Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Overview of Sta Pola

A cloudy cool and windy day today, windy enough to empty beaches of all but wind surfers - just as well for them as there's some kind of race competition being staged here along the shore this week.

After lunch I did a circuit of the town's outskirts up behind our apartment, going first to the Camino de la Cruz and Ermita de Nuesta Senora overlooking Sta Pola. This would have been the edge of town when a new housing area was constructed here in the sixties to accommodate town dwellers whose homes had been crowded inside the walls of the Castello. Part of its restoration by the municipality was the creation of the magnificent open public space that now serves the social needs of the every expanding population of locals and visitors.

The barrio displaced to the top of the hill is now itself enveloped by more modern housing developments to a depth of a quarter of a mile bounded by a recently constructed link road steering traffic through outer suburbs to the N332 south across the salinas from the
 town. The original modern houses are basic simple cottages, low cost social housing in their time.

The modern houses and gated apartment blocks reflect the growing wealth of the coastal region as a result of tourism over the past four decades. It can't all be holiday homes up there however, as there are several large schools serving the area, but inhabitants must go down the hill to do their shopping. Even local corner stores are in short supply in this district, unlike the streets on the coastal plain below, which are altogether more convival places than can be lived in without needing a car.

Interesting to get an overview of the place, and to wonder how it will develop over the next half century. Empty housing plots down below are gradually being filled in with apartment blocks of six to ten storeys. Will they one day go higher, as in so many other urbanised coastal villages and towns, given over the the modern industries of leisure?

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