The mayor of Benidorm has congratulated a British couple on their wedding anniversary – 48 years after they honeymooned in the Spanish resort.
Doug and Jayne Grimwood were unable to jet off to Spain this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, so the seaside resort was brought to them instead.
The couple were able to cycle the sunny streets of Benidorm and experience the thrill of nostalgia, all from the comfort of the care home in Eastbourne, East Sussex, where they live.
Mr Grimwood, 80, hailed the “special” experience, which was made possible through technology.
On October 8 he and his wife Jayne, 76, mounted static cycling machines set up in the communal area of their care home and set about exploring the Spanish town.
He said: “We spent our honeymoon in Benidorm. We chose there as at the time it was big and interesting and full of fun things to do.
“We enjoyed touring around the area and fell in love with Spain. We have since spent many holidays exploring Spain and love visiting the country.”
They were even treated to a special video message from mayor of Benidorm Toni Perez, who wished them a happy anniversary and a safe return in the future.
He said: “You came here on your honeymoon, you came to Benidorm, the place of happiness. I hope that this has been a constant in your lives.
“I know that you wanted to return here with us, to remember those happy days, but the pandemic and its consequences prevented you from doing so.
“When all of this finishes, as always, Benidorm will be waiting for you. Congratulations – we hope you are very happy.”
The special experience was achieved using technology from Norwegian AgeTech startup Motitech.
Motitech’s video-based technology, Motiview, is designed to help older people and those with dementia take part in physical activity and enables them to travel the world virtually, or revisit locations with sentimental significance.
Mr Grimwood added: “It was impressive technology, and it was good to see how different Benidorm is now compared to when we visited.
“It was lovely seeing the mayor, although he spoke in Spanish, so we did not understand all that he said.
“It made us feel very special so thank you.”
The couple have lived at Sunrise of Eastbourne care home since May 2019 and have lived in the area for the last 10 years.
They met at a disco in Chelmsford, Essex, in 1971, and were married within a year.
They have two sons and enjoy going on holiday, particularly to Spain and Florida.
Mrs Grimwood has been living with dementia since January 2018.