Yes, there is bowling not only in Spain, but in Baeza of all places. I was surprised that a town of 15,000 would have its own bowling alley when it doesn’t even have a movie theater, so I guess I should have been a little less shocked by the quality of the alley itself. We were initially lured in by the promise of bowling and a 4.50 menu (which is, in one form or another, a very generously portioned meal, usually with drink and/or dessert), but I can’t say that it was anything like an American bowling alley. Here are the major differences that stood out to me:
1. Extremely odd-looking but friendly man stationed at the front desk. I feel like this is a fixture in every bowling alley around the world, though at the moment I can only speak for Spain and the U.S. I do not have any interest in further tests of this theory.
2. Gross selection of unhealthy food.
3. Bowling balls, bowling shoes.
4. Screaming children.
1. While they also have hideous bowling shoes, they have velcro instead of laces, which is not really weird, but they also force you to wear plastic bags on your feet inside of the shoes, which I found extremely weird. And a little slippery.
2. 98% of the clientele were not wearing their plastic bags and hideous shoes, including a very well dressed woman to our left who was bowling in pointy-toed, black patent leather heels. Stiletto heels. I was actually a little jealous.
3. Six lanes. That’s right, six lanes total. It was oddly quiet, and they managed to separate our group into two lanes on opposite sides of the entire room.
4. The collection of the pins was also a little disappointing. Instead of having that weird machine come down, grab the pins by their necks, and yank them out of sight, all of the pins were constantly connected to some kind of lifting device by strings. This looked cool when the pins were lifted up, but it also completely ruined the best part of bowling–the crashing sound! Every time you knocked a pin over it just kind of silently slouched over to the side and fell gently to the floor. It sounded like bowling with toilet paper tubes. No satisfaction.
All in all, weird. Worth the 4 euros but not exactly life changing. Also I still suck at bowling.