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Torremolinos Coat of Arms

Mar 2018

torre tower + (of the) molinos Spanish (water) mills.

Population - 69,389.

Torremolinos Coat of Arms

You can keep your  Machu Picchu and your  Angkor Wat, it's just a privilege to be looking at the last remaining 14th-century tower that helped to name that toon.

This is the main attraction for most of the estimated 10 million annual visitors including this pair of intrepid explorers.

That's a joke, of course, but some of the tower is said to be that old and it's right next to some apartments you can rent by the day. By the look of them from the outside, they're probably available by the hour.

It's the shabby and seedy that's come to be seen, you see, and an 'ironic' Sunday dinner[1] might even be done but hang on a minute! Given the reputation, why is this place, well, quite Spanish looking?

[1] Absolutely no way will this ever come to be called Sunday 'lunch' but since tucking in time isn't normally until about 5 PM and Sunday 'tea' isn't a thing, it sort of is dinner making this household much more middle class than they'd like.

  Torremolinos Train Station (Plaza de la Nogalera)

Just over twenty minutes south of Málaga by train[1], you can stay on for the end of the line at Fuengirola via Benalmádena if you'd rather.

The platforms here are under the main Plaza de la Nogalera and if it's bucketing, you're just a couple of stops short of Plaza Mayor, a huge  Shopping Centre & 'Leisure Park' that looks like it'll be nice when it's finished.

[1] Linear C-1, by the way, unless you want to end up in Álora.

Just like Málaga, Torremolinos has had a recent, radical rebrand and gone are the brawling Brits in place of a much more fun-for-all-the-family type of resort.

The Calle San Miguel, indeed, used to be known as 'Combat Alley' but these days it's not so much pints of Stella™, more pintxos and paella.

Most of the Irish and sports-themed bars look to be slightly outside of the centre alongside the LGBT-friendly nightlife of which Torremolinos claims to be a 'capital'.

Where in the world, though, with near-year-long sun and an acceptable beach doesn't boast that?  Honduras? Fair point.

  Mama J's Show Bar (Calle de la Nogalera)

Proper old-skool entertainment of the 'Variety' variety although a little more adult than you might find in Cromer. Away from the scantily-clad acrobats, it looks to be mostly lookie-soundie-likies and Frederick Henry was so good, they say, he should change his stage name to Jackson Michael.

It looks like another name change will be necessary, it closed not long after this pair walked past although the two events aren't thought to be related.

The covered walkways and the indoor arcades of the Calle San Miguel are a modern eyesore but are designed to keep the Ex-Pats' heads dry in winter, probably.

There's not been a sniff of the sea and no mention of the Med, so far, so for that head down and through the Plaza San Miguel.

Torrie is a town of two halves and while it's hardly toffs at the top, you'll have to descend, via one of several ways, for the beach at the bottom.

Again, things along here look surprisingly civilised with none of the menus in the grills and restaurants advertising English as their first language.

There isn't a full fry-up, with chips, in sight and that Sunday dinner is slipping away by the second.

Something more cultural will have to be settled for although some of the sculptural could best be described as temporary. This would have been trampled on ten years ago, probably, but today the damage has been done by two days worth of rain.

It took 20,000 litres of water and 20 tons of sand, he says, to recreate this Czech Republic mountain town and is worthy of a €euro of anyone's money.

  Casa Juan Los Mellizos (Calle San Ginés)

There's an area just south of the centre called La Carihuela, which has all the best seafood, it's said. Casa Juan looks to be the pick of the restaurants but watch out for the other Juans who might be piggybacking on this one's popularity unless there's a situation similar to Padstow here?

Torremolinos accounts for around 30% of all available rooms on the Costa del Sol and, back up the hill, most of those are at the gargantuan  Hotel Cervantes.

That occupancy fact should come as no surprise since there's at least another two miles of beachfront, the half of which hasn't been seen.

There's more for fans of the stat, Brits still make up around a quarter of all visitor numbers but France and Germany are represented well with the Scandinavians said to be the biggest spenders.

All of this is all celebrated by the Monument of Europe, a rather ropey association through Greek mythology to the European Union. You know? When Zeus assumed the guise of a white bull[1] to seduce the young princess Europa?

All your nations are represented with tiles on the nearby seating although they'll be getting the chisels out for this one come the morning of  29th March 2019, sorry, 1st November, sorry, the 12th of whenever!

[1] You think this looks realistic? It's even more anatomically accurate round the back.

  The Galloping Major (Calle Doña María Barrabino)

A tempting-looking square up a backstreet soon disappoints but a chance, perhaps, for a Sunday roast in the Galloping Major, surely?

Torremolinos - The Galloping Major

If only the mixed bunch of lairy, Yorkshire-sounding puddings smoking at the door weren't so off-putting.

With visitors occupying pretty much all of the available accommodation in the centre, where do the people who actually live here live? That'll be west and up the hill in the functional blocks, all a million, well, a mile away from the tourist trappings.

Children play innocently in the Plaza Federico Garcia Lorca under the watchful eyes of the grown-ups who dine and chat casually. It's a sedate, Spanish scene on a Sunday with not a whiff of el Bisto™ but, as is now known, there's not an awful lot of that going on in town these days.

Brave the busy  N-340a and you'll reach some of the town's larger attractions. What was first thought to be the bullring turns out to be a sports stadium largely used for American Football, obviously.

The actual bullring doesn't appear to be operating as a burger processing plant these days and can be found behind what might just pass as a big 'car boot' back home.

The public barbeque facilities are being put to good use in an arid, wooded area that's a reminder of Thetford Forest, despite never having been there. Aqualand is walkable and does exactly what it says in a largest on the Costa del Sol kind of way but what's this?

The unmistakeably Moorish architecture suggests a history lesson on the subject of the  Umayyad caliphate and the eventual conflicts with the Christians? Nah, it's a  crocodile park.

Yes, an attraction given over to the native, European crocodylinae, yeah right, but there's no time for that today although there might be a café given the absence of that Sunday dinner.

It's time to return for the train and back past the businesses selling things that people actually need. That gives time to reflect on the reality of Torremolinos as well as the missed opportunity at the crocodile café...

Two alligator sandwiches luv and... make 'em snappy! Torremolinos became popular in the '70s but that one was doing the rounds about the same time they were still building the tower.