Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Touristmolinos

I haven't spent much time in Torremolinos, 18 kilometers away from us along the coast and almost to Málaga. It only takes 20 minutes on the local train. San Geraldo had an appointment Sunday evening, so I decided to take a ride with him and explore on my own a bit.

The word Torremolinos means "Tower of the Mills." The city was a mill town ruled by the Moors when the still-existing tower was built around 1300. (Click any image to enlarge.)

PIMENTAL TOWER BEHIND SOUVENIR SHOPS.
YOU CAN CLIMB THE TOWER FOR A MUCH-IMPROVED VIEW.

In the mid-20th century, Torremolinos became one of the first tourist centers on the Costa del Sol and that history, sadly, shows in the souvenir shops and ugly signage overwhelming some of the meandering and otherwise charming stepped streets that lead down to the beach.

When we drove to the beach to meet friends for dinner some months back, I saw a bit of the beauty of the city. On this visit, I saw a bit of the not-so-beautiful.

It's a mix of old and new, elegant and tacky. It also has the largest gay community in the area (I think the first gay bar on the Costa del Sol opened here in the early 1970s). We're treated wonderfully and respectfully in Fuengirola and, of course, there are other gay people around. But after living in places like Boston, San Diego, San Francisco and Palm Springs, with their vibrant gay communities, feeling a part of that again was very refreshing.

I was there at the wrong time of day for great photos, but you can still see some of what I saw — the beautiful and the kind-of-ugly. Now that I know how easy and convenient it is to get there, I plan to explore a lot more and share some of the best (and less of the worst) that the city has to offer.

ENTRANCE TO THE "BEACH WALK."
HEADING DOWN TOWARD THE BEACH.
A PEAK THROUGH THE TREES.
AND THE WALK CONTINUES.
YOU CAN TAKE AN ELEVATOR THE REST OF THE WAY DOWN
FROM THIS LARGE PLAZA (FOR 50 CENTIMOS).
I ENJOYED THE VIEW AND HEADED BACK UP
(AFTER HAVING A GREAT CONVERSATION WITH A YOUNG SPANISH COUPLE).
PLAZA SAN MIGUEL.
CHURCH OF SAN MIGUEL.
AN ALLEY NEAR THE TOWER AND BELOW PLAZA SAN MIGUEL.
STEPS AND SHOPS GOING DOWN...
MORE STEPS AND SHOPS GOING DOWN.
(SEA AT LEFT BEHIND THE ARCHES.)
AN AERIE?
AT THE TURNING OF THE TOURISTS...
AND STILL MORE STEPS AND TOURIST SHOPS.
BACK AT PLAZA SAN MIGUEL AS THE LIGHTS GO ON.
PLAZA DE LA NOGALERA.
BURGER KING IN BACKGROUND, (BUT MCDONALDS AND KFC ARE GONE.)
MORE OF THE PLAZA DE LA NOGALERA.
FILLED WITH RESTAURANTS AND PEOPLE.
WHILE I WAITED FOR SAN GERALDO.
A FOUNTAIN ON ONE OF THE MAIN AVENUES (AVE. PALMA DE MALLORCA).
ITS ALL WORTH ANOTHER LOOK.

16 comments:

  1. I can't imagine how crowded the beach walk must be during the heart of tourist season. The tacky shops, etc... which spring up around popular tourist destinations only serve to underscore the beauty of the rest, which you've captured admirably, as always.

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    1. Jacqueline:
      I was surprised at how crowded the Plaza de la Nogalera got after sunset. It must be a madhouse in August. I didn't really capture how hideous the streets lined with souvenir shops appeared to me. But there is a lot of beauty in the area. I'm looking forward to going back and exploring and then sharing that.

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  2. What a magical place, Mitchell. I like the elevation and how one has to literally descend down to the beach with all those shops along the way down.
    Looking forward to more visits to Torremolinos.

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    1. Jim:
      It's much easier living here where a good part of the city is flat and accessible, but the beauty of those cliffs, views, and winding, stepped streets can't be beat.

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  3. Torremolinos, Torremolinos
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrajVgG6Sa8

    I had to add that. Remembered from childhood. I've never been but it sounds great. You would like Cardiff, such a vibrant gay community. Megan moved into a house sharing with 4 gay guys, she absolutely loves it and they spoil her rotton, I'm a little envious!

    Summer's winding down Mitch, how is winter there?
    Di
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Di:
      I had never heard of this song, but found it while I was researching this blog post. I wanted to share it, but I figured I'd already overwhelmed you with photos. I will definitely include it on my next post on Torremolinos. The town sure is different from the song and from what I'm sure you saw.

      I share a house with one gay guy and HE spoils ME rotten. Do you suppose someone's going to make a stereotype out of THAT now?!?

      As for summer winding down... last week, we had temps in the 30sC. This week has been more comfortable; and we even have clouds today. It makes the beach very pleasant. Autumn here is hell...

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  4. I didn't see much that was unattractive. I'd love to wander through these streets.

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    1. Stephen:
      It's interesting. When I looked at my photos, they didn't seem as bad as my experience of some of what I saw. It's nowhere near as clean as Fuengirola, but it does have a lot of charm and amazing history.

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  5. That first photo showed the most intrusion of modern-day touristy signs and "stuff", but the other photos looked great! How nice for you to have a place to explore that is easily accessible. (I sometimes wonder if you and San Geraldo are planning any more touring around other areas of Espagne, or... to France :) )

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    1. Judy:
      I thought it was a shame when I saw the area surrounding the historic tower. Maybe they'll start fixing things. Many of these towns now have many more controls in place as to what can and cannot be done.

      We definitely plan to do more wandering around Europe. First we were getting settled, then we were moving ... again. And, in the midst of that, two trips to NY every year. We're hoping we'll be able to explore a bit more this year.

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  6. Narrow walkways, stairs, cliff faces, plazas. What is not to like? And the best thing, barely a car to be seen.

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    1. Andrew:
      The "carlessness" is nice. Obviously impossible to get a car down most of those streets. I have to say some of it looks better in my pictures that it did in real life. But it still is a beautiful place and I have so much more to see.

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  7. I love it!
    I wanna promenade along the beach walk!

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    1. Bob:
      After maneuvering around all the English tourists and souvenir shops, that beach walk was a huge surprise.

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  8. You make Spain sound so lovely everywhere. Are there no slums or the equivalent of Ohio?

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    1. Spo:
      Oh, there are definitely ugly and unpleasant places here, too. No reason for me to go exploring those places. But as far as I know, there is no place like Ohio here (although Ohio does have some very beautiful places). I'm pretty sure there's no place like Arkansas or Mississippi here either.

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