Torremolinos

Travel books tend to paint a picture of Torremolinos being overdeveloped and unattractive. They would not be wrong. What was once a chic post-WWII, exotic Mediterranean fishing village, has been turned into a poorly planned, middle class, seaside resort town that caters to a a lot of Brits and Norther Europeans. It's cheap, the weather is reliably good and you can sit in a pub and watch soccer all day. Still, we found it has some charm. Not the type the local tourist bureaus would have you believe about quaint shops and expansive international cuisine but a laid back, devil-may-care type of charm.

Occasionally, you can stumble upon some quaint buildings tucked in between the modern ugly ones. For the most part, shops cater to tourists selling all those things they forgot [floaty toys] or things they don't need [cheap and cheerful pottery]. While the food in general is pretty lacking, we did manage to find small Italian place called Cafe Tia Chiara, with some of the best Spaghetti Carbonara we've ever had.

The [gay] nightlife was interesting. The bars and clubs, like all retail places in Torremolinos, tend to be small but there are a lot of them. They get going late by US standards - around midnight [or even later in some cases]. The bars  generally fall into one of three categories: 1. Nice place to have a drink, 2.Nice place to have many drinks and, perhaps, do some dancing or 3. good lord, I am drunk and in a dark basement. We tried to stick to the first category. Even during a rather chilly and wet off-season weekend, there were a lot of people out enjoying the cooler weather and a drink or 20. The people were friendly and the scene had a nice, relaxed vibe to it. Wouldn't be opposed to going back to see what high season is like.

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