Friday, August 31, 2007

Two related stories from Spain

People are allowed to kill us, each other and the place they are going to:

"...And, of course, "El Boom" has continued, with all the familiar consequences.

The Med can expect to receive 230 million visitors this year making it the world's most popular tourist destination.

It is predicted that by 2020 the influx will have risen to 350 million.

Already 22,000 sq km of this once beautiful and productive coastline are covered in asphalt and concrete and the urbanisation is bound to continue.
During a recent visit to the Costa Brava to report for Crossing Continents, I re-read a book by Norman Lewis who is, in my opinion, one of the best travel writers of our time.

In the 1950s, Lewis lived and worked as a fisherman in a small Spanish fishing village.

He was on the Costa Brava as the first wave of tourists arrived and in his book "Voices of the Old Sea", he quotes the reaction of a small-town mayor.

'Although we've come to live off these people, we intensively dislike them. Why? Because we resent what they are doing to us. It's a kind of sickness. Now we suffer from tourists. But it will die out in the end. This is only a passing fad, they'll all go and we'll be back where we were before.'..."

- By Julian Pettifer, BBC Radio 4's Crossing Continents

full article


.... but if there is some kind of other threat all of the sudden their safety is paramount:

"...The shark, which is said to measure around 1.5m (5ft), was spotted off the coast near Murcia on Wednesday and on Thursday. Its type is not known.

Several beaches have been closed as a result of the sighting..."

- BBC News , "Spanish beach shut as shark seen"

full article

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