19 Oct, 2014 @ 09:00
2 mins read

A bridge too far…

THEY are opening a new park just down the road from me in San Pedro.

It’s part of the the new image for the town that they have been heavily promoting. In recent years they have built an underground car park (with resultant traffic chaos) a new tunnel (with resultant traffic chaos) and only last month announced that there would be a huge new commercial centre built on the outskirts of town (I’ll let you guess what the result will be – you are clever people).

The new park features plenty of green space, as you’d expect, plus an amphitheatre and lots of childrens play areas. The highlight, however, is the pedestrian bridge, which the powers that be have decided should majestically span the town’s main roundabout (with resultant traffic chaos).

The bridge itself features the type of heavy ironwork that would look more at home in Sunderland than San Pedro. Now I’m not a huge authority on the industrial heritage of the Costa del Sol, but if I was planning a new park, I wouldn’t have dropped 800 or so tonnes of heavy metal in the middle of the town. Something made of wood perhaps, or that echoed the Moorish influence of Al-Andalus that Expo 92 in Sevilla did so brilliantly.

And the other thing that annoys me about the San Pedro bridge is the design. Once again the architect has plumped for what I would describe as sub Guggenheim architecture, all wavy lines and curves. While that might have been fine for Bilbao, is looks somewhat strange on the Costa del Sol. And it seems to be the default setting for most architecture when there is a new project to be built. When I was living in Antequera the new AVE station looked not so much as a transport hub, but more as if the mothership had suddenly landed outside Bobadilla. But most famous of all was Barcelona’s airport, that was redesigned and relaunched just in time for the Olympics. A huge mass of metal and glass, it was unveiled with much pomp and ceremony, until it was discovered (and they never admitted how) that the glass and metal was throwing up ‘ghost planes’ on the outdated air traffic control system.

I have since got into the habit of ordering a second Martini when landing in Barcelona, just to calm the nerves…

Radio silence

With a cunning scheme of rewiring the radio on the Freelander I have finally got music in the car, and this has meant that I spend a fair part of my time now listening to Spanish radio stations. The positives are that I am able to keep abreast of what is going on in Spain, but the downside is that I have to put up with the constant babble of Spanish radio presenters and their annoying habit of throwing in English words just for effect. ‘C’mon’, ‘Sexy’ and ‘Weekend’ seem to feature quite a lot.

The bit that made me almost crash last week was the fact that Spanish stations seem to play English language tracks without checking the lyrics first. Therefore I was treated to US singer Pink last week singing ‘You’re so f**king special’ and it made me remember a parent recounting a kiddies performance last year where the grand finale was the massed ranks of four-year-olds enthusiastically belting out Cee Lo Green’s F**k You.

It made my British heart swell with pride!

Giles Brown

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  1. It’s the height of it that concerns me. Can removal vans, tourist open top double decker buses and other high vehicles get underneath? The roads will be blocked on many occasions when the bridge is hit.

  2. If the place is so bad then why don’t you vote with your feet – or wheels in this case. One less car on the road. Less chaos. Less negativity. It’s a win all round. Do set a date!

  3. Some people seem to like to complain for the sake of it!
    Having suffered the chaos for years when they were building the tunnel, surely what we have now is a vast improvement, not only for residents, businesses and visitors, but also those who want to travel along the A7 with least delay as possible.
    I believe what they have done is all positive compared with the state of the place 5 years ago, and surely will do nothing but good for the economy of San Pedro!

  4. Agreed Peter. I see San Pedro coming back to being the 2nd centre in Marbella. It’s on a human scale and has all the facilities needed. Values have already risen in Guadalmina due to the tunnel, as previously, it was just a number of traffic lights too far for people wanting to enjoy contact with Marbella town. The park in the centre over the tunnel will be enjoyed by all and bring Nueva Alcántara into the town as well. However, as the bridge is undoubtedly an artistic creation we all may be permitted an opinion on it.

  5. As Fred is now involved I shall not comment further. He has a personal vendetta against me and refuses to disclose his identity or the reason for it. I have reported him to the administrators of a number of similar websites, but unfortunately it appears that he/she disguises his email location. However, the more he/she comments, under this and the other names used, the closer they will get to his true identity.

  6. Mr. Brown is probably the best writer currently working on the Costa del Sol, Martin S. I am an editor and, believe me, Giles’s prose sparkles like a diamond compared to most local content and – guess what? – he and Belinda Beckett, another superb writer, both contribute to The Olive Press.

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