The name “Benidorm” usually conjures images of fluorescent pink lidos, beer-bellied Brits and wrinkly old-age pensioners on mobility scooters (think Madge from the ITV series). Whilst I have seen all of these things during the two days I have been in Benidorm It’s really not as tacky and anglicised as I imagined it would be. When my mum asked me to come on holiday with her here I’ll admit that I had my misgivings- after all, I am a languages student so when I go to Spain I like to practice my Spanish and I didn’t think the opportunity would arise if the town was just a plethora of English bars and pubs. Surprisingly my language skills have come in handy a couple of times and I like the way the spaniards’ faces light up when they realise I can speak their language. There was also a funny moment in the newsagents where I left the shopkeeper looking utterly bewildered because I bought a copy of “El Diario”.
On our first night in Benidorm we took a stroll along the Promenade beside Levante beach and headed into the old town where a little piece of authentic Spain has been preserved. At the Placa del Castell viewpoint there is a beautiful set of steps and archways from which you can see the Benidorm strip and nearby Peacock Island. The atmosphere was very relaxed here with musicians playing panpipes and we enjoyed some Sangria in the nearby café. After this we sampled a little bit of Benidorm nightlife and headed to café Benidorm where a very good Il Divo tribute were playing (one of many similar tribute bands to be found in Benidorm). The highlight of this visit though had to be the man wearing nothing but a black leather thong who was posing for pictures with drunk people- only in Benidorm.
The next day we paid a visit to Morgan’s tavern and the Sol Pelicanos hotel where the ITV series “Benidorm” is filmed and I was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Sherrie Houston (manager of the Solana) and Janine Duvitski and Kenny Ireland (Donald and Jacquline). Unfortunately I was inept at keeping my camera poised at the ready so I didn’t get any photos.
So that’s my experience of Benidorm so far. I am really enjoying the sunshine and I have a feeling that I will discover some hidden secrets and wonders of this little town before the end of the week. Until then I’ll just lie back and embrace the tack!