Tags Travel
It's unbelievable how many tourists there are on the Costa Brava. The most, however (and I'm speaking of a VAST majority) are from Germany, France and Spain (many come in their own cars). Although Spain got much more expensive since their switch to the Euro, it's still more cheap than the financially stronger and richer Germany, France and Italy.

For them it's a cheap vacation place, and even a place for shopping. In one of the cities on the costt, Pineda de mar, there are lots of car stores - zillions of them (which at first is weird for a small village of hotels and farmers). The guide told us that many Germans come there to buy cars... even German cars :-) That's because many German car makers keep factories in Spain because of cheaper labor, and these cars are cheaper in Spain than they are in Germany. With the free market, there are no taxes (on buying a car in some country and bringing it to another).

These things make me wonder though... the guide told us that the level of living went down in Spain since the Euro came, because prices can't be much different in the united economy, and the other countries are richer and more expensive. Hmm... it probably means the prices must converge somewhere - I don't know if it will make Germany cheaper, but it surely made Spain more expensive. The situation will be much worse with the new members of the EU - Poland, Lithuania etc. that are far poorer than the other EU members, even Spain. I guess the "simple people" there will suffer quite a lot from the switch to Euro. Did they think about it when they voted for joining the union ?

Back to Spain though - it's still cheaper than Israel in many things Food is cheaper (especially beer - very cheap !!), books are cheaper. Cars are much cheaper (though it's hard to think of a place where cars are more expensive than here). The average salary is about what it is here, but having the basic things cheaper (like food) probably makes the life level higher there than here.