Volume 72

Cristina Sanchez
1Casa News from Spain - No. 91
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Construction company, Vicma has begun work on the conversion of six premises in the Luchadores por la Libertad park to create a new leisure complex that will house bars, restaurants and ice-cream shops. The premises, which measure between 33 and 140 square metres each will eventually be joined with the new La Cancula business park currently under construction.
Coin’s feria started yesterday, Friday 11 August and runs until Tuesday 15 August; Pizarra’s feria takes place between 14 and 18 August. Bar owners in the centre of Malagahave decided not to serve anyone not wearing a shirt during the city feria which began at midnight11/12 August.  It's the first time that such a restriction has been seen in Malaga and posters will advise customers of the new rule.
Assumption Day (Asunción de la Virgen)
Next Tuesday 15 August 2006 is a national holiday in Spain to commemorate the Virgin Mary being taken up into heaven.
Perseids Meteor Shower
The meteor shower, Perseids popularly known as the Lagrimas of San Lorenzo (Tears of San Lorenzo) in Spain, will be most active during Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 August at 2.12 am on the Peninsula.  Although the moon will complicate observation, during Sunday some 60 events an hour are estimated. The Canaries Astrophysics Institute reported that the meteor shower will be visible throughout almost all of August.
Guadalhorce Valley
Land in the Guadalhorce Valley received an emergency watering early last week which continued overnight due to the drought being suffered in the area.  The effects of the watering on the different crops will be studied and decisions will be made between farmers and the Junta de Andalucía in the future to see whether the experience will be repeated.  A spokesman for the Provincial Delegate for Agriculture and Fisheries said solutions were needed as soon as possible.
Teba Braveheart
Teba recently paid tribute to the 14th-century Scottish warrior James Douglas.  Douglas carried Robert the Bruce’s ‘brave heart’ into battle against the Moors in the town.  As Robert the Bruce lay on his deathbed having been unable to take his place on a Crusade, he asked that after his death his heart be taken and carried into battle. Douglas was given the task and with the embalmed heart in a small casket hanging around his neck, travelled to Spain to join the fight against the Moors.  During a battle at Teba, Douglas found himself isolated and surrounded by the enemy. Legend has when he realised he had no escape, Douglas took Robert the Bruce's heart from its casket and threw it at the Moorish warriors, shouting: “Forward, brave heart, as ever thou were wont to do, and Douglas will follow thee or die.” His dead body was later found surrounded by a ring of dead Moors; he had battled to the end in honour of the memory of his King.  Robert the Bruce’s heart was later returned to Scotland for burial, as were the bones of Douglas. The warrior's bones were placed in the Church of St Bride in the town of Douglas. Today, local officials in Teba say there are plans for a twinning of the two towns.
Tourism Boost for Spanish Property
Spanish property will receive extra exposure this summer, with figures showing that tourism in the Costa del Sol region is expected to reach a 10 year high.  Property investors from overseas will contribute to a hotel occupancy level of 85% this summer, a figure higher than last season despite the fact that there is more hotel accommodation available this year.
Invasion of Jellyfish
Large numbers of jellyfish are invading the waters of the Costa del Sol and a fleet of boats is working to remove them.  Beaches where the water has up to 10 jellyfish per square metre have been closed. The resources are being shared by the municipalities of Nerja, Algarrobo and Torrox and several tons of the creatures are expected to be collected. Four more boats are standing by in Malaga and Rincon de la Victoria is also taking preparatory measures against  the creatures as they move west.
The increase in the number of jellyfish is natural at this time of year as sea waters warm and the adults breed, but there are fears that we may be seeing something of a more permanent nature, due to global warming and the decline of the creatures' natural predators such as swordfish, tuna and turtles.
Normally the bulk of jellyfish remain 40 miles off the coast where sea temperatures are higher than by the beach. But drought has depleted rivers and greatly reduced the volume of cooler river-water flowing into the sea. That means coastal waters are now considerably warmer and less salty than in the past.
Security Increased at Malaga Airport
Security has been stepped up at Malaga airport as part of the anti-terrorist operation.  Easy Jet flights from Malaga to Luton and Stansted were cancelled and another 40 suffered delays of as much as two hours.  Spain cancelled most flights to London on Thursday as British police thwarted a terrorist plot that intended to blow up America bound commercial planes in mid-air.
Hooded Seal Spotted in Andalucia
A hooded seal, a species usually to be found in Artic waters, has been spotted by divers in La Herradura on the Costa Tropical. The animal is thought to have followed a cold current to arrive off the Granada coastline. The seal will be rescued by CREMA, the Centre for the Recovery of Threatened Marine Species in Andalucia. This is the first time a hooded seal has been seen on the Costa Tropical, but there have been sightings in Malaga, Gibraltar and Chipiona in recent years.
Forest Fires in Galicia
In Galicia hundreds of forest fires continue to burn with many of them out of control.  Several of the fires are thought to have been started deliberately and arrests have been made of suspected arsonists, among them a current fire-fighter who is accused of starting three blazes.  Spain has requested extra aircraft and vehicles from the European Union to help control the situation.  Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero interrupted his holiday in Lanzarote to visit the region to see the extent of the damage being caused and encourage the efforts to control the fires.
Driver Travels 47 kms the Wrong Way Down Motorway
A man in his seventies has been arrested for driving 47 kilometres the wrong way down the A-7 motorway. His actions resulted in three accidents and came after he lost his way.  He was finally stopped at a toll booth at Moncofa in Castellon.
Which Airport?
Passengers on a Spanair flight from Barcelona airport to Santiago de Compostela were surprised to find their flight had landed in Seville.  The error was caused in Stockholm where Spanair rented the flight from Nordic Airways and the person who had to record the flight plan mixed up the code for Santiago, SVQ with that of Seville, SCQ.  The mostly Spanish travellers on the flight found the crew only spoke Swedish or English, which increased the confusion. The plane finally set off from Seville for Santiago arriving two hours late.
A Walk Through Spain
Regent Street enters into the Spanish spirit with the Regent Street Festival on 3rd September 2006.  Fourteen regions from Spain will be participating in the event whose theme this year is ‘A Walk Through Spain’ sponsored by the Spanish Tourist Office and the Regent Street Retailers.  Each region will take over a stretch of Regent Street, so that festival-goers will feel as though they are walking through Spain, experiencing the look and feel of each area.  Andalucia promises a traditional Flamenco Dance Show with a chance for visitors to learn from the experts.  For the professionals there will be a nine hole putting green to reflect the eight provinces within Andalucia, the ninth representing Andalucia.  A taste of traditional Andalucia fare will make everyone's mouth water and wine from the province of Huelva will be tasted in some of the Regent Street stores.
British Biggest Buyers of Rioja
Exports of the Spanish wine Rioja rose by over 15% in the first half of this year, according to figures released this week. The Group of Wine Producers and Exports of Rioja said 38.17 million litres of the wine were sold abroad, compared to 33 million sold during the same period last year.
The British are the biggest buyers of Rioja, buying 13 million litres compared to 10.8 last year, a rise of 19.2%.  Germans bought 6.3 million litres, Americans 3.47 million followed by the Swiss, the Swedes, the Dutch and the Danes.
Nadal Out of the Toronto Open
Rafael Nadal has been knocked out of the Toronto Open in the third round against the Czech player, Tomas Berdych, 6-1, 3-6, 6-2. Nadal was seeded number 2 in the tournament which he won last year.
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