Travels in Spain, Benidorm and How Things Change

This is a picture of me taken on the Balcón del Mediterráneo in 1977.  It is a picture that when investigated has stories to tell.

First of all the terracing itself and the balcony columns, dirty and neglected, crumbling and falling apart but now restored and pristine with a regular fresh coat of paint.

These are the same balustrade columns thirty years later in 2007 but this time overlooking the Levante rather than the Poniente Beach…

Next is that cannon, it isn’t there any more, except that it is but instead of being carelessly left on the edge of the balcony it is now part of a sculpture that has been created nearby…

And what about the surfacing?  In 1977 it was sand and gravel but now it is dazzling blue and white tiling and the scruffy Mediterranean shrubs and cactus has been cleared away to leave a more open but sterile view of the beaches…

Look at the background, the hotel developments stop way short of the headland – not any more and there is nowhere for Benidorm to go now except around the corner towards Villajoyosa (post coming up about Villajoyosa).

Amongst those high rise buildings is Intempo, at six hundred and thirty feet high Europe’s tallest residential skyscraper.  My forty year old picture shows nothing like that and neither does this old postcard…

I have to confess that I am getting old and nostalgic and just like Norman  Lewis  I long for the past and some times lament progress …

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20 responses to “Travels in Spain, Benidorm and How Things Change

  1. Would have welcomed a photo of you standing by the columns then to see whether your restoration matches theirs!

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  2. Love the old photos and the comparison with the new. And that residential skyscraper: crazy!

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  3. It is sad when things don’t necessarily change for the best. It is fascinating to see the before and now.. no doubt it brings back good memories for you…The good old days. I barely recognise my home town every time I visit.

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  4. Actually, it isn’t progress. It’s just somebody who’s greedy and who has found yet another way of cashing in.

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  5. It is sad that progress is so often sterile and overbearing.

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  6. I have to say that skyscraper seems a bit out of place? Definitely a change. Wow.

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  7. Lovely photos 🙂 We change, places change.

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  8. I wonder whether the Pink Panther, the Beachcomber and Adam & Eve’s Bar are still there or are now swanky joints compared with the raw nightclubs of old. And what about the huge green Hotel Pueblo? I must track down my few 1983 photos!

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  9. Changes happen in the short run too. I was on the road for around 6 months and returned to several new stores, an office block changed into luxury apartments and trains running even later than when I had set out.

    I think, like yourself, going back to a place decades later, it hits you in the face. For instance; suburb in Madrid once full of nice villas is now, 40 years later, all apartments with gangs, needles on the ground and a total dump. That was a shock to me.

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  10. You certainly suited those flared trousers, Andrew. I’ve a feeling Benidorm is now even more popular after the TV series. I guess they can still build it up into the sky?

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