What a place. Everything you would expect it to be and more but what they can never show you in the pictures is the brilliant atmosphere.
The place is absolutely packed with holiday makers on package tours but it is calm and happy. They are all so friendly and love the dogs. The happy buzz is infectious, it is like we have all been sprinkled with happy dust and I can absolutely see why people flock here in droves for their annual holidays. You can only love it.
No trip to Benidorm would have been complete without a trip to the Solana! We feel a bit self-conscious taking pictures as people go about their life but it has to be done.
Fortunately we meet a lovely retired couple from Liverpool who are staying at the Solana (real name Los Pelicanos Ocas). They can’t wait to tell us all about what is happening and that this is the main location for the TV show but that the reception area is filmed at another hotel around the corner. Neptunes is just across the road, she is going to show me that later!
So Mrs Liverpool as I will call her because we were never formally introduced, has lived in Liverpool all of her life and has holidayed in Benidorm once a year for the past 20 years. She was here long before the TV programme was even thought of, they are the loyal fans who still came to Benidorm when nobody else wanted to. The resort is booming now and it’s all down to a TV show.
Mrs Liverpool offers to show me round, she said not to be embarrassed because people walk in all of the time and take photos, the staff are used to it. She shows me inside the hotel but explains that not much filming is done in here, then she takes me to the pool area and tells me where everyone sits and where the pool bar is, also the exact spot that is cordoned off for filming. Mrs Liverpool is very proud, it is like she is showing me around her own home – I could not have had a better tour guide.
Neptunes is just across the road and is only open in the evenings …
We make our way along the coast to the old town where we find a beautiful square in traditional Andalusian style. The views up and down the coast are stunning. The old church sits just behind and the tiny narrow streets are full of boutiques and tourist shops. There is no shortage of palm trees anywhere in this town, or skyscrapers for that matter!
After a very nice lunch we head back along the promenade to where we started.
There is a man creating a sandcastle. A gigantic work of art, an incredible spectacle. When he finishes he sets off the water jets to keep it damp and stable. The castle was so amazing I almost missed the dragon lying beside it.
People really know how to party and enjoy themselves here, no question about that. Madge style mobility scooters are everywhere, even double ones! This place takes it to the extreme but it is fab and has its own beauty and charm. Plus you don’t have to worry about eating any of that foreign muck, fish and chips are in abundance and then you can have a good karaoke sing and dance to burn it all off. In my humble opinion there are some who could do with a few less chips and a bit more dance but such is life!
What a day out, we will never forget it – I feel like I have been to a really good concert or film and we are still buzzing.
We never actually made it to Sticky Vickies but there’s always next time!