16 January 2015

La Línea de la Concepción, España

Que Paso La Línea?! Yo sabía que no podía mantener lejos! Being on the Frontier with Gibraltar I made the most of my trip to La Línea de la Concepción, let's just say the contrast between the two entities was crazy! La Línea served me something that I appreciated and respected because being on the borderline can be tough! Voy a tener una gran cerveza y unas tapas!

Leaving Gibraltar behind me I crossed the border into Spain to be acquainted with La Línea de la Concepción. From the very first moment I could tell that this Spanish border town had an edge, I welcomed this notion because I'm a sucker for a bit of drama. I half knew where to walk to find my hostel but I was far to busy checking out this unassuming town to care. It didn't want my love but I knew deep down that La Línea would show me something worthwhile. Calle Real was one of the hubs for the townspeople with a whole street dedicated to outdoor cafe style seating, something clicked that I made a wise choice to revisit Spain. If truth be told it was too quiet for my liking on the day I arrived from England. Oh, it was the Epiphany! Aside from that public holiday it happened to be the daily siesta, it figured when I realised all the shops and cafes had closed shut! Ay dios mío! Confia en mi y dias festivos! No!

No stress with my accommodation, never-mind waiting for my room to be cleaned I was out searching for an authentic place to have my first Spanish beer. I can't remember the name of the bar but it looked local far from British company. Ordering my first beer in Spanish felt so good, settling into my new surrounding was easy enough for Spanish was the language of choice for the local patrons. Staying at Hostal Paris on Calle de Sol for £56 for three nights afforded me to see two countries for a cut price, I may have been enjoying the Spanish vibe but the border with Gibraltar only lay a five minute walk away. Translating to 'The Line of the Conception' I'm guessing its got some connection with the birth of a new border, I wasn't drawing any line or judgement to my allegiance to Spain or that British Overseas Territory. The chilled pace of La Línea impressed me much with its no frills attitude I felt comfortable to be back in a non-touristic town. Ese es mi tipo de cuidad.

I was gunning for a cup of coffee and cake during my short stay in La Línea, I'm all about trying the local flavours of wherever I travel to. My 'café con leche' otherwise known as 'coffee with milk' tasted great at the time but sent me to another planet because I'm not so used to drinking strong Espresso coffee but my tart was light and tasty. The people of the line love their tapas and seafood so I didn't want to appear rude by shunning their local delicacies, trading my cafe con leche for a cerveza grande I ordered some calamari fries to complement my latest Spanish escapade. If the truth be told I probably should of ate more but the beer tasted too good for me to frankly care! Would I indulge in another café con leche? I'm afraid I'll leave the people of the Continent to enjoy their Espresso in peace. My love for foreign food knows no limits so I tried my damnedest to sample as much authentic tapas as possible. Sí B!

Looking back on my first afternoon I made a split decision to cross the border from Spain to Gibraltar but the cervezas were starting to talk, I decided to halt at El Braseron steakhouse. My hazed judgement paid off big time for a tankard of lager only costed me £1.40 per drink! Choosing to visit during the week turned out to be a great thing because everyone endorsed a healthy level of nocturnal socialising, donning some smarter threads I made my way to 'La Chimenea' by chance to find a beautiful tapas bar that transported me to somewhere like the Dominican Republic with its rustic decor and Reggaeton music I was in a mild state of euphoria. Vamanos La Línea! I really miss living in a Spanish infused neighbourhood like when I lived in Newark, NJ so I appreciated La Chimenea! I sampled some cured ham of the bone that tasted on-point with a few pints of Cruzcampo lager! Every corner of the world has to have an Irish pub, I loved my pint of Strongbow at Molly Bloom's!

Leaving my problems at the front door I paid a visit to the 'Iglesia de la Immaculada' for some reflection. I'm not a religious soul but the Church of the Immaculate served Realness with a serious of statuesque and solemn figures of the Madonna, Jesus Christ on the cross and the saviour as a baby. Being early January the chilled approach to dismantle the Christmas lights gave a feeling that time isn't usually an issue in La Línea de la Concepción? My hostel was conveniently located around the corner from the square that's captured to the left. I loved the relaxed pace of life in the central square, I didn't stray too far away from that familiar centre because it was lovely. I didn't feel the need to walk endlessly. Supongo que menos es más? Sí sí!

I'm not going to throw shade on La Linea de la Concepción for being a quirky border town in the South East of Spain because I recognised the questionable parts of town. I endorse Realness completely, walking to and from the Frontier I passed a series of council flats that gave La Línea a personality along with its winding centre streets I embraced it all! Hablo Inglés? I got the feeling English wasn't the language of choice within the town of the line but I tried my best to be respectful by asking for most things in Spanish. I found if I asked how to say the phrase or request in their native tongue it was appreciated. I used two requests considerably throughout my trip to Spain such as 'una pinta cerveza, por favor?' and 'mismo otra vez' so I got my drink on! Me encanto La Línea de la Concepción!

Donde se siguiente?

Joseph Harrison

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