20 Aug, 2023 @ 14:16
2 mins read

Brits on the offensive: UK holidaymakers turn tables on Germans in Spain’s sunbed wars but who are the bad guys here?

BRITS have long mocked Germans for going to extreme lengths to ‘reserve’ the best spots by the pool but now the tables have been turned.

In a famous Carling Black Label advert from 1993 a gang of middle aged Germans are seen getting wake up calls at 6.30am before making a dash for the sunbeds by the pool.

Germans making a dash for the pool. Image: Carling Black Label

The ‘hero’ of the ad is a Brit who calmly watches the mad rush from his balcony before throwing a rolled up towel, which, to the theme of The Dambusters, skips across the water of the pool before scoring a bullseye on a sunbed, unfurling to reveal it as a Union Jack.

Brit throws towel… Image: Carling Black Label

It was the epitome of the ‘Cool Britannia’ theme that had taken over the UK in the 90s. But now, that ice-cool sange-froid has seemingly been replaced by the British love of queuing.

RESERVED: Towel gets to sunbed first. Image: Carling Black Label

Apparently getting up at 6.30am to join the queue is no longer enough, with some Brits reserving places for a queue to join the queue outside the locked poolside gates the night before.

And this has not gone unnoticed by the German press, which has been gleeful in putting the boot on the other foot.

German website Focus Online said it was mainly ‘elderly or middle-aged British tourists’ responsible.

Its article continued: “Vacationers like to reserve loungers by the pool or on the beach with their towels. Some hotels then closed the doors to the outside overnight.”

Tabloid Bild joined in the fun with a story headlined Battle for the couches escalates blasting Brits for an ‘embarrassing deckchair and towel race’ in Tenerife – where locals have resorted to setting up deckchairs in the middle of the night to beat the swarm of foreign tourists dashing for the best spots first thing in the morning.

But while the participants in the race-for-a-bed maneuvers seem to take the battle deadly seriously, others are not so po-faced. 

Bild has previously run tongue-in-cheek stories, with one headlined Ziz means war accompanied by a graphic of a gun and a sunshade. Referring to a Thomas Cook initiative allowing Brits to reserve sunbed up to six days in advance, its headline ran on England plans a new offensive – new miracle weapon in the towel war.

And on the Costa del Sol one German told the Olive Press that times have changed.  “My dad used to do sunbed hogging when I was a kid and I didn’t like that.

“These days I think for Germans getting a good place to eat is more important – breakfast is our priority and not so much getting to the pool so early!”

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