Summer experiences in Spain are unforgettable! This week, my family and I spent some time in Benidorm, a place I had never heard of before despite all the times I’ve visited Spain!
Benidorm is located on the East Coast of Spain, about an hour and half south of Valencia. It’s a beautiful place that is perfect for retirees and also for families with children! (It may also be great for young people, but I have 2 kids, and though I’m not yet a retiree, I did not go to any of the discotecas either!)
La playa Is a “Must Have” Summer Experience in Spain
The beach is beautiful…. the perfect image of a Mediterranean place! The sand is soft and clean. The water is many colors of blue, from dark to turquoise. At this beach, there are waves, but they’re not dangerous, and that makes it really nice for people with small children. The water is cool but not cold like the Atlantic Ocean of New England that we are accustomed to! Out in the water there is a big rock, called “La roca de Benidorm” that appears to be right in front of you no matter how far you walk on the beach! The legend says that a burro kicked the mountain and the rock fell into the ocean! There’s even a regtangular hole in the mountain that is supposed to be the spot where the rock fell from! And to either side, there are cliffs dotted with beautiful houses like most people only see on TV!
There is a point where the land juts out and forms 2 sides of the beach. On the right you find mostly Spanish people and their families. On the left side is where you tend to find tourists from other countries. There are more hotels near that side, and it’s closer to downtown. We are lucky to be with our family from Spain, and we are on the “Spanish” side of the beach!
The Nightlife of Benidorm
One of the most unique summer experiences in Spain is the nightlife! From our piso, we walked to the “downtown” area where the streets are narrow and there are people of all ages walking everywhere. You can find restaurants where people sit down to eat, and you can find places to eat “pinchos” while standing at the bar. There is music playing and people from all over the world enjoying their vacation.
Among all the restaurants are tons and tons of shops! Everything from souvenir shops to clothing stores, electronics, Ale Hop and everything in between! There were 2 things that really stand out for me. 1) It doesn’t matter how old or young you are; everyone is out and about! Despite the crowds, people with small babies in strollers and older people with walkers are all there getting a bite to eat and crowd watching! 2) Everything happens later. Of course, we know that lunch is the big meal of the day, and most people eat around 2. But the sun doesn’t set until around 10pm, and therefore, it feels like the middle of the day at 8 pm when people may start their walk to downtown. There’s nothing strange about small children eating dinner at 9 or 10. When I think back to when my kiddos were little- 7pm was bedtime! They never would have made it until 10pm! Check out this microvideo of a pinchos restaurant in Benidorm!
Summer Experiences In Spain = New Learning
Here are some of the vocabulary words and phrases I learned this week. I’ve been learning Spanish now for 32 years, and there is STILL so much I don’t know! “Living” in Spain allows me to pick up new terms like:
El paso de zebra: crosswalk In Spain, all cars stop for pedestrians- always! And pedestrians use only the crosswalks. It’s amazing how well things go when people follow the rules!
Currar: to work I’m not sure why people here tend to use this word more often than the word trabajar, but I hear it all the time!
Los guiris: foreigners This word isn’t so nice… it might be the word “gringos” that Mexicans use… but it’s a good one to know if you are, in fact, a foreigner!
Guay!: Cool! This is used a lot by or with younger children, but it can be used by anyone!
Un gofre: A DELICIOUS dessert It’s a waffle with toppings!! The most popular is nutella, but you can put ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, candy, sprinkles, etc. The smell is heavenly!!! I had mine with Nutella y nata. OMG- yummmm!