July 2013 Archive

New Passport rules for Expats in Spain

Passport application rules have changed for British
Ex-pats in Spain and took effect on 13th May. All passport applications must be
sent to the Identity & Passport Service (IPS) in Belfast, United Kingdom.
Previously it was the regional processing hub in Madrid.

More info can be found here: www.gov.uk/overseas-passports

For general passport renewals, the processing times remain
the same and you should allow four weeks from the date they receive your
payment together with all the correct documentation. However for passport
replacements due to them being lost, damaged or stolen, you should allow at
least six weeks.

The telephone number for the IPS customer service in
Belfast is: 0044 (0) 300 222 0000.

If you need to travel urgently and you do not have your
passport, you can contact the British Consulate in Alicante. Tel: 965 21 60 22
or for more help go to www.gov.uk/world/spain

They may be able to issue an emergency travel document.

Please note the British Consulate in Alicante has a new
address, just in case you use an old sat nav destination!  The new address is:

British Consulate in Alicante

Edificio Espacio,

Rambla Mendez Nunez

6ta planta (6th floor)

Alicante 03002.



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Posted by on 07/23/2013 16:16:00

El Portet Moraira

Whether you’re on holiday in the
area, or are one of the village’s lucky retirees – regular visits to the
secluded bay of El Portet are a must. It’s only about 1k from Moraira centre,
and although there are lots of parking spaces available, it’s a very pleasant

The walk is not just good exercise,
but a provider of excellent views too – over the marina with the hundreds of
gently bobbing vessels, and down into the azure waters of the El
Portet beach
. Then in the distance you can see Calpe and the famous Calpe

That view of Calpe makes you
gratefully realise that Moraira has not succumbed to the temptation of building
high rise holiday accommodation. Instead, the feel of a small upmarket village
has been retained.

Turn to look at El Portet beach, and
that feeling is endorsed. Exquisite luxury villas cling to the cliffside, and
the walkway behind the beach houses several friendly bar/restaurants serving
mid-morning coffee and light lunches. Those with a hearty appetite and in their
shorts, a full wallet, will find a top quality restaurant overlooking the
beach. Their signature dish, oven roasted Crown of Lamb, is superb, and all
ingredients for their dishes, are freshly sourced each day.

The many children paddling in the
warm waters are testament to the safety of the beach. There are no dangerous
ledges to fall off – instead, the sand rolls very gradually to deeper water, at
least 50m away. 

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Posted by on 07/23/2013 15:21:00

Winter Fuel Payment

What a cheek!  The UK government is going to stop giving me
a Winter Fuel payment, just because I’ve retired to Spain. Frankly, my dear UK
Gov, I don’t give a damn.

Here in Moraira there’s a
subtropical Mediterranean climate. There are sea breezes cooling the area in
the summer, and the surrounding mountains give protection from cold North winds
during winter. The area enjoys an average of some 3000 hours of sunshine each
year, with an average temperature in excess of 20 degrees centigrade. In most
years, around 300 days of sun can be expected. That’s why I don’t care about
any Winter Fuel Payment.

So, if you are thinking of retiring
to Moraira, don’t you be put off by such mundane matters either. In the recent
past, the World Health Organisation no less, has commended the Moraira climate
as one of the most equitable in the world – neither too hot in the summer nor
too cold in winter.

Of course, no location is perfect.
Sometimes it does rain in Moraira, often in the autumn months. Occasionally, we
get a visit from the Gota Fria then, and that brings very heavy rain for
perhaps a week. So, that’s the time to do those indoor jobs that have been put
off during the summer, when it was too hot to contemplate them.

That’s the great thing about living
in Moraira and living in Spain in general. The cost
of living in Spain vs UK is cheaper
. Of course it will rain sometimes – it
will feel cool sometimes – but you know without a shadow of doubt that very
soon those skies will again be electric blue, and the sun will shine once more.

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Posted by on 07/15/2013 10:03:00

Moors & Christians Moraira

As you build your 5thsandcastle on Ampolla Beach in Moraira, trying to protect this one from the
feet of the little devils you brought with you on holiday – look behind you at
the real castle, and reflect on what
it was trying to protect.

Completed in 1742, and armed with 4
bronze canons, the castle was part of the fortifications commissioned by Felipe
II to protect the area from Barbary pirates. Earlier, Moors from North Africa
had conquered the Spanish Mediterranean coast, and there was no wish to let
that happen again.

The Moors called their Iberian
territory Al-Andalus, and by the turn of the millennium, it’s said that some 5
million of Iberia’s 7 million population were Muslim. Many place names around
Moraira give evidence of the Moorish influence. Alcassar, Benimeit, Benimarco,
Moravit and Tabaira are all examples. Even legend has it that a Moorish
princess named Ira, la Mora caused our little village to be called Moraira, but
even though it’s a romantic thought, the truth of that is uncertain.

What is refreshing though, is that
the connection between Moors and Christians is not forgotten – and the
recollection is not centred on weapons, animosity and bad feeling. Instead, in
most towns along the Costa Blanca there is a fiesta each year to remember the
events of centuries ago, with local people donning Christian or Moorish costume
or picking up an instrument of some kind, and marching through the streets to a
haunting and melodious beat.

If you’re planning to visit the
area, you are recommended to research when and where the Moors and Christian
celebrations will be held. Please be sure not to miss them.

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Posted by on 07/15/2013 09:55:00