Football fever has hit Spain - flags and celebrations everywhere, and no wonder as the Spanish football team trounced Italy in yesterday's European Championship Final. Spain might have rubbish bankers and politicians - but they can produce wonderful footballers. For the second time, two teams from Ireland's preliminary group made the final - in 1988 Holland and the USSR did what Spain and Italy did this year. Bad luck for us each time - maybe we are not as bad as people make us out to be?
We visited Cartagena today and I definitely felt that it was quieter in the streets than last year. It could all be due to a big hangover after yesterday's football, but the repeated closed shops on the high street, with 70% off sales, point to a deep economic problem here. While the country is rightly celebrating sporting success - there are bigger problems for everybody here. Like us Irish, I'm sure the Spanish can pull through. It's ironic that a country enjoys such unprecedented success on the football field for the first time in the middle of its biggest ever economic crisis.
Things are still relatively cheap here - petrol is 1.40e/litre and beer is 2.50e. Golf in the report is cheaper than last year, but is still an expensive 30e for nine holes. In Carrefour clothing was especially cheap - I bought a pair of flip-flops for 3e, they were not on special offer. Good value to be had for the tourist and holiday maker in Spain.