Friday, October 3, 2014

A Mediterranean Stroll

Today we are in the lovely coastal town of Marbella.  It's one of those high-end resort towns that is frequented by "royalty and film stars" (according to Eyewitness Travel), where the rich & famous come to see and be seen.

I sensed this immediately upon arriving.  

The heart of these completely breathtaking little streets with flowers and bougainvillea and potted plants and vines and flower boxes (and some other wonderful blooming treasures that I haven't learned the names of yet), does not allow vehicles to enter  (except for the occasional restaurant suppliers) 

 It is, thus, wonderfully quiet ~ no motorized vehicles, no taxi's or scooters or the like to interrupt the peaceful streets (this would be the quiet, peaceful street where we are staying).

We are driving a rental car since leaving Seville.  So the parking garage, we are told, is just 3 blocks away.  Mr. C believes that we can schlep our luggage over the cobblestones for that distance, no problem.

Which brings me back to my point.  I knew immediately that all those lovely, well-groomed, well-dressed women with matching designer shoes and bags and jewelry up the ying-yang who were lingering in the side-walk cafe's over a late lunch or a drink, were here for a "seaside holiday".   As opposed to us travelers, who schlepped our bags 3 blocks the wrong way, then around the block, then up the hill, then down the alley ~ only to find out the GPS was taking us the route a car would have to go, not the walking route which was, indeed, just three short blocks down a non-motorized alley.   And yes, some of them were smirking over their drinks as they watched this amusing parade. 

But I digress.

It's a lovely seaside holiday town.  So different from the old town treasures we have been exploring so far in Spain, it's a nice change-of-pace.  And we are just here for a couple of days, just long enough to stick our toes in the Mediterranean Sea and enjoy taking a look at the good life.

Today's adventure was a 6 mile trek along the beach path from downtown Marbella to near-by (well, that's a relative term) Puerto Banus, the famous marina where one can see some of the most impressive yachts in the world (many owned by the king and princes of Saudi Arabia, I am told).  

Puerto Banus is also famous for the stores that line the sidewalks, hedged in-between the cafe's and restaurants.  Here you can find lots of international boutiques, luxury designer stores, jewelry stores, etc.  Many of these stores the most luxurious stores to be found in all of Spain.  All the rich & famous stuff.

But again, I digress.

First of all, I amazed that this wide, well-groomed beach path stretches this distance, over 5 miles.  It took us a couple of hours on foot.  We saw lots of bike-riders, I think if we did it again that's how we would do it.

There is bus, of course, if one wants to get there in a hurry.  Or there is a ferry every hour or so.  We decide we will walk one-way, then take the ferry back.  

This takes us a couple of hours, but there are lots of interesting sights along the way.  One of the things that I had read was common along the Costa Del Sol (this area of the coast of Spain) was this ~ 

They cook fresh little sardines (right off the boat) on skewers like this over charcoal.  Oh, man, did they smell oh-so-good.   I don't really think I like sardines, I've said before, one thing I love about travel is that it changes my mind!   Today was not the day, but I can't wait to try these.  This photo was taken as we strolled by a little restaurant on the beach.  

We also enjoyed seeing these sand sculptures along the way ~ 
here, the clan of Schreck.

Glad I'm not on night duty for spraying the sand sculpture!

And here, the skyline / outline of Marbella.
Pretty awesome, right?!?

We pass  24 lovely beaches on this stretch.  

We pass several of these sets of exercise equipment, too. 
How inspiring to get a work-out so close to the beach!

All this scene is missing is the fresh sardines.

 I have never seen these before ~ but they look like lots of fun.  I assume you pedal them down into the water, where they float, and wallah!   You have your own private water slide.  Looks like fun to me!

Well, once we (finally) made it to Puerto Banus; we did not waste any time shopping.  Had a nice lunch @ Picasso's, enjoyed people watching, counted the Bentley's & Ferrari's & Lamborghini's, and then strolled out to look at the yachts before catching the ferry back.  It made for an interesting day!

He thinks red might be his color (It's a Ferrari)

  It's a Lagonda.  Yeah, I didn't know, either.  
A Le Mans Lagonda V-12, 1939 model, to be precise.  
Recently sold for about 2.5 million.
British made, the company was bought out later by Aston Martin.


And sure enough.  Here's the Lady Haya ~ we came back home & looked it up.  Owned by the King of Saudi Arabia.  It's 212 ft long, with a crew of 21.  Amazing what Google will tell you.   Just so you know, the yacht on it's right is huge, it is just dwarfed by the ginormousity (it's a new word) of the Lady Haya.  Mr. C has been having fun tonight looking up all the info on these huge $60 million toys.  The Royal Saudi Family has a bigger one, believe it or not ~ but it's too big to bring in to this port...

One of the big ones owned by a Russian guy takes a cool one million in fuel to fill up.  That's mind-boggling!   And here I thought filling up the houseboat on Lake Powell was bad.....

So it's been an interesting day on the Mediterranean coast of the of Spain, looking at how the rich & famous live, and learning how to cook fresh sardines over charcoal.   Maybe we'll go down to the beach for a workout tomorrow.  All-in-all, it's been a good day in the South of Spain.



  1. So many fun and wonderful explorations in this area! I really enjoyed the photos too! The street shots are way fun! Your story about rolling the suitcases so cute! So descriptive! Those yachts!

    1. We love the quiet little streets, especially strolling back late at night, hand-in-hand, after a romantic dinner somewhere. We just don't have this lifestyle in the US where everything is by car. There is something magical about these streets that have seen generations of families living out their lives here. Feels like they could talk to you ~ they have stories to tell!

  2. Oh my gosh - that third picture is exactly what I remember the streets in Torremolinos Spain looking like! Takes me right back again. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Well, JS, no wonder you speak of Torremolinos so fondly. There is something special about the South of Spain. After having been there, now I totally understand why it's such a popular destination for so many Europeans. Great beaches, moderate weather, wonderful food, quaint little towns, and warm friendly people. It's for sure where I would want to go for summer vacation with my kids if I lived in Spain.


Join the conversation ... comment now!