnavigate.
My ex Business partner, a 40 something Spanish Lawyer with over 20 years driving experience, simply doesn’t understand roundabouts. When he is on the inside lane and wants to take the next exit, he doesn’t see the problem with simply cutting across the front of any driver in his path so he can take his exit. Of course, any incident that occurs is always the other party’s fault.
Conversely, when he is on the outside lane and he is going all the way round to the last exit, he can’t see that he is blocking the exit of anybody trying to move from the inside lane to the outside lane to take the exit they need. Of course, any incident that occurs is always the other party’s fault.
In both cases we get the same result. Horns tooted, brakes stamped on, crash stops, arms waved and – quite often – a dented panel or two!
I’ve looked into the reasons for this and it seems I am wrong. In fact, the official, correct way to navigate a roundabout in Spain is for everybody to use the outside lane at all times.
On reflection, this seems to make perfect sense. Using this method everybody follows each other around in a nice line and when you reach your exit, you simply leave the roundabout.
In fact, unlike driving the UK, you should never use the inside lane at all.
This does beg one question though.
If you can never use the inside lane on Spanish roundabouts, WHY ARE THERE INSIDE LANES ON SPANISH ROUNDABOUTS!!??
CEO Arrow Cars SL
I live in the 'Altiplano de Granada' region of Andalucia, an area of real contrasts. There is a huge and mainly deserted plain in its central part, surrounded by the mountain ranges of Sagra, Castril, Baza and Orce, with some peaks surpassing 2300 meters. There are also 3 large reservoirs, El Portillo, El San Clemente and El Negratín as well as 2 Natural Parks, the Sierra de Baza and the Sierra de Castril.
Basically, this means that we are spoiled for options when it comes to walking.
My favourite day out though has to be the Castril River Walk, it really does have it all and makes for a perfect day out for all the family.
The beautiful white-washed village of Castril is nestled in a valley, surrounded by olive groves as far as the eye can see.
It really is a quinicensial Andalucian village, with narrow cobbled roads, colourful plazas and a beautiful church.
We always park up in the village (before the main Plaza) and then walk down to the river as this allows us to walk the full 2.2 km circuit, arriving back into Castril.
The hardest part of the walk is the last leg back up to the village (although my 70 year old mother made it fine with a few stops along the way). However if you want to avoid it then there is parking down at
the start of the walk, which means you can retrace your steps.
Whatever your preference, upon arriving at the river, you are greeted with a beautiful little weir in a picture perfect setting. The walk starts at the shady tree-lined avenue, which takes you alongside the river until you reach a dramatic gorge. Here a wooden walkway hugs the narrow gorge, through which the river Castril flows.
All too soon you find yourselves down at river level; its shaded here with easy access to a number of small natural pools - a perfect setting to picnic and paddle in the refreshingly cool waters. Once refreshed, you continue over a small suspension bridge and enter a tunnel carved through the mountainside (just enough natural daylight to see your way), there is a viewpoint halfway through the tunnel giving another view of the river.
Exiting the tunnel you cross a bridge and continue on to the “El Molino de la Cerrada” restaurant and another picnic area. I haven't eaten at the restaurant but it gets good reviews on Trip Advisor.
Now you can either choose to retrace your steps or continue up, up, up and back into Castril.
The trail takes you up through a narrow track, passing groves of olives along the way.
Depending on the time of year, there will be either an abundance of wildflowers (Spring) or fruits and vegetables in the small holdings you will pass by.
Reaching a final set of steepish steps you find yourself back in the outskirts of the village.
If you still have some energy then follow the signs for 'Pena del Sagrado Corazon' (Rock of the sacred heart). This natural rock monument raises above Castril and offers amazing panoramic views.
Whatever you decide, I have to recommend ending your visit with a refreshing beer and a tapas dish or two at one of the local bars.
My favourite is “Cafebar Emilio”; it has plenty of outdoor seating, friendly service and a great view across the village.
They also happen to serve the most amazing bacalao rebozado (battered cod).
Now that I've shared my secret, it's only fair that you let me know where your favourite walks are in Andalucia.
Blog by Danny
One half of an English couple who traded the Oceans - he is a boat Captain, whilst his wife is a professional mermaid (no honestly), for a cave house in rural Inland Andalucia.
Find out more about them on their blog at www.onefootinthecave.com
Our names are Taco Fleur and Anna Junghans, we're two personal trainers on the Costa Del Sol and we're here to vlog/blog for SpainLinked.
Not only will we be providing little tips and tricks related to health and fitness, we'll also be talking about some interesting parts of our life, things like living in Vietnam, living in Thailand and trying to set up business there, even our own health issues etc. We've travelled half the world and in total set up three fully equipped functional gyms in two continents, now we're back in Spain and settled down.
We will help people get fit and healthy on the Costa Del Sol by providing some tips and ideas, we'll also open up for questions from anyone, questions related to health and fitness like:
Don't be shy, the only stupid question is the one not asked.
We'll also be organising some challenges you can do from home, we'll be organising social (but very fitness related) events that anyone can join, mountain walks, river walks, dog walks and even more advanced adventurous stuff like one day cycle, hike, run and camp in Mijas area.
We want to know your interest, so make sure you chime in and let us know what motivates you, what you like to see. You can do so here https://www.facebook.com/personal.trainers.costa.del.sol/
This is our little mascot Macho Nacho who from a very young age has always been active with us, he follows us up big mountains with his little legs, if you joins us one day you might see him in real life.
WHO ARE WE?
Just to give you an idea of who we are in regards to experience, qualifications and professionalism:
We train very advanced —stay tuned for videos of that— but don't let that scare you, our speciality is to build people from the ground up, focus on safety, progress step by step, we've taught people how to CrossFit safely, get strong for running, we've helped people lose weight and fit into that outfit for the wedding (some with only 2 weeks notice), we run several group fitness sessions on the coast with people ranging from 25 to over 50. Besides catering to locals, we also run Fitness Break Boot Camps (https://www.facebook.com/fitness.break.boot.camp/ ) which is where people from overseas come and stay with us for a period of time, during that time we help them reach their goal, whether that is getting fit, losing weight, learning about exercises, learning how to eat right or regaining self confidence.
We also work together with Marbella Buddies FIT and help run regular beach fit sessions, you can come and join us there if you're interested." near the bottom after "learning how to eat right or regaining self confidence.
Feel free to ask us any questions here https://www.facebook.com/personal.trainers.costa.del.sol/ don't be shy now.
You will be finding our regular updates on SpainLinked here
Although it would have been easier and definitely quicker taking a train we wanted to drive at our own pace and check out some villages on the way.
The long silky road extended in front of us which made driving a pleasure with incredible olive trees either side which are many hundreds of years old and had been planted in no particular order while other young trees could be seen in endless incredible neat rows in their thousands as far as the eye could see.
As we continued to drive we came across white wind farms rising up like giant aliens that I found beautiful to look at. Continuing along the road it changed to a river one side of the road with lots of greenery while on the other side parched land.
The sign for Seville once we had past Antequera was very easy to see so we didn't get lost once. We stopped for a drink in tree lined La Roda which is very typical Andalucian and although it was siesta time and like a ghost town it was a lovely place for a short stop.
Arriving in Seville by car is a different matter with it's one way systems, but finally we arrived at the hotel to drop our bags off.
The hotel was perfectly positioned in the town centre near all amenities and although classed as a 2 star the facilities including the fabulous shower were fantastic with a reasonably priced restaurant, free bike hire,
great staff and a really lovely breakfast of everything you would want.
I can really recommend 'Petit Palace' (Canalejas) for a boutique hotel if you want the centre of the city.
We started the next day with an open top bus tour for orientation of the main sites to see.
We took the green bus as this gave you a second day free of charge to hop on and off at places we wanted to revisit and a very large discount on the boat trip which was a relaxing way to view parts of the city at night.
It was 45 degrees so I would not recommend going in the summer months but the bus downstairs was blessed with air conditioning which gave some relief.
The beautiful cathedral is worth a visit as it's now classed as the largest in Europe and it's next to the Jewish quarter which is supposed to be full of typical Spanish tapas bars. I say supposed to be as I was a little disappointed as they were not as plentiful or typical as expected but it's still worth walking round.
The Jewish quarter is seeped in history but unless you take a walking tour there is hardly any signs of a past Jewish community.
There are many beautiful buildings in Seville, too many to mention here and the bus is a great way to see them.
I particularly loved the Columbia building in Plaza de Americas which also doubles as the Colombian embassy with it's lovely carvings.
If you like shopping then there are all the usual shops that you find in most cities but what I liked was the Dan Eloy shopping street with some individual shops you don't see elsewhere.
Ceramics are a big thing in Seville and many beautiful and ornate items can be found.
I loved the large group of artists in the park with their tutor and the tissue seller who was dressed as
red riding hood with such a short shirt that he, yes he was nearly showing more wares than just tissues.
As we walked around we came across snatches of the old wall which if you have a good imagination can give you a glimpse of how it might have looked in days gone by.
Seville was once known as the capital of the civilised world and is steeped in history.
Lots to see but three days was enough for me and my poor old feet.
We drove back a different way towards Moron de la Fronterra which took us through large amounts of solar farms and amazing endless fields of huge sunflowers with their faces to the earth followed by a patchwork of stunning velvety hills.
We stopped off at an interesting Arabic castle to have lunch; but that's for another blog. The journey back was long and tiring but as I wasn't driving I think I slept a lot of the way back.
Great little holiday break in a lovely part of Spain.
Blog and Photos by Shaina Jan Myers