Madrid Hotels Articles

August 29, 2010

Memoirs: The beach

The summer of 1983 was unique indeed. I had just purchased a second-hand Ford Fiesta with the “no-thrills” package. A couple of friends felt the best way to inaugurate the car was a “road trip” to the beach. Living near Madrid meant having to travel a good ways to find any sea water. So, after a few beers it was decided that Benidorm was the place to visit.

These plans were made on a Thursday evening, and on Friday morning I was told “You’re going to Saudi Arabia for sixty days,” by the Prime Beef Officer in the Civil Engineering Squadron at Torrejon AB. Had it been an officer with no sense of logic, I would have been on a plane that day. But, when I explained that I was planning on making a weekend trip to the beach, the good captain felt enough compassion to allow me to spend some time with fun in sun before the sixty days of just plain time in the sun.

Friday after work, with a cooler full of beer and sandwiches and light luggage in the limited space trunk, we were on our way. As I said at the beginning of the story, the year was 1983. Spain was still crawling out from the shadow Franco had cast on it for decades; including the infrastructures systems. All roads leading to Benidorm were what would be considered secondary roads today. Only they were the main roads in that period of time.

A small car with limited power packed with three young men versus the Spanish traffic in an all night drive. In our favor were our youth and our desire to get to the beach as soon as possible to enjoy. Working against us was just about everything else.

We pulled out of Madrid at 5 pm on Friday and took turns driving, stopping to eat and answer the call of nature when needed. We thought the 466 kilometers that stood between the city asphalt of Madrid and the sandy beaches of Benidorm would fly by in five or six hours. However, with traffic being what it was and summer being the full season for “going to the beach” by everyone who lived in Madrid, we pulled in at sunrise on Saturday. Fourteen hours for 466 kilometers wasn’t enough to kill our desire to have fun and, once we got a room, we started out exploring.

The first item to attend to was breakfast. As we walked down the main street by the beach, we finally decided to stop in a “restaurant”. I use that term loosely as you will soon find out. We sat down at a table and looked over a huge self-service bar filled with every type of breakfast food you could imagine as well as some that would

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