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  • Sitting on the beach-side patio, absorbing pitchers of Sangria, cold and wet with condensation, so refreshing in the springtime sun. The beach itself, golden like raw sugar, sprinkled liberally with stunning sand castles and beautiful tanning bodies. The huge pan of paella cooking on the pier, as big as a swimming pool, with an aroma that made us drool in anticipation from blocks away. The Fortress overlooking town, with it's epic views and wonderful photo ops.

    And finally, the waterfront promenade, set with the most hypnotic tile work I've ever seen, bursting with cafés, shops, tourists and vendors. The hardest done by there were the boys with the blankets. They would claim an open patch of tile, drop their carpet-bag and quickly set up their wares. They might get 5, maybe 10 minutes of peace to sell their DVDs, jewellery, artwork or scarves... Until the policía motor-scooters would swoop in, ticketing those who they could catch in the act. We sat in a café and watched this drama unfold time and time again. Like waves, coming and going, you could see the policía making their way down the long Promenade, the boys shouldering their blankets and sprinting, like oil on water from a drop of soap. A tidal bore of law and order. I had never seen such perseverance in the face of harassment, but they always chatted happily once the scooters were gone, setting their products up yet again. Such is their life. They must sell enough, I guess, to make the hassle worthwhile. The savviest tourists got in on the game too, browsing first, then waiting until the policía had passed to make the transaction, so as not to be interrupted mid-sale. Wouldn't want your 20 euro note sprinting away before you got your change now…

    I was there but for a single day.

    Seeing belén's geotag reminded me how I fell in love for that day, kissed by this city's charms.
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