Almeria has been moving at its own pace for decades. The Andalusian city is the promised land of the slow movement; here life takes place at a gentle rhythm that might be defined in the city as living tranquilicos – in no hurry. Anyone wanting to explore its ecosystem will find a city just about the right size, with that almost perfect climate which the Mediterranean has seen fit to bestow on this corner of Spain. They will also spot a friendly, gentle way of life and an affordable cost of living that is an encouragement to entrepreneurial activity, but without the same urgency seen in the big cities.
Aida Casas, 27
Aida fled the centre looking for more balance. She found a place called San Miguel de Cabo de Gata. She is further away, but that is compensated for by a little fishing town with clear water, straightforward people and endless light. “What I enjoy most is the wonderful weather and the sea,” she says.
Alfonso Salmerón, 42
Calle de Las Tiendas, one of the city’s most traditional streets, has seen young businessmen and women arriving with new ideas and new life. Alfonso set up an enterprise, exactly the kind of thing that as a customer he loves: a comic and board game shop. “From here I see all the local life pass by. And the life that comes into the shop is the strangest of all. I love it.”
Celso Ortiz, 71
Celso has been living in Almeria all his life. He grew up a stone’s throw from Calle de Las Tiendas and has seen how it has changed. What he likes most about Almeria is that it is an open city. “It doesn’t have roots and it isn’t a slave to its traditions. This means that people who arrive fit in very easily,” he says. “Although saying that might upset those who are most loyal to those traditions,” he explains, smiling.