News from Andalucia, and the Costa del Sol
In association with
MARCH 29nd - APRIL 4th
PRINCE HARRY IN MARBELLA
Prince Harry made a surprise visit to MARBELLA where he visited some family friends living on the Coast. During his stay he went sailing with other teenagers and later dined at La Meridiana. His holiday did not remain a secret for long as on returning to Puerto Banus a bevy of 'paparazzi' were impatiently waiting.
MOORS RETURN TO BENAHAVIS
The new school of Spanish-Arab Mediterranean Diet will start its first course this year with 30 students. The school is the first of its type in Málaga Province and is partly funded by the EU. A third of the students will be from Mahgreb, which is appropriate given that Benahavis is a Moorish name.
AVE PROGREE IN ANDALUCIA
The cabinet has this week given the go ahead to the putting out to tender the works for three stretches of the new AVE high speed train link between Málaga and Córdoba. The work amounts to 31 kilometres of the total between Almodóvar del Rio and Guadalcázar, Guadalcázar and Fuente Palmera and Herrera and La Roda de ANDALUCIA. The budget for the three sections is 24,770 million pesetas. This will be spent in general on earth moving and drainage preparations along the route.
The Ministry of Development commented that the new link will be constructed with two international gauge tracks, capable of supporting speed of up to 350 kilometres an hour.
The Mayor of Granada has been told by the Development Minister, Francisco Alvarez Cascos, that the city will also be connected by a high-speed train service in the future.
VIRGINS BY SATELLITE
A Satellite Global Positioning System (GPS) will be used for the first time this year to track the movement of the Easter processions in Sevilla. In this way civil protection volunteers, the local and national police, Red Cross and even the fire service will be able to monitor the exact position of the processions from a central control point.
MORE SPORT FACILITIES FOR MALAGA
Málaga City Council has announced the construction of a running track and other sports facilities on the feria site at Cortijo de Torres for the end of this month or the start of next. A 17,000 square metre site is to be used, where eventually four tennis courts, a skating rink and facilities for football, volleyball and basketball will also be included together with a support building to house changing rooms, showers and a bar. Access will be created from the Avenida de La Malagueñas.
AUGUST DATE FOR N-340 WIDENING
In response to questions from the IU Deputy José Luis Centella the Ministry of Works in Madrid has guaranteed that the widening of the N-340 between Estepona and Torreguadiaro will be completed by August 2002.
The Ministry has assured Sr. Centella that the works on the N-340 will take priority over the toll motorway, which will also run between Estepona and Torreguadiaro. The dual carriageway will be operational before the toll road is open. The budget for the dual carriageway is 5,161 million pesetas compared with 34,839 million pesetas for the motorway. Those totals do no include land expropriations.
BULLRING OPENS THEME MUSEUM
The 200 year old Ronda bullring, the Real Maestranza de Caballeria de Ronda, has just opened the first bullfighting theme museum in Málaga province. The new museum covers 100 square metres of floor space and replaces the old museum at the bullring.
CROCODILES ON THE MOVE
The theme park 'Crocodriles Park' is to move from its present location at Cártama to Torremolinos at the end of the year. It is to be housed on 16,000 square metres adjacent to the Aquapark. The crocodile park is unique in Europe and up to the end of last year had attracted 234,000 visitors. In Cártama park there are over 300 examples of crocodile held in captivity. The majority of them come from Asia, Africa, America and Australia. Amongst them is 'Big Nose', the biggest crocodile in Europe who weighs 580 kilos and the pressure of his jaws is said to be 14 tons. A sobering though as you splash around in the Aquapark!
BIG MAC TAPA
La Linea de la Frontera as part of its tourist initiative programme is holding a Feria de la Tapa between April 28 and May 1, in which 24 bars and restaurants will take part. The town has also just opened its second McDonalds in the Avenida 20 de Abril, opposite the customs post. Owner, David Osborne says the outlet will employ 40 people and has thanked the town's employment office for selecting suitable staff.
ANDALUCIA STEPS INTO COMPUTER AGE
Regional government this week presented plans for a new Internet portal, which they say will play a strategic part in the 'integration of ANDALUCIA into the computer age'. The plans were presented by the councillor for the presidency of the Junta de ANDALUCIA, Gaspar Zarrias at a ceremony held in the ANDALUCIA technology park in Sevilla.
The project, which has a budget of 728 million pesetas will be online in June this year. It will integrate the current regional government Internet sites, house an ANDALUCIA-wide phone directory, offer street plans and indexes of all towns with a population of 50,000 or more, give real time weather information, and even allow you to listen to the radio channels of Canal Sur. There will also be a free e-mail service for users. Currently there are an estimated 800,000 people in ANDALUCIA connected to the Internet.
MALAGA WINES IN LONDON
The Málaga Chamber of Commerce and the city's wine regulatory board have been in London this week on a promotional visit. Five 'bodegas' from Málaga have taken an active part in the trip, the object of which was to open up new markets and expand exports tot he United Kingdom.
Regional Councillor for Agriculture, Paulina Plata, attended one of the events held in the Churchill Intercontinental Hotel and presented the Málaga wines to a public of British businessmen from hotel, restaurant and wine trades.
ESTEPONA'S FILM FEST
Estepona's Town Hall has announced that it is to host the XIV Week of Spanish Film, Costa del Sol - Estepona'. This will take place at the Multicines Veracruz between May 26 and June 3.
This year the theme will be films based on Spanish Musical Folklore, Carmen Sevilla, Sara Montiel, Paquita Rico, Marujita Diaz and Imperio Argentina have been invited to attend.
BIG BROTHER COMES TO LA LINEA
Virtually every home in La Linea has had their television tuned into the TV Channel - Telecinco. The station is currently broadcasting the highly popular programme 'La Casa del Gran Hermano' better known to British TV viewers as 'Big Brother'. Mari Carmen Arrabel from La Linea is participating and the town folk want to be in on her experiences.