Parking Blues in a white Andalucian village

Blue parking zones in Torrox

Look out for these street signs!

It’s the same the world over!

Finding a parking space is getting more and more difficult, no matter where you live. You might have thought it would be an easy matter to park your car in any one of the pretty white villages in the Axarquía but, in some of them, it’s almost impossible.

The difficulty seems to arise because there is no time restriction. Once you’ve parked your vehicle, you can stay as long as you like – which is all very well when you can actually find a space in the first place!

Two years ago, to try to alleviate this problem, the town hall in Torrox introduced Blue Parking Zones (Zona Azul) around the centre of the village.  This means that during certain times of the day, if you park where there are blue lines painted on the ground, you need to display a parking disc with the time correctly set to coincide with your arrival time.

Buy one these parking discs for €1, from local shops

Buy one these parking discs for €1, from local shops

The reusable parking discs can be purchased from most of the shops in the village for a one-off payment of €1. Once you have your disc, each time you park in the Blue Zone during ‘working hours’ (Monday to Friday, 9am – 2pm & 5pm – 8pm) you need to set the time on your disc to your time of arrival and the gap on the disc will indicate when you need to leave. You must display your disc, clearly visible, on the dashboard of your vehicle.

Within Torrox village, you are restricted to ONE hour of free parking.  Outside of these times, including weekends, there is no restriction. This means that if you arrive at 1.30pm on any weekday afternoon, you can safely park until 5.30pm without a problem.

Of course, if you overstay your allotted time, or fail to display a disc, you will be faced with a hefty financial penalty.

All pretty straightforward you might think.

Blue zone parking

Parking within the blue parking zone

The Blue Parking restrictions were extended to certain areas of the coastal area of Torrox Costa, last summer. On the coast, parking is restricted Monday to Friday, 10am – 10pm and on Saturdays between 10am and 2pm. The scheme apparently works the same way as in the village, with the difference being that on the coast you are entitled to park for TWO hours free, instead of one.

This means, I presume, that you will need to purchase a different parking disc for €1 from a shop in Torrox Costa, as the gap indicating your allotted parking time (two hours) on the disc would be different from the one you can use in Torrox village (one hour).

With me so far?

Blue Zone parking signs at Torrox Costa

Different Blue Zone parking signs at Torrox Costa

What is confusing (to me, at least) is the extra part at the bottom of the sign that indicates that during July and August the maximum time for parking is two hours. Does this mean outside of the restricted hours, too? Or that you are only allowed to park once (for two hours) and then you have to clear off?

Confused?  I know I am!

Of course, there have been some disgruntled drivers who object to the timed parking restrictions but, from a personal point of view I think the Blue Zone parking scheme works very well within Torrox village, as I really appreciate being able to always find a parking space since the system was introduced.  However, the scheme down on the coast at Torrox Costa is pretty confusing.

Are Blue Parking zones appearing in a white village near you? What do you think about them?

 

Almanzor: a famous son of Torrox pueblo


Meet Muhammed bin Abi Amir, better known by his honorific title of al-Mansur  (“the Victorious“).

  Almanzor in Torrox, Spain

Almanzor (as he is known in Spain) was the military and political leader of al-Andalus, a medieval Muslim state, occupying, at the pinnacle of its power, most of what are today Spain, Portugal, Andorra and part of southern France.

Born near Algeciras in southern Spain in the year 938 to an Arab family of Yemeni descent, Almanzor spent his early years at the family home in the village of Torrox (then known as Turrux), before moving to Córdoba to study law.

His political career began with humble origins, though eventually Almanzor went on to become the leader of the Caliphate of Córdoba, devoted to destroying the Christian kingdoms of Spain by carrying out 56 raids between 978 and the time of his death in 1002.

Almanzor is commemorated as a famous (some might say infamous) son of Torrox village, in the main square, Plaza de la Constitution.

Almanzor in Torrox village, Spain

You can read more about Almanzor here and here.

Who are the famous (or infamous) sons and daughters from your local village?  

 

Lighthouse at Torrox Costa

Lighthouse at Torrox Costa, Spain

The lighthouse at Torrox Costa is approximately 50 kms to the east of the city of Málaga.

This stretch of coastline has bamboo fringed beaches and is immediately east of the “Balcon de Torrox“, constructed as a lookout to the sea and headlands, with transparent flooring looking down on the Roman necropolis unearthed beneath.

I particularly like the contrast of the white-painted lighthouse against the clear, blue, Andalucián summer sky, fringed with the wild bamboo fronds.

The perspective of the height of the structure is completely lost in the vegetation.