Blackpool: Seaside Resort

Bailes de salón, fish & chips, picnics en la playa y paseos en burro, esta ciudad costera con un atractivo muy peculiar es desde hace más de cien años uno de los destinos vacacionales preferidos de los británicos.

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Sarah Davison

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The typical British summer holiday looked very different a century ago. Families would go to the seaside, staying with a relative or at a bed-and-breakfast. They would have picnics on the beach, heads protected from the sun by knottedhandkerchiefs. At night, they would dine on fish and chips and enjoy the entertainment along the promenade

Everything changed at the end of the 20th century. Cheap package holidays abroad became available. People preferred to go to warmer, sunnier countries. Many British resorts suffered until recently, when the ‘staycation’ made a comeback. One place that has always been popular, however, is Blackpool.

Bed-and-breakfast. Posada, pensión. El nombre, a menudo abreviado como B&B, resume a la perfección la oferta de este tipo de establecimiento hotelero de precios moderados. Por lo general, se trata de una casa acondicionada con un máximo de diez habitaciones, y donde suelen residir los propios dueños.

WAKES WEEKS

The Lancashire town became a popular holiday destination during the 19th century, when it was connected to many places in the north of England by rail. Masses of factory workers came from all around the north for their annual holidays, known as ‘wakes weeks’. All along the seafront were fortune-tellers, pubs, theatres, fish-and-chip shops and donkey rides for the children. Today, Blackpool is still Britain’s favourite seaside resort. It is not surprising, as there is plenty to see and do. Blackpool is famous for its three piers, tower, the Illuminations, ballroom dancing, the football club and excellent beaches. In one survey, Britons said they preferred its beaches to the Maldives’!

Wakes weeks. Semanas de vigilia. Una wake es literalmente una ‘vigilia’. Dado que antiguamente la mayoría de festivos en Gran Bretaña estaban relacionados con una festividad religiosa (Nochebuena, Viernes Santo y festivos en honor al santo patrón de cada localidad, principalmente), el término wakes acabó usándose para referirse a las ‘vacaciones’ en general.

BLACKPOOL  ATTRACTIONS

Blackpool is the only British beach resort with three piers, all built in the 19th century. The Central Pier has a 33-metre tall Ferris wheel. Between the North and Central Piers is the most famous landmark: the Blackpool Tower. When it opened in 1894, the 158-metre tall structure was the tallest building in the British Empire. Visitors can go up to admire the view from the SkyWalk, which has a glass viewing platform. At night, it is illuminated by ten thousand light bulbs.

From August until November, it is part of a light show called the Blackpool Illuminations. During this time, more than a million bulbs light up the town. It started in 1879, when Blackpool became the first municipality in the world to have electric street lighting. The Illuminations are switched on by a celebrity. 

SHALL  WE  DANCE?

Blackpool has long been associated with ballroom dancing. The annual Dance Festival is the world’s most famous ballroom dance competition, held at the Winter Gardens since 1920. The Tower Ballroom also hosts afternoon tea dances throughout the summer, where patrons can practise their foxtrot or waltz. What better way to recreate a glorious past?

Patrons can practise their foxtrot or waltz. Los asistentes pueden practicar el foxtrot o el vals. En este contexto un patron es un ‘cliente’, sobre todo uno que acude regularmente a un establecimiento, como un restaurante, un bar o un hotel. En otros contextos puede traducirse por ‘mecenas’. No confundir con el falso amigo español ‘patrón’, que se traduciría como boss o master.

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