Costa del Sol
El Sol El Sol
A stray cat A stray cat
Alex Alex

The Costa del Sol ranks among the most famous of European beaches. It's the sun-drenched Mediterranean shoreline where sun worshippers splash sun on themselves. Ironically, the day Alex spent on the Costa del Sol, in the town of Torremolinos, was the first day of his Spanish trip in which the sun didn't shine brightly. Despite the haziness, Alex enjoyed his day at the beach, although he insisted on staying fully clothed and completely dry. Due to his insistence on staying on the sand, Alex's parents had to take turns splashing around in the Mediterranean.

Beach at Torremolinos Alex on the beach in Torremolinos. The Costa del Sol boasts mountains, palm trees, sun, and sand.

Alex and his mother Alex and his mother check out the Mediterranean Sea.
Torremolinos is a beach town, in many ways like the beach towns that can be found along the shorelines in the United States. There are plenty of places to eat, drink, snack, shop, and sleep. Unlike most American vacation towns, however, there's a distinct lack of garish distractions, where bright neon signs and giant statues of cowboys or dinosaurs try to lure tourists into miniature golf courses, wax museums, stage shows, petting zoos, and the like. If it were to rain in Torremolinos, a family with children would be hard pressed to find entertainment. Fortunately though, the Costa del Sol is on Spain's southern coast and, the rain in Spain, as everyone knows, falls mainly elsewhere.

Since the Costa del Sol is Europe's playground, towns like Torremolinos have an international flavor. Restaurants and cafes along the wide pedestrian causeway have menus posted in English, French, and German as well as in Spanish. (It would be rather silly if the menus weren't in Spanish, after all.) And French women bathe topless on the sandy beaches. (It's true! And no, we don't have photographs. This is a family web page! We're told, however, that topless photographs may be available elsewhere on the Internet, if you're interested in such things.) You can even buy copies of USA Today if you're desperate enough for American news that you're willing to pay the equivalent of $3. (Have you ever seen anybody actually buy a copy of USA Today, by the way? We're convinced that their high circulation is simply because on every weekday, every hotel guest in the United States gets a free copy. But we digress.)

So what else is there to say about Torremolinos and the Costa del Sol? Not much. It's a beach. There's sand, and water. People sit on the sand and swim in the water. Alex had a good time sitting on the deck outside his tenth floor hotel room, burying his mother's feet in the sand, looking at the many stray cats and dogs that are here and everywhere else in Spain, digging with his shovel, running around, and looking at the various sand sculptures.

After enjoying a pleasant day and a half in Torremolinos, Alex and his parents bid farewell to the Mediterrean Sea, and headed north and east to the medieval city of Córdoba.

Downtown Torremolinos Alex's bodyguard
Above left, Alexander and his father stroll through downtown Torremolinos. At right, Alex runs along the beach, under the watchful eye of his bodyguard.
Sand sculpture Many sand sculptors ply their trade along the beach in Torremolinos. Alex's favorite sculpture was this dragon, which might have actually been a sea serpent.