Monday, 11 February 2013

Touring Torremolinos

Sundays have, for yours truly, always felt a bit...sad. Sure, it's still weekend, but the swiftly approaching end for that weekend always casts a slimy shadow on the whole day. And then there's that responsible voice at the back of my head (in addition to all the other voices in my head) telling me to start planning for the week ahead by doing Something Actully Important And Useful like laundry.

Here I have learnt to enjoy Sundays in a whole new way. The shops aren't really open here on Sundays, so people go to church in the morning, followed by churros and later - the kids dressed in their Sunday finest - the families parade around Paseo Maritimo, the local beach promenade. 

The sun is shining and around 2pm the air is thick with the smell of garlic and meat sizzling on the grill as the families settle down for Sunday lunch at the chiringuitos.

Chiringuitos are restaurants specialized in fish and seafood (and , increasingly and depressingly also in chips, soggy pizzas and toasts- all those things I dread) and can be found all over the Costa. Their piece de resistance is Espeto Sardinas, sardines grilled in the flame of a makeshift barbecue built in a boat.

Some years there has been talk about cutting back on the chiringuitos, because with their terraces they take up so much of the beach. But, with the organizational and planning skills of the Spaniards... maybe mañana!

We enjoyed a sunny (and church-free) Sunday in Torremolinos.

The most daring (read: the English) were already stretched on the beach, topping up their tan, but I was forced to admit it's not time for shorts yet. On the account of the temperature and the state of my legs...

The fish pedicures, famous in Far East, had too, found their way here. The area surrounding Calle San Miguel was...well, swarming with them. The little fish living in the treatment pools eat the dead (and disease-ridden) skin off one's feet, leaving them soft.

I could not bring myself to get excited about it. The Gentleman found it revolting too. But not to a point of losing his appetite, as became evident in a little café next door and its cakes the size of Empire State Building.

Strangely enough, the sight of middle-aged señoras having their bunions devoured by the little fish wasn't enough to out us off  little fishes. Our lunch at one of the chiringuitos was boquerones, little fish served here either pickled in vinegar or fried and pulpo a la Gallegasta, octopus Galician style. The octopus used for this is the massive kind that I have not dared to take on at my kitchen stadium. Soon I will. Perhaps already mañana...?

Torremolinos is, for the large part, exactly the the kind of out-dated tourist trap, but as you walk along the beach towards Benalmadena, you'll come across a charming neighbourhood of Carihuela. Again all you need to do is take the first street off the beach and you'll be at the square between Calle Mar and Calle San Gines, a traditional Spanish idyll - and perfect for another Sunday lunch!

Nearby, at Plaza de la Gamba Allegre, there's one of the few kosher hotels in the Costa.

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