It’s been a cold and windy old week here, our daily walks around the inner ring have required jumpers and it was only 8 degrees yesterday morning first thing, also reports of the first iced up cars of the year spotted north of Murcia. It’s really very quiet on site currently and there are only small number of visitors here, Condado is definitely in Winter mode with fewer people around and the residents are hunkering down in the colder weather.
On construction watch the new Penthouses are really cracking on, the ground floor supports have been removed now and brickwork is starting this week with completion of the first block scheduled for Spring 2020 and occupation to follow.
We took a trip to the Espacio shopping centre outside Cartagena and it was amazing to see how many Spanish were out Christmas shopping. When we first arrived in Spain, Christmas day in December was not a big thing here as the Spanish celebrate Three King’s Day on 6th January, but it does seem that as the years progress the Christmas spirit does seem to be gaining traction. One great new addition to Espacio centre is the opening of a new Taco Bell franchise, we enjoyed amazing burritos and chilli fries, we were joined by a number of Spanish enjoying the Mexican meal, so we didn’t feel we had sold out too much by abandoning traditional Spanish cuisine.
One little tip if you are here from the 7th December, in the Las Velas cinema in Los Alcazares you can see in English the new Christmas movie “Last Christmas”, ideal if you have Xmas festive fiends in your family ?
It’s a local holiday in Mazarron today for the Miracle of La Purísima, this is better known by many as the “Sardine festival” that is held down on the beach at Bolnuevo. The event is celebrated annually on the 17th November and commemorates the day in 1585 when the Virgen de la Purísima is reputed to have saved the town of Mazarron from an attack by invading berbers.
As the pirates approached the beach on the fateful day they were met by a woman on the waters edge, radiating light and with her arms raised towards the heavens. This sight terrified the pirates to such an extent that they turned on their heels and headed back out to sea. The villagers flocked to the church to give thanks for this miracle and were astounded to see that the robe of the idol of the Virgin was wet with seawater and also peppered with sand. The light next to the statue was shining brightly towards the coast even though it contained no oil to light it, the implication being, the idol had come to life to save the town.
It’s a very popular annual celebration and many gather on the beach for the drinks and BBQ and the custom is to serve grilled sardines to the crowds, hence the contemporary name for the event !
In other Spanish news, last weeks general election saw the Socialist PSOE party win the most seats but not enough to achieve a ruling majority. This has left to a further coalition government with the left wing Unidas Podemos party. The biggest story with the election is again the rise of the far right VOX party, increasing its seat count from 24 to 52 nationally since the last election. As a region Murcia is traditionally conservative but it is currently the strongest stronghold in Spain for the VOX party.
With Christmas not long to go don’t forget the Spanish festive season begins with their two national holidays of Constitution Day on the 6th December and Immaculate Conception Day on the 8th. Christmas is coming!
A few pictures to finish and wishing you all a great week !