A Guinness World Record Christmas in Alicante

Standing underneath the tallest nativity in the world makes you feel so small, yet so important at the same time. Without doing anything at all, it almost makes you feel like you were a part of it. Almost as though we, as a community, achieved this together. It’s been a tough year, but as a community, we’ve achieved so much.

A guinness world record nativity scene

It’s been too long…

It’s been a long time since I sat down and wrote a blog post. I could reel off a whole list of reasons and excuses ranging from not having enough time to not having the inspiration. But mainly, I stopped because I felt like nobody wanted to read it anymore.

But it shouldn’t matter whether one person reads it or a thousand people read it. The creative outlet is enough. And it is enough.

Nearly four years ago, I opened my blog writing my thoughts and ramblings down on this blog. Going through life in Benidorm, to recommendations, to travel, fashion and everything in between. Then in lockdown, there was a shift. My blog became a vital source. It became a news outlet.

Being recognised by the Spanish President as being a reliable news source is something I’ll never forget.

Do I intend to stop posting relevant news translations? Of course not. But I felt like I couldn’t use my blog for what I’d made it for anymore. But today that is going to change.

It’s been a while since I checked in with my blog readers and for that I’m sorry. We’re both back to work now and every bit of time we have tends to go on something else. Making videos, planning merchandise, and I’m still adjusting to my new work from home routine. I can’t begin to tell you how lovely it is to be able to have a cup of coffee in the morning, watch some TV and then head to the computer to do some work.

The best part is the amount of time we have together. Alex comes home and we can sit and talk together. Or just watch TV together. Sometimes I’m still working, but it’s usually easy enough to multitask.

Which means dinners have got progressively more interesting. Recipe books and new things have catapulted into our lives and Alex is clearly enjoying playing with dishes and flavours. It’s rare we use jars anymore, with Alex creating sauces with different herbs and spices. We also started meat free Mondays so it’s fun trying out different vegetarian dishes.

A Christmas Week

Cavalier King Charles spaniel smiling Benidorm island behind

Alex has been enjoying his new camera. Weekends usually entail a location photoshoot somewhere with the benefit of enjoying the beautiful views on the Costa Blanca.

We’d had lunch at Aruba Gastro Lounge which is a relatively new restaurant which has opened on the poniente beach front. The Patatas Bravas were a definite highlight there. I’d had a latte macchiato after dinner too which was a real nice coffee too. The service was good and the prices were reasonable. We had patatas bravas to share, a water, 2 cokes, two Angus burgers with fries and a latte macchiato and it came to just over 40€.

Alex sat in Aruba gAstro bar Benidorm

The sunsets are gorgeous in winter, especially when we have a few clouds dotted around the sky. The hues of colour dance around the sky displaying an array of light. We stood on poniente beach watching the sun go down and listening to the waves crinkle across the sand.

Boy kissing girl at sunset Benidorm

We’re trying to start doing proper YouTube videos where we film when we’re not live and wow it’s tricky trying to find things to say (and not look silly). It’s funny, I never think that I’m talking to myself when we’re on live because I can see all the comments, but to everybody else, they must think we’re mad. (Which we are but I’d like them to not know so quickly).

Girl holding iphone and gimbal  view of Finestrat and Benidorm behind
All the gear… no idea

It’s a long weekend so we took advantage of the time off to head into the city centre of Alicante where the Christmas lights are always much grander and feels more Christmas-esque than Benidorm. Mainly because you have all the shops and city centre. There are many more areas trimmed up and you can’t look at Christmas lights without a Starbucks Christmas hot chocolate. Sorry, I don’t make the rules.

Christmas lights that spell Alicante

It’s starting to really cool down now on the East Coast, especially at night. It’s around 16°C in the day and drops to around 7°C at night. Although it’s chilly, it’s not frostbite weather. Tights, skirt, jumper, woolly hat and a light jacket was more than enough to keep me toasty. Paired with the warmth from the hot chocolate, we were good to go.

Girl looking forward Christmas lights behind at Alicante

I’m not sure if many of you watch our videos, but if you don’t know, we filmed on Facebook live around the Christmas decorations walking from Starbucks on Rambla Méndez Núñez along Paseo de la Explanada de España and finishing at the Plaza del Ayuntamiento.

There’s something so magical about the Christmas lights adorning the streets around Alicante. Twinkling lights shimmer and provide a warm, glistening glow to light to path. It was beautiful to see so many people out and about enjoying the lights after what has been an incredibly tough year.

Although busy, the law here is everybody has to wear a mask at all times. They do let you take off your mask to take a photo and when photos were being taken people were very considerate and ensured a safe interpersonal distance was kept.

Girl standing facing Christmas tree back to camera

The Christmas tree this year is a tall triangular tree with lights for decoration. It isn’t a real tree but a triangular metal construction. It’s quite impressive, though I must say, I prefer to see real trees. I’m hoping Javea have put up their big real tree again this year and I’m holding out hope that Valencia has a real tree.

Looking up, you’ll see the Santa Barbara Castle lit up. It was lit up red and looked impressive. I always think of the Ed Sheeran song, Castle on the Hill whenever I see it.

The tallest nativity in the world at Alicante town hall castle behind

The most spectacular thing you’ll see in Alicante though is the nativity scene. Nothing like a traditional nativity, this giant Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus is the tallest nativity in the world. It towers proudly over the town hall with the Guinness World Record Holder sign just below.

It really is monumental. Huge. Colossal.

With Feliz Navidad lit up on the town hall and the Christmas music gently playing, it has started to feel like Christmas.

Love, Lauren x

Alicante Travel Guide

Alicante Travel Guide

alicante travel guide

Bienvenido to Alicante. The place where tapas is at your disposal, shopping is aplenty and beaches stretch for miles upon miles, providing a holiday dream on the east coast of Spain. Undoubtably, Alicante is one of the most influenced provinces influenced by tourism, due to the connections at Alicante airport and the pull of so many beautiful resorts and coastal towns along the coast, but don’t let that put you off for its stunning coastline, beautiful architecture and array of local foods, it’s definitely worth a visit. Alicante, much more than an airport.

Quick Guide:

Time Zone: GMT + 1

Plug Socket: European

Currency: Euro

Language: Spanish and Valencian. English very widely spoke

Climate: A comfortable and welcoming year-round temperature. Very hot in July, August and September. Low rainfall. October is the wettest month.

How long a stay: If you’re planning to head on holiday to Alicante, it’s very easy to spend a few days in the centre and take excursions to other locations on the Costa Blanca.

RELATED POST: Places around Benidorm that you must see

What to pack: With a pleasing climate all year round, it’s easy to pack lightly for Alicante. If you’re travelling in the summer months, you’ll definitely need to stock-up with swimwear, shorts and light clothing. If you’re heading out in the winter months, be sure to pack a few jumpers and have a jacket, just in case. In the sun, you can bask in 20 degrees temperatures during the winter months, but once the sun drops and the temperature dips you can feel lows of 5 at night. In Autumn, I’d suggest t-shirts, shorts and a light jacket in the evening. In Spring, skirts, dresses, shorts and t-shirts will be perfect. You may want to pack a light jacket, just in case.

RELATED POSTS: Spring Look Book 2019 with Primark, Fosse Park | AD
Autumn/Winter 2018 Looks at Fosse Park
What’s the Weather Like?

Getting to Alicante

For those that don’t know, Alicante is located on the Costa Blanca, Spain. It’s on the East coast of Mainland Spain and is surrounded by an array of terrain, ranging from mountains to beaches, fields and flatlands. The Costa Blanca has such a range to see and it’s definitely worth taking a drive around to see the vast changes.

Flights to Alicante are direct from every major UK, up to three times daily per airline, so you’re sure to pick up a bargain. Jet2, Ryanair, Easyjet and Iberia all fly regularly between the UK and Alicante. From the rest of Europe, there are flights almost daily from Oslo, Stockholm, Gothenburg, Amsterdam, Berlin, Lisbon and more.

How to take the Tram to Alicante from Benidorm

If you’re already on holiday in Benidorm, here is how you can get to Alicante.

Benidorm has good connections with Alicante. To use the tram, you’ll need to head to one of the four tram stations in Benidorm and get the L1 tram with Alicante on the front. If you’re staying in Poniente, you can either use Terra Mitica tram stop or Centro Comercial La Marina Finestrat tram station. If you’re staying in the old town or in Levante, you’ll want to use either Benidorm or Benidorm Intermodal.

*PLEASE NOTE: Benidorm Intermodal may require a change of tram*

To get to Alicante, you can get your ticket either on the train or at the ticket office if you’re at the Benidorm stop. If a conductor is on board, you can also purchase a ticket from them.

  1. You’ll need to select your “DESTINO”, which will be the Alicante stop you are getting off at.
  2. You’ll need to select your “ORIGEN” which is the tram stop you got on at.
  3. Select the number of tickets you are purchasing by using the arrows. 
  4. Insert either cash or card. If you are paying by cash, you cannot input too high of a note. For example, for less than 5€ they don’t give change for more than a 10€ note. Be prepared to have some spare change, or smaller notes, with you.
  5. Keep hold of your ticket as a conductor may get on at any point and you’ll need it to scan when you exit.
  6. Failing to show a valid ticket on board the Alicante tram holds a 100€ on the spot fine.

Which Alicante Tram stop is the best to get off at?

The best tram stop is Mercado Tram Stop, which is close to the castle and the shopping areas of the city. As you exit the tram station, walk downwards towards the marina and turn left when you arrive at the seafront. Walking along the road, the entrance to the life of the castle is a short walk of around 5 minutes.

What to see and do in Alicante

Visit the Santa Barbara Castle

santa barbara castle, alicante travel guide

The Santa Barbara Castle is a beautiful spot to see all across Alicante. I’d recommend getting the lift up as opposed to climbing up which is quite a hike. There are spectacular views of the harbour and the main city from up there and there is also a café to sit and relax.

RELATED POST: Visiting the Santa Barbara Castle in Alicante

Go Shopping in the centre

shopping at el corte ingles alicante

Alicante is known for having a much better shopping experience than many other places around the area. You’ll be able to shop in top designer names, as well as a tourist favourite, Primark.

There are plenty of shopping centres around Alicante. Don’t miss El Corte Inglés which is packed with designer labels, like my personal favourites: Levi’s; Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein!

Head to the cinema

The main reason for us visiting Alicante is almost always for the cinema at Plaza Mar. Kinepolis shows movies in V.O.S (English!) every day with the subtitles in Spanish. It’s a great way to see all the new movies coming out without having to see them dubbed into Spanish. Of course, we want the Spanish movies in Spanish, but I can’t stand to see their mouths move differently when it’s dubbed. It’s also a great way to pick up some Spanish too! The tickets are super economical too. We usually pay around 7€ for each adult!

RELATED POST: Aladdin (2019) Spoiler Free Review / Kinepolis Cine

The Nativity Museum

Who said Christmas is just for December? If you’re visiting with children, you ought to visit the nativity scene museum located on San Augustin Street. It’s a little peculiar watching Christmas clips and hearing the music in the height of summer, but it’s a cool experience!

The museum is packed with hundreds of different nativity scenes and figures related to all over the world. Entrance is free too, so even if you don’t particularly enjoy it, at least it didn’t cost you anything!

Mushroom Street

alicante mushroom street where is it

You have to visit the mushroom street in Alicante! With mushrooms dotted along the street, it’s such an awesome feature and the kids are sure to love it.

Calle de las Setas is on Calle San Francisco, 32, 36, 03001, Alicante

Beach days

The beach is a gorgeous white beach which has a unique backdrop of the Santa Barbara castle. It’s a wonderful place to bask in the sun and play in the waves. There are also lots of boat trips departing from the harbour and plenty of water sports.

Where to eat in Alicante

Gino's Finestrat Meal on the Terrace

We love a few places that are dotted around Alicante, 100 Montaditos is a good spot to get little sandwiches. On a Wednesday and a Sunday, all montaditos are 1€. For Italian food, we always trust Gino’s which is part of the VIPS group. For the morning coffee, you’ll be pleased to know that Starbucks is scattered around, but don’t forget to try the local coffee shops where the coffee is much cheaper and has that Spanish kick to it.

Other highly related restaurants:

Templo – Calle Periodista Pirula Arderius, 7, 03001 Alicante

La Taberna del Gourmet – Calle San Fernando, 10, 03002 Alicante

La Mary – Carrer Castaños, 5, 03001 Alicante

Thai Corner – Calle Labradores, 12, 03002 Alicante

Restaurante Lluvia (vegetarian) – Calle Poeta Quintana, 20, 03004 Alicante

El Portal – Calle Bilbao, 2, 03001 Alicante

Important Travel Numbers and Information

Hospital De Alicante

Calle Pintor Baeza, 0010 Alicante
Tel: 965 9 8 00

Pharmacies

There are lots of pharmacies located in Alicante. Look for farmacia.

Taxi Alicante

Tel: 965 252 511

Local Police – Policia Local

Avda. Julian Besteiro, 15 0008 Alicante

National Police – Policia Nacional

National Police Tel: 091

Guardia Civil

Civil Guards Tel: 062

Emergencies Tel: 112 Firefighters Tel: 085

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Hasta luego,

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La Noche de San Juan Benidorm 2019

The San Juan festivities kicks off with an 8am wake up call for everybody.

las hogueras benidorm 2019

As you’re reading this, we’ll be just in New York, ready to start our adventure. But today, I wanted to share with you the fantastic festival of San Juan that we celebrated this June 2019 in Benidorm. So, a couple of weeks ago, we had the great pleasure of spending San Juan in Benidorm once again. The San Juan Fiesta, dedicated to Saint John, is a pagan festival celebrated on June 23rd to celebrate the summer solstice. The main element of the festival is fire, a symbol of the sun. Accompanied by bonfires, fireworks and barbecues, it’s a fantastic, fiery fiesta.

san juan night  2019

The festival is celebrated all across Spain, but the most spectacular festivities are held in Madrid, Granada, Barcelona, Alicante, Valencia and Gran Canaria. So, if you’re looking to head over to Benidorm in 2020, check out the dates surrounding San Juan.

The San Juan festivities kicks off with an 8am wake up call for everybody. With a brass band and bangers going off, it’s impossible to sleep through. It’s San Juan and everybody must know about it. It’s a scary time for animals at this time, we saw cats running for shelter and Rio was concerned for us and kept jumping into bed. If you are over for San Juan, keep a close eye on your animals at this time.

san juan 2019 picnic on the beach

We started off our celebrations by having a traditional picnic on the beach. Families gather across Poniente beach and Finestrat beach with snacks,  candles and a ready prepared mini fire. Most people congregate and celebrate together, you’ll find families merging together with friends joined on huge tables with the children playing together on the beach.

san juan festival finestrat 2019

Later, it’s party time over in Finestrat. We headed over to La Cala to watch plenty of live bands partying until the sun comes up, though we were ready to go by about 2, that was late enough by my standards! At exactly midnight, tens and hundreds of people will run into the sea and have a midnight swim.

The following day, the Monday, was a bank holiday this year so we were able to head out and see the celebrations in the day. Both the Sunday and the Mondays were filled with parades and brass bands marching the streets. But, it was the Monday night when the magic truly came to life.

firework night benidorm spain 2019

At 11pm, the hogueras for the children was lit on Poniente beach. With a smaller fire, once it was starting to burn out, the children started to jump the hot coals and fire in order to purify themselves and rid them of any problems from the previous and forthcoming year. At midnight, that was when the hogueras was lit for real. Sprinkling the fireworks on the statue, once set alight the sky came to life. Fireworks exploded from all corners of the statues face and lit up the Poniente beach. The firefighters did a great job of keeping the smoke and fire from setting alight to the palm trees above by splashing water to control the fire. Once the 5 minute fireworks were finished,  we all started to head back.

Here’s a video of San Juan 2019 with the fireworks and the hogueras being burnt.

San Juan is a great festival and one of my favourites. Picnics and fireworks actually being at night as opposed to the daytime fireworks, which I hate. I don’t appreciate the 8am wake up call on the morning of San Juan from the brass band and bangers though!

Have you celebrated?

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Visiting the Santa Barbara Castle in Alicante

Towering over the city centre, you can’t miss the impressive castle perched on the top of Mount Benacantil.

Towering over the city centre, you can’t miss the impressive castle perched on the top of Mount Benacantil. The golden fortress situated an impressive 166 metres above sea level is one of the main attractions in Alicante city centre. Even better still, it’s a very budget friendly day out.

Laying out near Alicante castle fashion model blogger

Practical Information:

Location: Santa Barbara Castle, 03002 Alicante. To travel by tram you take the L1 to Castillo. By car, it’s a 30 minute drive from Benidorm.

Price: If you’re taking the elevator, it’s 2,70€ each to go up or free for children in pushchairs. If you’re driving or going by foot, access is completely free.

Getting there: The elevator access is located near the port, if you follow the signs you’ll have no problems. You can also access Santa Barbara castle on foot, or by car which are both free access. If you’re walking it’s better to head from the side of the Castillo tram stop.

Opening hours: The castle is open from 10:00-22:00 everyday.

A Day Out in Alicante

We visited the castle a few years ago, back on a blustery December morning, though by the time the sun rose, we were sitting in t-shirts sheltered away from the wind in the café on site. I remember all too well wearing Uggs, thermals and a beige dress with tights and regretting the decision completely as we were sitting basking in the sun. But, we had used the castle as a stop off. We were meeting some friends and didn’t want to venture too far away from our meeting point at the port.

It wasn’t until I was scrolling on Instagram last week that I realised we had seemingly missed all the best spots of the castle altogether. Well, unless we exempt the fact we were at the café because the views there truly were impressive. But, in terms of real history and not just a good cup of cappuccino which are both rather good pulling points for me. I had noticed that there was a fortress jutting out of the castle that looked almost like a tower you see in princess castles in story books you read when you were young. If there’s anything remotely Disney like, I’m there.

It also meant that we could make a small detour and head to Starbucks, which although I love Spanish coffee, there’s something about Starbucks that is just so comforting. Maybe it’s the mass over inflation, maybe it’s the touch of home or maybe it’s the cream that the Spanish just can’t get right. Either way, if there’s a Starbucks, I’m there. I can have independent Spanish coffee shop coffee everyday. No shame in admitting that I do. A 3€ for a cappuccino and a tostada con tomate I’m fuelled for the day for less than a Costa that I used to grab at work everyday. Win.

Rio sat this one out, as a 9th century Muslim castle with a pit stop at Starbucks isn’t really his thing. Or more accurately, the 9th century Muslim castles aren’t really about dogs. Even Spain where dogs are accepted, I can’t see them being too keen on my little big perro running around. Looking back, Rio loved Monument park at Park Guell, so maybe castles and architecture are his thing. [edit: after googling, dogs are not allowed at Santa Barbara Castle. Good job we didn’t take him!]

The route from Benidorm is around 25 minutes, traffic depending, and it’s so easy to find the castle. In fact, once you reach Alicante, it’s unmissable. Perched over the port and towering over the city below, you can’t help but look up and admire it. You imagine that this is how artists must have felt when they wrote songs about castles perched upon hills.

Every time we visit Alicante, we park in the same car park, near to El Corte Inglés. It’s good access to the shops and city centre, with it being only a few minutes walk into the action, it’s ideal.

Down rolls the window and Alex’s head is leaning out of it as we pull into the car park. “What’s up?” I ask. My face clearly looking puzzled and probably sounding more stern than I intend to be. “The tyres flat”. Driving around in hot temperatures, flat tyres and tyre burn outs are not uncommon. But, the only thing I was thinking was, do we even have a spare tyre and how exactly are we going to change it? I don’t give Alex enough credit when it comes to general maintenance things, I’m never actually sure if he can do them. He usually can.

There we are in the middle of a city centre car park. Alex jumping on a crow bar of some sort to smash the plastic off and to be able to undo the nuts or bolts or whatever they are. Then there’s me, standing awkwardly, providing nothing much more than taking photos and reporting to everyone we know that Alex is lying on the floor in his fairly new Levi’s jeans changing a tyre.

Starbucks Alicante guide travel blogger

Nevertheless, he got it changed. Knees covered in oil, we headed off to Starbucks. I opted for my usual café mocha and Alex had his signature cool lime refresher with a croissant with ham and cheese to share. They still had a few Christmas ornaments left over, in March?! which I was pleased about. We picked up a “You are Here” Starbucks cup with a Spain design on it to hang on the Christmas tree. That’s when I started looking at Disney Starbucks Christmas ornaments. It’s going to be dangerous in Disney.

Spain Starbucks you are here mug Alicante

We walked quite briskly to the elevator from Starbucks so it took us about 10 minutes. Once you enter the tunnel, you reach the ticket dispenser. It’s a touch screen machine which swaps between lots of languages, English and Spanish being the first two options. A ticket costs 2,70€ per person.

Couple at Alicante castle

You follow the tunnel along where you reach the elevator and the person who is manning the elevator checks your admission. There’s no view from the elevator, it’s just a seemingly slow moving vessel where there is a rather awkward silence as you’re ascending. But, once it opens, you’re there. You’re at the castle.

At the fortress of Alicante castle blogger

We took a walk around but I was most interested in finding our way to the fortress. There are two and we discovered that the one at the bottom has the best views.

With the port to your left and the rest of the castle to your right with the minuscule veins of the Alicante streets below it’s an impressive 360 view. The city looks like it could be a car play mat from up here. You feel like you’re in the clouds.

Walking Santa Barbara castle Alicante blogger

Making use of the fact I had a bag to carry, I stuffed it full with crisps and sweets. We sat on a bench overlooking the castle munching on salt and vinegar chipsticks with the seagulls flying over head and in the weirdest way it felt like we were eating fish and chips on a beach front of Skegness or something, perhaps it was the murmur of English voices in the background and the English crisps designed to taste like chips. A strange correlation.

Before heading back, we took a stroll around the rest of the castle. At the top, they have the Spanish flag waving proudly yet gently in the March breeze. The breeze was soft yet all so chilling. In a few weeks, this breeze will feel like a hot fan blowing on us, wouldn’t it be nice if it was in reverse? Cool, gentle wind in the summer and a warm breeze in spring? I suppose we can’t have it all.

Playa del torres Villajoyosa Benidorm camping

On the way back, we stopped off at Playa del Torres, which is a small cove situated between La Cala and Villajoyosa. The shimmering Mediterranean had almost never been so turquoise as how it is here. The waves soft and small, it’s a isolated cove with a happening campsite on site. With static cabins on site, they look beautiful for a night’s stay surrounded by the woods and the quiet beach.

We make plans to head back tomorrow, by walking from Benidorm to Villajoyosa. All in all, it was a lovely day and a different pace and scenery. It’s always great to be able to head to different places and revisit places now we have a car, making it much easier and less of a drag relying on public transport.

Every weekend is a mini holiday.

Hasta luego,

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Weather in Benidorm in December

December, the month when the dark nights start to roll in and the white stuff starts to fall.

benidorm weather decemer.png

December, the month when the dark nights start to roll in and the white stuff starts to fall. Well, not so much of the snow. The white stuff falling will be the sand that the kids are throwing up in the air whilst they’re playing on the beach.

What’s the weather like in Benidorm in December?

Benidorm is located on the southeast of Spain, on the Mediterranean Coast. That means, although it’s winter and it feels cold, there are still warm weather and sunny days in December. Temperatures are considerably colder than high season, so it’s a perfect time to visit if you prefer lower temperatures and smaller crowds.

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Thanks to the mountains that shelter us, the Sierra Gelada mountains, which funnily enough means Ice Terrain, protect us from the winds and the battering weather that hits further north.

What’s the temperature in Benidorm in December?

Now, I don’t have a crystal ball. But, the average high’s are a pleasant 16ºC in December, although it can drop to anything between 2ºC and 7ºC at night. Very rarely you might find a scattering of snow over the sand, it’s beautiful to see. Though, it’s gone by the time the sun rises.

Make sure you pack warmer clothes. I tend to wear a jumper, jeans and boots in the day and then I need a coat, scarf and gloves if I’m going out at night. The temperatures are considering lower up in the mountains. If you’re here on holiday, it will feel much warmer than it does to local people, due to the change in the weather. I’d still recommend bringing a coat and a few jumpers though over winter.

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The sea temperature in winter is a welcoming 16ºC and there’s a low humidity. The sun sets at around 17:30 and the sunrise is around 7:30. You can expect five good hours of warm sunlight from the ten hours of daylight. UV levels are low but I’d still suggest wearing suncream as the sun is still emitting harmful rays that are damaging to your skin even on cooler days.

What was that Sea Fret in Benidorm?! 

spectacular sunrise weather in benidorm in december benidorm island

December 4th, the sun gave a beautiful showing in the morning. But, once 14:00 arrived, a strange and mystical fog covered the lands of Benidorm. Hiding the tallest of buildings and showing a fantastic new perspective of the Benidorm skyline. But, what exactly was it!? Why did the temperature drop like that?

Now, when I looked out my window and all of a sudden the world started to disappear with rises of smoke coming from the ground, I couldn’t work out if the world was ending, aliens were landing or something was on fire. With the smell of fire missing, and the other two being a little unlikely, I took to Facebook and Google to help me out!

sea fret fog in benidorm weather in december building hidden

There were a few people who knew straight the way, pinning it down to Sea Fret. Now, if like me, that brings you no closer to knowing what that is, don’t worry. I’ve done a little research, through the internet and a few meteorologists.

Sea Fret, is a cold sea fog. Between April and September, it’s fairly common on the east coast of England or Scotland. Which is why a lot of people on Facebook knew it all so well, and the rest of us from the Midlands like me, and the rest of the UK and Spain, had no idea.

 sea fret fog in benidorm weather in december building hidden

Scrolling through Facebook on December 4th, every group, Spanish, English and Russian had the same question with a photo. “What’s going on in Benidorm?!”.

Sea Fret happens when the warm air passes over the cold sea. It’s formed over the sea and then blown to the land by the wind. This Sea Fret was found along the Costa Blanca, with reports of it happening in Torrevieja, Villajoyosa, Xabia, Calpe and Alicante.

Did you see the Sea Fret in Benidorm?

Are you coming over in December?

Hasta luego

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A Day in the Life in… Episode #5

This week, we’re in London, UK!

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This week, we’re doing A Day in the Life in London, the UK compared to Alicante, Spain! I’ve teamed up with Suzy from suzystories.com to bring you the similarities and the differences between living in Alicante, Spain and London, UK.

Don’t forget to read suzystories.com first to get all of the information about how Suzy’s day went!

Saturday 27th October 2018

Today, my alarm rang at 6:00a.m and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I resented it. Isn’t it funny how we take on a new routine?

My body has adapted to my new time schedule – no longer am I in bed and asleep by 10:00 – no longer am I able to wake up at 6:00 and not feel like it’s some kind of foreign concept.

It’s still dark when we leave out at 7:45 to get the morning tram. The sun hasn’t even started its day yet. Everything is empty. Quiet. I think back to London, the 8:00am metro; I bet it’s rammed even on a Saturday.

Alex walks me to the tram. There’s a chill in the air. Winter is well on its way. A jumper is essential as are the boots. It starts lightly raining just certifying that the rain isn’t going to pass us.

The tram is empty. So different from the afternoon tram. It’s quiet. There are seats. It’s a short journey and one that only costs me 1,20€.

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The tram to Alicante is out of service at the moment so there are replacement buses.

I walk across my favourite park – it’s so different in the morning – almost like Castle Gardens.

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You’re probably wondering why I’m getting on a tram before 8:00a.m. Today is exam day. Not mine, though it kind of feels like mine.

All year, I’ve been preparing my children for this day. Cambridge English Exam day. All of the preparation comes down to these three exams. Listening. Reading and Writing. Speaking. They’re strong. They have grown from speaking near enough nothing to holding conversations and being able to ask questions. In English?!

I just know they’re going to be so nervous. But, I know they will be okay. I’ve done my part as the teacher and all I can do is sit outside, give them a hug and hope for the best.

Your best is all you can ever do.

It’s reaching 8:45a.m and there’s still no sight of the sun yet. Even when the sun does rise – I don’t think we’ll catch a glimpse of sunrise with these clouds.

I head to the local café. A croissant and a cappuccino should keep me going. It comes to a total of 2,50€. It makes me wonder how many places in London you could get that?

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I like documentation day. It makes me think. It makes me take a step back. It makes me look at finer details. I love doing that.

I get into work and my lovely colleagues are already there. The kids start arriving and they just emit nerves.

The kids came and went having hugs and support from us. They left happy. They said it was easy. Nothing makes a teacher happier than hearing the words “it was super easy!“. I was so impressed, so proud of them all. We’re a good team. I love my job.

Alex met me at the tram and we walked back. We got back just in time for the rain to start hammering it down. The chill is still lingering.

Alex does some marking, it’s been exam week for him too. I play some games of Clash Royale and eat a bag of Thai Sweet Chilli crisps. The other week, I said to Alex the one food I’m missing at the moment is Walkers Thai Sweet Chilli crisps – the next I went into Dealz – low and behold “new – Thai Sweet Chilli crisps”. Did they hear me?

The rain goes on and on and I can’t help but wonder if the flooding will happen again.

I have to get prepared for the Escape Room at the Sol Pelicanos – it’s a Halloween special. They’re always a lot of fun so I’m quite excited to get involved.

I consider doing some blog bits and pieces but I’m so tired. 4 hours sleep. I was nervous for the kids!

We take the bus into Benidorm, the rain has stopped but the flooding is just getting started, getting off at Rincon. The Sol Pelicanos Ocas is located on Calle Gerona, right in the heart of the Benidorm action so the bus was quite a long one.

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Wandering into the Sol Pelicanos Ocas, Halloween is in full swing. There are awesome decorations that really bring Halloween to life. We’re wrapped up for the cold weather ahead and the threatening storm, yet there are children playing in the pool. It seems impossible.

We head out to the once children’s play park and find the Pop-Up Escape Room Halloween Special. I love that the Sol Pelicanos and Escape Benidorm have joined together to create something special for Halloween. It makes a change for something so unique to come together to create something that truly has the guests in mind.

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The Escape Room was so enjoyable. The staff there truly have built something incredible. To be able to offer such a fantastic experience that is accessible to both English and Spanish speakers is something completely out there. Our Game Leader was absolutely amazing, a true actor. They really pull together to make the experience as realistic as they can.

You really get into the atmosphere. You start to believe it.

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After we managed to escape, we were introduced to some members of staff at the hotel who were nothing short of pleasant and welcoming. We were invited to try out their Halloween cocktail, which was definitely strong but super tasty.

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The rain started to threaten so we did what anybody would do, we dashed over the road to the nearby Morgan’s Tavern. Benidorm is known for its tribute acts and the Motown tribute singer was incredible.

Morgan’s Tavern is a pirate-themed bar which hosts all sorts of tribute acts from Bruno Mars to Queen to Take That. There’s something for everyone. It’s also the bar that was on the Benidorm TV Series. I felt like I was living out the TV Show, first the Solana then Neptune’s.

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When we left, the skies opened and the rain fell. It fell hard. Wearing boots and jeans, I was absolutely soaked. We were feeling pretty hungry so were able to dash into the nearest KFC, after leaping over water flooding out of the drains and gushing down the street like a river. When it rains, it pours.103B0BC9-39BA-43A4-A96E-1600B0AA4858 2We got to the bus stop, which fortunately is sheltered but by this point, we were soaked and cold but it didn’t dampen the day.

When we got in, Rio was excited to see us. Throwing all wet clothes to the line to dry, we hope for a better weather day tomorrow. After all, everything changes in a Benidorm minute.

The rain splashed against the window and the thunder crashed and roared like a territorial wild animal. Dashes of light lit up the rooms as the storm got closer and closer. I lay awake listening to it all as Rio tosses and turns in his sleep.

Another day has ended in Benidorm. It’s time for bed.


Similarities and Differences Between London and Alicante

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After spending so much time in London, I just know that even in the height of summer, nothing compares to the hustle and bustle that London promises. Tube rides just aren’t as comfortable as they are here. Even in rush hour, the tram driver has time to stop and wait for you. You’ve always got a little space to breathe.

We’re no strangers to London and its access to the world. You can get anywhere and everywhere and that’s one of my favourite parts, but sometimes, why would you want to go anywhere else? London has everything you could ever want in a capital city, it’s beautiful.

London has a host of airports with good connections to the Rest of the World, Alicante, however, is very short of connections. We have regular connections between Britain and Spain thanks to Ryanair, Jet2 and EasyJet, but places further afield are a little less simple. Most of the time, it means travelling to Madrid, Valencia or Barcelona to get anywhere other than the limited Europe connections.

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Even though England is known for its rainy weather, it was Alicante that brought the thunderstorms and the battering rain this time. Although London has on average 10 days of rain in October, whereas Alicante has 5, it was Alicante’s turn for the waterworks. London remained sunny. Would you believe it?

I do wonder the height difference between my own and Suzy’s flat, with her being the top floor, I wonder what difference in height it is for our middle apartment that sits on the top of a rather large slope towards the mountain. We are both lucky to have an oasis of quiet inside two big cities, even if mine is minuscule compared to London.

Suzy managed to find a slice of Spain in London, at £10 a head. I do wonder if it stuck to the original recipe. Recently, a marketer from Visit Spain worked with Sainsbury’s to work on their marketing surrounding paella. There were a lot of paellas promoting the inclusion of chorizo, which doesn’t work as a traditional paella recipe. Their reasoning: “the chorizo is for nibbling with wine, you don’t put it in the paella!”.

It was interesting how Suzy brought up the idea of paying by card, I too in England always paid by Apple Pay or Contactless. Never did I think I’d be one who now doesn’t even use a card. Everything is just cash.

London brings in around 22 per cent of the UK’s GDP whereas Alicante brings in around 15 per cent of Spain’s GDP.

The Comunidad Valenciana region is actually one of the highest qualified in Spain and the South of Europe based on excellence. It boasts 4 private universities and 5 public. Amongst this, they have American and British English Educational Centres, plus French and German. At the moment, there are currently 124,000 university students here.

This, of course, is minuscule when you shadow it against the 50 universities in London. There are far more educational opportunities and far more choices for courses. However, the difference in university fees is phenomenal.

University tuition fees in London are £12,000 on average, whereas in the Comunidad Valenciana, for a 60 credit course it is currently around 1,400€ per annum. The difference in price is absolutely jaw-dropping.


Next time, we’ll be comparing the similarities and differences between living in Alicante, Spain and Cape Town, South Africa!

Want to know all about life in South Africa? Well, stay tuned because next time, I’ll be teaming up with Fadwa from Hello World Breakout Girl to bring you A Day in the Life in Cape Town compared to Alicante, Spain.

Make sure you’re subscribed to my blog so you don’t miss an episode!

Hasta luego,

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If you want to be a part of this exciting series then please feel free to fill in the contact form below. I look forward to hearing from you!

*Please note, next available date is currently July 2019.
If you want to sponsor this blog series or any of the blog posts, please contact me via my Contact page.

A Day in the Life in… Episode #4

This week, we’re in Prague, Czech Republic!

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This week, we’re in Prague, Czechia!

I’ve teamed up with Chloe from simplykhloe.wordpress.com to bring you the similarities and the differences between living in Alicante, Spain and Prague, Czech Republic.

Don’t forget to read Chloe’s blog first to get all of the information about how Chloe’s day went!

I am really loving how this series is going and I hope you are too. I have already teamed up with some fantastic bloggers who have really painted a picture for us of how life is for them in their hometowns. I’m so excited to continue sharing this path around the world with you all.

Monday 8th October 2018:

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I’ve awoken to a beautiful sunrise. My body clock has shifted and I’m waking up at around 7:45am every day now. It’s not ideal when I don’t finish work until very late.

I guess some things just can’t be helped.

I’m working a lot more hours these days, so I’m working hard to schedule posts in advance to give me time to chill out, it’s just not feasible to do a full-time teaching timetable and be sitting on the computer every day for 5 hours before. You can’t burn the candle at both ends, right?

Rio has returned from his little weekend getaway after our amazing weekend getaway. It’s always nice to return home and see him come bounding towards us. The weather has cooled down now, only reaching around 15 degrees before the sun comes up, It’s nice to be able to wear comfy pyjamas and a hoodie in the morning! Though, I can’t say it sticks around, when the sun rises, it can jump to 27 degrees in the day.

The cafe con leche is essential, so that’s made and ready before 8:30 today. I settle down to watch coco with Rio, wondering when would be a good time to start trimming up for Halloween, it’s too soon, right?

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We head out for a mid-morning walk, it gets us out of the house. The temperature is comfortable and the sky is blue. But, it’s not that blue sky that tricks you. You know that blue sky in winter where you’re like RESULT and then you step out into sub-arctic temperatures? Yeah, none of that.

The tram is really quiet today, I assume most people booked the 8th off work, as the 9th is a bank holiday. It’s the Day of the Valenciana Region tomorrow, so lots of people used Monday to have a long weekend.

I pick up a banana from the fruit and vegetable store an and an empanadilla de carne from my local bakery. I’m very lucky to have them in such local distance. I sit down and have a cappuccino and a slice of strawberry cheesecake too. The sun is shining but I sit inside.

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Work speeds by, as it always does. Though, it’s very tiring. I’m definitely noticing the extra hours. But, I love it all the same. Exam season is approaching so it’s all go at the moment.

It feels good to know that tomorrow is a bank holiday. Although we don’t have plans yet, I’m sure we’ll find something to do. We’re never short of things to do or places to see. We’re still coming across things we haven’t done or seen yet. There is an Oktoberfest down by the Town Hall, so perhaps we’ll take a walk down there and see what it’s all about. I imagine it’s nothing on the beautiful markets in Prague. Are they still up this time of year?

Dinner is a standard chicken pasta, it’s Alex’s go-to dish. I wonder what Chloe will have? I’m not sure what a ‘traditional’ Czech dinner is, so hopefully, we find out!

We have a few games of Clash Royale whilst Alex spends some time on the Truprint photobook.

The sun set long ago and the waves are crashing on the shore. Another day has ended in Benidorm. It’s time for bed.


Similarities and Differences between Prague, The Czech Republic and Alicante, Spain

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Prague sits somewhere near the top of my ‘must see’ list, especially around Winter time. It just looks so beautiful, filled with Christmas markets, glistening lights and a city filled with street cheer. Everybody you speak to always wants to go back. Once is never enough.

In recent years, Prague seems to have become more and more popular, especially during the colder months. I want to think this is because of the global spread of social media. We see an aesthetic photo on Instagram and we want to go. Beautiful places that once remained hidden are in full show to the world. Maybe it’s through blogs and word of mouth too. The whole attitude of Eastern European travel has shifted and become so much more positive in the last ten years or so.

In 2017, Prague had a record 7.6million tourists visit, which is just short of the 11 million that made the journey to Benidorm.

After having a quick recent, I found that Alicante has indirect flights to Prague for around 130€ per person and to say I’m not tempted would be a complete lie.

The climate between Prague and Alicante is so different. The endless summer in Benidorm stretches long past October, with highs of 25° and lows of 14°, comparable to the highs of 13° and lows of 6° in October in Prague. Yes, our lows are their highs! Though we do have a very similar average rainfall, only in the month of October though!

The biggest industry in the Czech Republic is the automotive industry, which came as a huge surprise to me. In the year 2012, over 174,000 cars were produced in the Czech Republic. [source: Business InfoTourism remains the major industry in Benidorm.

The architecture in Prague is truly beautiful. Some would go so far to say they are true gems of the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque area. Unlike many European Cities, the city was not rebuilt, instead, it has remained intact. Prague is known as the City of a Hundred Spires and it’s very easy to see why. The architecture is immense and diverse.

The architecture in Benidorm is much different. Boasted with skyscrapers built in the 1960’s and 1970’s, there is a lot less history behind it. Although some are eye-sores, if you look up at some of the buildings, you can appreciate some beautiful examples of late 60’s Spanish architecture.

It appears the prices in coffee shops are very similar between Benidorm and Prague – which truly surprised me.

It was also similar how there are so many parties and events set up for stags and hens in Prague, which is very similar to the centre of Benidorm. Pub crawls and nightclub walking tours are not uncommon in the centre of Benidorm, neither are they uncommon in Prague.


Next time, we’ll be comparing the similarities and differences between living in Alicante, Spain and London, UK.

Want to know all about life in the Capital of the UK? Well, stay tuned because next time, I’ll be teaming up with Suzy from suzystories.com to bring you A Day in the Life in London, the UK compared to Alicante, Spain.

Make sure you’re subscribed to my blog so you don’t miss an episode!

Hasta luego,

Lauren signature

If you want to be a part of this exciting series then please feel free to fill in the contact form below. I look forward to hearing from you!

*Please note, next available date is currently July 2019.
If you want to sponsor this blog series or feature your product in or any of the blog posts, please contact me via my Contact page.

Little Mix Experience in Benidorm

Tribute acts seem to get bigger, better and more popular each year.

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“La noche está para un reggaetón lento”

Benidorm have an outstanding selection of support acts and they seem to get bigger, better and more popular each year.

I have lost count how many stars I’ve watched in Benidorm, Micheal Jackson, Elvis, Abba, Take That, Queen and more. These acts truly give it all they’ve got on stage and bring the show to life. Where would Benidorm be without its unique selection of tribute acts?

There was such a wide range of acts to watch, but, there weren’t any girl bands. There didn’t seem to be any acts dedicated to the newer music. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the 70’s, 80’s and especially 90’s and early 2000’s music, but, it’s nice to have a mix! Or a little mix!

That was until the Little Mix Experience came on the scene.

I can’t deny that Alex and I are Little Mix fans. July 2017, we went to go see them at Donington Park. They were outstanding. Party banger after party banger, it really was a mini-festival experience.

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So with, the Little Mix experience arriving in Benidorm, it didn’t take much (any) convincing for Alex to go and watch them. So, my mum, my nan, Alex and I all went to Talk of the Coast to go and see the group!

The Little Mix Experience are on exclusively at Talk of the Coast, near to Morgans Tavern.

The show is outstanding, so much so, that people were telling me how amazing it is that the real Little Mix was performing in Benidorm! Now, if that isn’t a compliment?!

The Little Mix Experience in Benidorm perform all of the best songs from Little Mix. You can sway away with the sounds of Reggaeton Lento, Shoutout to my Ex, Touch, Power, Move, Black Magic and more. They really put on an outstanding performance and an unmissable show. I’m already working out when I can go again!

Did you know: Before Little Mix were famous the only place they had been on holiday was to Benidorm? I definitely think Jesy, Jade, Leigh-Anne and Perrie would love to return and see the Little Mix experience in action!

Question and Answer with Little Mix


I caught up with the Little Mix experience and asked them about their time here, what they’re all about and what they love about Benidorm. As you know, I’m all for the positivity! 

It was a fantastic show last night, how did you come about the idea of the Little Mix experience?

We had the idea whilst sat talking last summer, Michala (a member of the band) said a little mix tribute would work really well, Benidorm is definitely lacking girl groups. Then, here we are now!

Definitely! There’s such a feel-good factor about girl bands. How long have you all been performing together?

We have been doing Little Mix for just over a month now. We have been rehearsing for at least 3 months prior!

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REHEARSAL FUN: Little Mix Experience has been rehearsing for at least 3 months prior. ©Little Mix Experience

I bet, it takes so much to put a show together and you’re all doing amazing. How did you all meet?

Well, I’m Ema and I choreographed the show, then there is Michala, Taz, Lauren (Great name!) and Triana. Myself, Taz and Michala have known each other for quite a few years. Then, David Jon, who produced the show, scouted Lauren and Triana to join. Lauren used to work at the Showboat as a dancer and Triana worked at the Benidorm Palace as a singer.

Wow, all top places then! What’s your favourite song to perform as a group?

Our favourite songs to perform are Touch and Power!

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WHO GOT THE POWER?: Little Mix Experience love performing Touch and Power ©Little Mix Experience

Both great songs! They’re both so powerful and empowering songs. What’s your favourite thing about performing here in Benidorm?

Well, the great thing about performing in Benidorm is that there’s such a wide variety of shows. Plus, the people that come here. From hens and stags, families, couples and the elderly.

You’re right! Benidorm is so diverse, it really is for everybody. Thanks so much for catching up with me today. I’m sure I’ll be back to see you guys again soon!

Are you wanting to hear the Little Mix Experience belt out the iconic songs such as Touch, Power and Hair? Make sure you get yourself down to Talk of the Coast and see the girls in action. Like their Facebook page to keep up to date with their schedule and see their photos and videos here: Little Mix Experience.

Catch the Little Mix Experience every night only at Talk of the Coast:

Don’t forget to see Little Mix whilst you’re here in Benidorm!

Be sure to keep up to date with me by liking my Facebook page: DiaryofaSpanglishGirl and following me on Instagram:

Hasta luego,

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