One of the delights of walking along the promenade is the smell of sardines being barbecued over open olive wood fires.
Several sardines are placed on a skewer and cooked over a wood fire. This BARBEQUED SARDINES dish is very popular and is known as an 'espeto de sardinas'. The beach bar restaurants cook the sardines in old boats which have been turned into impromptu barbeques and it takes skill to skewer the fish without breaking them, so they cook in their own fat, turning golden on the outside while remaining deliciously juicy inside.
I love to snoop in souvenir shops in Torremolinos. CEYCE was a great little shop as I was looking for gifts to bring back home and I needed some post-cards for my scrapbook. They were selling here for the very reasonable price of .15 Eurocents, which is pretty good. They also had the usual pottery plates and mugs, colourful Spanish fans, Torremolinos T-shirts for children, etc. etc.
Afternoon tea, a night cap and drinks!
The Bajondillo apartments were the place where most of the 'Winter Warmer' gang were staying, and a few times over the weekend we ate and drank here.
Thursday night, we (Gilly, Sonja and myself) ended up back at our apartment for a night cap-It was quite cold, so an Irish Coffee was in order. 6.10 Euros-But Blimey, it packed a punch!!! Hmmmm-the nights entertainment was in full throw in the cafeteria area - a chap murdering songs from the sixties and beyond (he seems to do OK though-He was at Rob and Margarets hotel the next night!)- the next act-A female Spanish singer/dancer was a bit easier on the ear, and seemed to get the crowd going more!
Friday afternoon, we needed something to tide us (The same trio as before!) over until our evening meal - the cafeteria had a selection of cakes and ice cream etc. I chose the apple cake and a coffee, They were very nice!
Saturday night, after the Barney Awards, we all (Most of the VTers left after the Barney Awards) headed to the bar! -Drinks all round! Mine was a rioja or 2!
Sunday afternoon, waiting for the shuttle bus to the airport (for me and Gilly), it was back to the bar/cafeteria - coffee for me! A Good turn out of other VTers to see us off/Make sure that we left!!!
We finally spot Alhama de Granada!
We were enjoying our drive and taking our time, actually stopping at a secluded roadside olive grove to have a 'picnic' in our car (see 'Restaurant' tips) before continuing to Alhama de Granada. It was past noon when we finally saw our main target on this little drive, looking very interesting with its typical white buildings crowded together in beautiful countryside.
The town has a long history, so long that even the Romans had built thermal baths in the deep river gorge forming a natural boundary along one side of the city. Following Spain's fall to the Moors in the early 700s, the new rulers were very impressed with the baths and built a few of their own, including improvements to the Roman baths. In addition, a typical Moorish castle was built to defend this strategic location between coastal Malaga and their capital city of Granada, only about 50-km further inland. Alhama de Granada finally fell to Christian forces in 1482 as they continued their successful drive south to reconquer the entire Iberian Peninsula. Both photos give a glimpse of the huge, light brown fortified tower of Iglesia de la Encarnacion, built by the Spanish on the site of the Grand Mosque and still providing a visual landmark for the town.
We had been suitably impressed by the world-famous gorge at Ronda eight days earlier, so were anxious to see if the one located at Alhama de Granada was as spectacular as it was reported to be!
The Crocodile Park - Parque de los Cocodrilos.
It is great visiting the Crocodile park in Torremolinos. You get a guided tour around the park and the guard jumps into the pit where the crocodiles are and "plays" with them and explains how they live and their features. There were so many different species of crocodiles from all over the world in the park and all in all 300 species, one of which was giant. Note that the guided tours are only at 11:30, 13:30 and 15:30 (we were there at 17:30 and got a guided tour though).
After the guided tour you get to hold a baby crocodile and get your photo taken with it. It was strange holding a crocodile and feeling its bones.
In the park there are also incubators for breeding crocodiles where you could see a lot of baby crocodiles. There was also a crocodile musem and a gift shop and a restaurant. And some goats which gave me allergies so I had to get out of there, or I would have stayed for longer. It was a challenge going there as I have been afraid of crocodiles and almost went there on a dare ;)
The park is open from 10-19 in the summer time (we visited the park in August) but closes earlier when it is not high-season. Admittance fee was 11 euros, but you can get a discount ticket at the hotels and bus-terminal 1,5 euros off the price.