Volume 44

1Casa News from Spain - No. 44
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Romería de la Virgin de Flores
The Pilgrimage of the Virgin of Flowers takes place in Álora on Sunday 11 September. The procession starts from the Plaza Baja Lower Square and returns the statue to the Convento de Flores on a decorated cart drawn by two oxen accompanied by many traditionally costumed riders sometimes with ladies riding pillion and groups playing music, singing and dancing along the way.
There are competitions for the best carriages and horses and riders in traditional costumes who participate in the procession. On the large green area in front of the Conventa there are lots of stalls, several bars, serving traditional paella and other food and live music.
24 Hour Pharmacy
The Farmacia in Bariada el Puente is under new ownership and from Friday 2 September it will be open 24/7 (a bell will have to be rung at night). Directions are as follows, take the Antequera road at the roundabout where you would turn left to go up to Álora - from Los Caballos. The road immediately bends to the right. The farmacia is on the left, on the corner of the small road to the Vivero (garden centre).
Alladin's Cave – Coín
A new warehouse opened in Coín this week, selling tools, barbeques, microwaves and many other goods at low prices. Directions are as follows, turn into La Trocha as if going to Dunnes etc., but pass the entrance to the shopping centre, the road bends to the right and then there is a dogleg, take the dog leg and the warehouse is about halfway down on the right. It is open from 09:00 - 20:00 without siesta.
A concert by of the Orquesta Joven de Andalucía (Andalucia Youth Orchestra), organised by the Ayuntamiento and the Department of Culture, will be held tonight, 3 September at la Real Colegiata de Santa María. The concert begins at 8.30 pm, directed by Michael Thomas and with Isabel Jiménez as soloist.
According to Town Hall records, foreign residents now make up approximately 20 per cent of Coín’s population but, while Britons are the single most-represented group, the majority of the town’s non-Spaniards are not expats from EU countries, but rather from Africa or Asia. In total, about 1,500 of the 4,000 registered foreign residents in the town are European.
El Retiro Gardens
The El Retiro Gardens in Malaga province are to reopen to the public again on September 6 2005 after being forced to close five years ago for financial reasons. The beautiful gardens in Churriana cover 140,000 square metres and includes some 30,000 palm trees, enclosed aviary gardens with a wide variety of birds and historic gardens that were declared a National Historic Monument in 1984.
El Retiro was originally built as a home for the Bishop of Malaga, Fray Alonso de Santo Tomás in 1669.
The Man Who Listens to Horses
Monty Roberts, the man who listens to horses, will be giving a demonstration at the Escuela de Arte Ecuestre in Estepona on Wednesday evening, 7 September. Tickets start from €48 and can be obtains via the El Corte Inglés website.
Málagueñan of the Year 2005
Joan Hunt, president and founder of Cudeca Cancer Care Hospice, was awarded the honour of Málagueñan of the Year at this year's Malaga Feria. This honour is usually awarded to Spanish nationals and, therefore, is a tribute to a member of the international community of the Costa del Sol in recognition of the work Cudeca carries out for residents in the province suffering from non-curable cancer.
To make the centre of Malaga more pedestrian friendly the Ayuntamiento plans to change the crossing time to allow people more time to cross the central Alameda Principal at pedestrian crossings. The local authority has stressed that the new timing system will be designed in such a way so that it does not cause traffic hold-ups. Plans are also under way for this year’s "Car Free Day" to be held on the last weekend in September.
La Tomatina - Buñol
On the last Wednesday of August each year people converge on the small Spanish town of Buñol, Valencia for the traditional Tomatina, where locals and visitors take part in an enormous tomato fight. This years Tomatina took place last Wednesday with an estimated 40,000 people taking part.
According to history, what began in 1944 as a simple tomato fight between a group of friends in the town's main square, the Plaza del Pueblo, has turned into one of the worlds largest food fights.
Rioja Harvest
The arrival of autumn holds a special significance for many parts of Spain. The gathering of the grapes forms part of cultural history and La Rioja, one of the most important regions when it comes to talking about wine, goes into full fiesta mode to pay homage.
Spain's Driest Year Since 1887
With rainfall dipping below half of normal levels in some regions, 2005 is becoming Spain's driest year in more than a century.
An official in the environment ministry, Antonio Serrano, told EFE that based on data for January through to August, "one can say with certainty that 2005 is turning out to be the driest year since 1887."
Emergency Six-year Drought Plan
The Spanish government is making emergency plans to ship water around the country's drought affected coastal areas in tankers amid warnings that the current record-breaking drought may last up to six years. Many similar droughts over the past six decades have lasted between four and six years, an Environment Ministry report said last week.
With rainfall at record-breaking lows earlier this year, orders have been issued to draw up plans on the assumption that this drought may last several years. The water authority for the south-eastern Segura basin, source of domestic water for the coastline from Alicante to Aguilas, has said that if necessary it will hire sea-going tankers to bring water in.
Spanish MP Evacuated from New Orleans
A Member of the Spanish Parliament, Lourdes Munoz Santamaria, was among thousands of people evacuated from the New Orleans Convention Centre on Friday. The Deputy of the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), had been holidaying with her husband and son who were also evacuated.
Spanish Gunboat Discovered in the Philippines
A 19th century Spanish gunboat wreck was discovered last week off the coast of Caramoan, Camarines Sur when a team of divers assessing the coastal environment here accidentally stumbled on it. Gov. Luis Raymund Villafuerte said the wreckage, believed to be that of the Spanish gunboat Elcano, was detected submerged through a sound-tracking device at 8 to 44 meters deep.
Villafuerte said the team of divers lead by marine biologist Dr. Antonio Mines were scouring the waters off the coast of Cabacogan, Caramoan when the shipwreck appeared on the radar screen. "It was an amazing find. Its historical value could be enormous, it might lead to the discovery of several unknown details of what a Spanish gunboat was and the war materiel of that period," he said.Villafuerte said follow-up exploration will be conducted to further authenticate, assess, protect and preserve artifacts that could still be salvaged from the wreckage.
Spaniards Have Post-Holiday Blues
Post-holiday doldrums affect 35 percent of Spain's younger workers, with symptoms including insomnia, loss of appetite, irregular heartbeat and feelings of despair, researchers reported Tuesday.
Spanish workers of any age can get the summer's-end blues, but those most vulnerable are people aged 25-40, who tend to go right back to work after returning from their holiday, with no transition period, said ANEPA, a private association of workplace safety monitors.
As most Spaniards get a month off per year, one idea would be to space that time out over the course of the year rather than take it all at once in the summer, the study said.  Also, besides spending a few days at home before going back to work, it is a good idea to avoid returning on a Monday.
Malaga FC
Celta de Vigo 2 - Malaga 0. Malaga lost their first game of the season against Celta who celebrated their return to the top flight with goals from Gustavo López and Baiano.
Last night Malaga beat Newcastle United 2 - 0 to win the Trophy Costa del Sol. A penalty by Antonio Noble and a goal from Pablo Couñago did justice to the scoreboard as Malaga could have scored more.
Malaga's next home game is on Sunday 11 September against Espanyol.
Italian Grand Prix
Kimi Raikkonen set the pace in practice and underlined his position as favourite to win a third consecutive race by setting the pace in final practice at the Italian Grand Prix. The Finn set a lap of one minute 20.916 seconds to lead McLaren team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya by 0.402secs. BAR's Takuma Sato was third fastest ahead of Raikkonen's title rival Fernando Alonso of Renault.
Michael Scumacher was fastest Saturday with a time of 1.21.721 as we went to press at 1pm today.
Antonio Pizzonia had less than an hour's warning that he was to replace Nick Heidfeld at Williams for the remainder of the Italian Grand Prix weekend, he went straight from his hotel bedroom to the track incurring several speeding tickets on the way.
Nadal to Play American James Blake in U.S. Open
Second seed Rafael Nadal of Spain can expect to receive a huge test of his U.S. Open credentials today when he faces in-form American James Blake for a place in the fourth round at Flushing Meadows, New York.
The French Open champion won his first hardcourt title at the Montreal Masters earlier this month while Blake is unbeaten in eight matches.
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