Darlene Foster's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Torrevieja

As much fun as we are having here in Spain, we do miss our friends and family back in Canada. So when friends come to visit, it is pretty special. We were delighted when my bestie Jayne, and her hubby, Bob, came to spend a week with us in September. We had so much fun together, as we always do, and did lots of catching up. There was beach time and shopping time, as well as visits to historic sites and a Roman and Carthaginian festival. We hung out with gladiators and ate tapas, paella and much more delicious Spanish food. My hubby was happy to drive us to many interesting places.

Jayne at the market, stopping to smell the flowers

Jayne at the market, stopping to smell the flowers

Jayne and Bob enjoying the Mediterranean.

Jayne and Bob enjoying the Mediterranean.

An evening walk on the beach.

An evening walk on the beach.

Hanging out with gladiators at the Roman Feista

Hanging out with gladiators at the Roman Fiesta

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Romans and archers

Romans and archers

by a mural in Cartegana

by a mural in Cartagena

The amazing church in Novelda, designed by a student of Gaudi.

The amazing church at Novelda, designed by a student of Gaudi.

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Old friends in Spain

Coffee at the mall after serious shopping

Coffee at the mall after serious shopping

Relaxing by the sea in Torrevieja

Relaxing by the sea in Torrevieja

Ice cream in Torreveija

Ice cream in Torrevieja. That was the small size!

Of course Dot loved Jayne

Of course, Dot loved Jayne

Jayne is an English girl from Nottingham who has lived in Canada for a long time. She was the first friend I made when I moved to Vancouver in 1989. We have done some fun things together over the years. I am so glad she came to visit me in Spain. Jayne and her husband had a great time and loved our new relaxed life.

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Jayne is having surgery on October 18. She is such a positive individual, I know she will be fine. But I would like to ask you to please send some positive thoughts and prayers her way.

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Jayne in Spain

Isn´t it great to get together with a long time friend!

Wishing all my wonderful readers a very Merry Christmas wherever you are!!

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Christmas on the beach!

My article on Christmas in my part of Spain was recently published in Travel Thru History.

CHRISTMAS ON THE COSTA BLANCA
Torrevieja, Spain
by Darlene Foster

Christmas in Spain is a month long party consisting of numerous fiestas, parades, fireworks, brass bands, markets and food, lots of food. The first weekend in December is the official start of the Christmas season and it doesn´t take us long to get into the festive spirit. In our part of the Costa Blanca, it starts with a number of events celebrating Torrevieja´s Patronal Fiesta, dedicated to the patron saint of the city.

Enjoy the rest of the article here:

http://www.travelthruhistory.com/html/culture102.html

May your Christmas bring you much love, joy and peace!!

Here in Spain the most important date in the Christmas season is not December 25. It is January 6, Epiphany, the day Three Kings from the east brought gifts to the infant Jesus.  Fiesta de Los Tres Reyes Magos (Three Kings Day) starts on January 5 when the Three Wise Men arrive and parade through the streets handing out candies to all the children eagerly waiting. The parade ends at a church where the Kings become part of a human nativity scene. That night the children put out their shoes and in the morning, if they have been good all year, they find gifts from the Magi. They leave out treats for the Kings and water for the camels. (Like children in North America do for Santa Claus) There are many parties and family dinners on January 6th.

We had the pleasure of experiencing this event here on the Costa Blanca. In Torrevieja, a coastal town, the Kings, Gaspar, representing frankincense, Melchior, representing gold, and Balthazar, representing myrrh, arrived by boat. They greeted all of us in Spanish and English, waving as they passed by to join the parade.

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Along with their entourage, the Kings joined the traditional Epiphany parade through town. It was quite a spectacle with a display of animals, Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, Romans, Egyptians, dancers, riders and Royal pages. We enjoyed the pageantry and spirit of the evening. The excited children lined up holding out bags for the many candies they received from the participants in the parade, including the Three Kings.

Here is a sample of what we saw.

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On January 6, we attended a Kings Day party around the pool and were treated to traditional Kings Day cake called Roscón. It is a sweet, large donut-shaped bread covered in glazed cherries and sugar. A plastic toy is buried inside the mixture. He or she who finds the toy gets good luck for the next year. We didn´t find a toy but enjoyed the cake and the company.

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Another Spanish tradition for us to discover!

Of course it is also the end of the Christmas season as the trees and decorations are coming down and things are going back to regular routine after a month of celebration.

Happy Kings Day everyone!!

 

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This past weekend was special here as a number of events were held to celebrate Torrevieja´s Patronal Fiesta. We took in as much as we could and soon got into the festive spirit. We started by meeting a friend at The Casino for a drink and tapas on Saturday evening. The Casino is not a place to gamble but rather a social club to meet friends, attend concerts and lectures. It is very elegant and comfortable. The Christmas tree was lovely.

We then watched representatives of local associations and organizations carry flowers through the streets of Torrevieja to the Inmaculada Church in the town square for the traditional Floral Offering. The parade included various marching bands.

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Once at the church each group is announced and their floral offerings placed in a metal frame erected around the door of the church in which stands the patron saint. Most of the flowers are white and blue, the official colours of the town, with a few pinks and purples as well. A mini Christmas market is held in the square to add to the spirit. The entire town had turned out it seemed. It was quite exciting and moving but difficult to get a clear picture.

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We came back the next day to view the flowers again, just as Sunday Mass was over. Some of the Spanish people wore their traditional clothes to church.

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A traditional Christmas Belen is set up in the main square. (Belen is Spanish for Bethlehem). This amazing display depicts scenes from the life of Jesus. The details are incredible. The Belen is up until January 6 and I am sure to visit it   more than once and share more pictures.

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The Fiesta included a paella competition where over 150 communities and groups took part in making their best paella.  The Mayor and his entourage carried out the judging. They must have been very full after sampling 150 paellas!

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And just as we were about to call it a day, we stumbled upon a parade of giants and big heads right outside the Casino. Delighted adults and children of all ages followed along. A perfect ending to a fabulous day of festivities.

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The Spanish people know how to celebrate. Everything is all about the family and community. It is the true meaning of Christmas.

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What are you doing to get into the spirit?

“The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plane.” My Fair Lady

Here are more pictures from my favourite places in Spain.

Barcelona

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Spain 09 041

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Madrid

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Alicante

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Torrevieja

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Guadalest

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La Alberca

flower strewn balcony

Darlene in La Alberca

citizen of La Alberca

These are just a few of my favourite pictures. I may post more from time to time.

All pictures were taken by Darlene Foster and Paul Foster over the course of 8 years.

 


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