THE visit to Alfaz by St Nicholas has become a traditional pre-Christmas ritual and this year was no different. St Nicholas aka Sinterklass was received on the Casa de Cultura esplanade by excited children, anxious to see him before he set sail from Alicante port, setting off on the journey that will take him to the homes of children waiting for him in the Netherlands and Belgium. Martine Mertens, councillor for Other Nationalities at Alfaz town hall, thanked the Lions Cub and its president Ada Stoppelenburg for bringing St Nicholas to town once more, accompanied by his faithful companions, each named Zwarte Piet (Black Peter). St Nicholas has been visiting Alfaz for decades, which is hardly surprising as Dutch tradition maintains that he lives in Madrid, and local children enjoy the fleeting visit that begins each year at the doors of the Casa de Cultura. After a quick tour of the Alfaz streets he returned to the Casa de Cultura where he met the local children in the Auditorium.