Saturday, May 28, 2011

Torremolinos on $85 a Day - South Beach Meets Sun City

A view from our balcony.
Sitting here on our apartment's glassed-in balcony, I can see six bars in the pedestrian-only, wider than-a-city-street-square that stretches for several blocks, but there are at least five more on the lower level beneath our Nogalera apartment complex, and probably forty more further down the way. No one ever need go thirsty in Torremolinos, Spain.

Benches line either side of the square and restaurants, including Burger King, have outdoor tables and chairs to facilitate people-watching. Birds soar through this man-made cavern, delighting in the fountains and circles of carefully tented grass, trees and flowers, but it is man who dominates the space

Backpackers stride through the area—the train station exit is 200 yards from our apartment entrance—while gray-haired men glide their wheelchairs across the marble tiles that make up the square. The first morning we were here, the music of native Americans playing Peruvian flute songs floated up to our seventh-story windows, and last night we watched a man juggling three sticks of fire in the dusky charcoal sky that comes to southern Spain late in the evening around 10:00.
Town of Antequara
While the local church just rang twelve bells to let us know the afternoon is officially beginning, there's little else here that is traditionally Spanish so it's not a spot we would have chosen if it weren't for our friends, former neighbors of mine in Ajijic, Mexico, who live here. We do have everything we need—three supermarkets within a few blocks, all the entertainment we could desire just outside our windows, and a view of the sea—but it is our friends who make this last part of our trip meaningful.

Alfarnate is a popular name!

On Sunday, Jay and Rob drove us to the town of Antequara, famous for its Moorish castle and many churches, and beyond that to the barren limestone peaks of the Sierra Nevadas where we gaped at the view of vast stretches of farmland and olive groves while the El Torcal musuem detailed the stages required, over millions of years, for the oddly shaped mountains' formations.

Great ambience, greasy food.
We stopped for lunch at one of the most charming old fincas (farmhouse), with whitewashed walls, rugged old beams, and a vast open fireplace, that had been transformed into a restaurant with a dozen or so tables. Unfortunately, the lovely day ended with what was, for me, almost an inedible meal. The mushroom, potato, and egg mixture I was expecting when I ordered was a series of three separate items—a fried egg, a mess of french fries, and a mound of sauteed mushrooms—all floating in grease. It tasted almost as bad as it looked.

View from El Torcal park.
At this rate, I may lose some of the bufalo mozzarella weight I gained in Italy, but I would rather search for better cuisine!

1 comment:

  1. Dru, you forgot to mention how fantastic these two friends in Torremolinos are! And you didn't post the best photo of Antequera, the one with the castle in it. Let's see those photos of those two beautiful places, Malaga and it's Alcazaba (a mini-Alhambra), and the beautiful White Andalucian village of Benalmadena Pueblo. It doesn't get any more beautiful than these two places. Jay (Rob's at the beach)