Wednesday, November 23, 2011


We concluded our 7 weeks on the Costa del Sol back in Torremolinos, but at a different hotel.  It is about one mile to the east of the first one and also overlooks the marvelous beach promenade.   You can walk it for miles -- and we have.  We are closer to El Centro here; there is a long, winding pedestrian street up the hill to town or a lift that takes you part way.  We only discovered that recently!  In the morning, we take a long walk along the beach or go into town and wander the winding streets.  On Sundays and Thursdays, there is a Mercadillo  (think flea market) at the fairgrounds we enjoy strolling around. 
Reminders of old fishing village

Like most of the towns along the Costa del Sol, Torremolinos was once a poor fishing village.  It was the first of the beach towns to turn into a major resort.  It has almost 6 miles of beautiful, wide beaches.  The summer is very busy but even winter with its mild temperatures and mostly sunny days attracts many visitors from northern Europe.   The only American voices we hear are from tour groups passing through.

Beach chairs still out but no sunbathers
The weather is starting to change.  Temperatures usually mid-sixties, some cloudy, rainy days.  The rainy days afforded an opportunity to work on a new lecture.  That always involves a lot of research, writing and Powerpoint design.  Creating the blog also takes some time.  

Sand sculpting is popular
Since this is now our lifestyle and not just a vacation, we do many of the things we did when we had a home.  Aside from walking, spiritual readings are always part of our day.  We also enjoy reading or listening to an audio book.  Right now we’re listening to “The Next 100 Years” by George Friedman.  Very interesting.   I bought a Barnes & Noble Nook Color just before we left the States.  Like the Kindle, it allows me to download and read books but it also has internet capability.  Fortunately, most of the places we stayed had wi-fi.  Aside from keeping up with email,   it has allowed me to begin designing our travels for next year.  We expect to leave Florida mid-January and spend 9 – 10 months circling the country.  

Well, we say adios to Spain on November 25th and board the Seabourn Spirit for a 14 day cruise back to Fort Lauderdale.  Hope everyone has a bountiful Thanksgiving.  We are certainly feeling very grateful for – among many other things –  our wonderful visit to the Costa del Sol.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Our favorite restaurant in Marbella
Spain’s Costa del Sol runs for about 100  miles along the Mediterranean.   We wanted to experience as much of it as possible during our 7 weeks here so we moved several times.  After Torremolinos, we headed west to Marbella. 

Thanks again to Skyauction, we spent 10 days at the Don Pepe Gran Melia in Marbella for a fraction of the usual cost.  Melia is a worldwide hotel chain; Gran Melia their luxury brand. We had a beautiful room, and an unexpected bonus: a fabulous breakfast buffet was included. 

Like Torremolinos, Marbella has an extensive promenade along the beach.  One day we walked  to Puerto Banus and back, about 4 miles each way.  I think of Puerto Banus as Spain’s answer to St. Tropez.  Upscale shops and restaurants circle the harbor which is full of luxurious yachts even this time of year. 

Pool at Gran Melia Marbella
Long walks in the morning were followed by afternoons at the pool overlooking the sea.  At night we sought out local restaurants.   There were plenty to choose from.  They line the promenade along the beach, surround the plazas in old town and are plentiful all over the city.    
On October 29, we packed up and moved to Marbesa, a residential area not far to the east of Marbella.   It had a very different ambience and provided a totally different experience. 

Walkway along beach from Marbella to Puerto Banus
Here we rented a bright 2 bedroom apartment with a big balcony overlooking the pool.  Spoiled as we were by the hotels we had stayed in, it was nice to feel ‘at home.’  Ron made great use of the washing machine and we enjoyed shopping at the local supermercado, having breakfast and lunch at home.  There were a number of restaurants in walking distance but no beach promenade.  On sunny days, it was fun to walk to them along the beach.  On rainy days, we followed back roads until a side street dipped down to the beach and restaurant.  Our dinners are very simple.  We share a large salad, one entrĂ©e and a bottle of Rosado.   

Our apartment in Marbesa
Purto Banus
Another totally different experience awaited us in Benalmadena which is to the west of Torremolinos.  Here we rented a very modern, comfortable one bedroom apartment at Holiday World, a huge complex with its own market, cinema, spa, restaurants.  One cannot really walk anywhere from here so we take the bus into town or into Fuengirola, a very busy hub where one gets a better sense of the local lifestyle.  On those days, it is likely that we will have our main meal at lunch time and tapas for dinner.  Ron has even cooked a few dinners here.  I don’t want him to lose his cooking and laundering skills just because we are homeless.

Now it is November, the days are a bit cooler and we’ve had some rainy days.  They call this winter but for the most part the days are still sunny and bright.  

Walking the beach to dinner in Marbesa

View from our balcony at Holiday World
Sunrise in Benalmadena