My town, Santa Pola, is in the South of Spain on the coast, sandwiched between Valencia to the north and Cartagena to the south. I am Russian. The moment I got to Santa Pola, when I was 8 years old, my new life started. Here are a few things that I have come to love about my town.
1. Family first.
My mother married a Spanish man and I was now surrounded by new people who talked a strange language which I didn’t understand. I am a very lucky person. My family is one of the best ones you can imagine. I was a stranger to them, but they treated me like I was part of them. They are the definition of Santa Pola.
What I like about Santa Pola and Spain is the kindness the people treat you with. You can go for a walk by the seaside and a pair of strangers may wish you a good day! Everybody will help you if you are in need.
The lifestyle here is very different to Russia. It seems like people really enjoy their lives here. There is no rush, and everybody is happy. If you go to Russia, you will notice the crazy rhythm of life there is. Russians tend to do the most they can in 24 hours and many are unhappy because of that. Come decompress in Santa Pola!
I love the climate in Santa Pola, but I would like the temperature to be a little lower sometimes. In summer it gets too hot, and I feel like I can’t do much during the day. The Europeans from the northern countries love Spain because of the heat. In winter you can see tourists walking around in sandals while you are dressed in a jacket and boots!
Another thing I find amusing in Spain is the sea! Now, I can´t imagine my life without it. The sea is so beautiful and wonderful for your skin and health. That is something I always miss in a big city and a good reason to come to a smaller town like Santa Pola.
When I moved here, I was surprised how different the food was. The Mediterranean diet is known as one of the healthiest diets in the world. You can find many different types of sea creatures, a lot of paella (seafood rice) and fruits. A place that I would recommend in my town is Bar Cantinflas. It is a small bar-restaurant that you will fall in love with as soon as you will try their food. There is no special decoration, but you will be wrapped in family, love, and good gastronomy. This bar has been around since 1963, and it has always been run by different generations of one family.
Once you’re there, the best view can be found on the fifth floor of the Polamar Hotel Restaurant. From here you will see Santa Pola´s harbour, the beach, and the town rooftops.
One more thing, if you’re a swimmer, check out this open water swim that ends just in time for a good meal at Bar Cantinflas. (Because at the end of 3.17 nautical miles, you’ll be wanting some hearty grub!)