Left the sweet town of Granada. Won’t forget our darling little house tucked up in the hill or the way the city lit up at night and came alive with people of all ages strolling the streets. Our time inland had come to an end for a while as we headed south to the small beach town of Nerja on the Costa del Sol of Spain. I had added Nerja to our list of places to see just a few months ago. I had read about it in a couple of books and heard it was beautiful and worth a visit. It did not disappoint. his road trip to Nerja was just about an hour drive for us and the only time we would be staying at a hotel. I was looking forward to a cocktail on the beach and some of the advantages that come with staying at a hotel. We splurged for our hotel and stayed at the Hotel Balcon de Europa. It is right on the water (literally a balcony) tucked into the cliff and off the main square of town. It has a great beach that is just down a few steps. All beaches in Spain are public. Isn’t that great! There is just one that is reserved for military that is not. First thing we wanted to do after arriving was get in the ocean and have some lunch on the outdoor balcony by the ocean. It was lovely and the olives were great. Olives are served before every meal here. They are so delicious! I am the only one who eats them in my family so I get them all. Different spices with them and each city has “their olive.” I loved the ones in Nerja. Had lunch, swimsuits on and we stayed outside that first night until 8:00ish…it stays light very late here. Around 10:00 it seems to get dark. Had a late siesta and were ready to explore the town. Out on the main square there are yummy candies being sold, artists painting portraits, people walking, older local men meeting up with their buddies gathering to chat on benches, lots of ice cream and beautiful music. It is a fun sight and you can’t help but be taken with it. We ate at a great tapas bar that night. Our favorite was chorizo roasted over a lit flame they brought with it. Yum! Mike and I liked the sangria as well. This was great food and super affordable. You got free tapas with your beverages. Great deal!
The next day we decided was beach day all day. So fun! So nice to sit down and read, play in the ocean, and take a day of fun in the sun. We were at the beach from after breakfast until 8:00 again that evening. The water was so beautiful, little coves and caves to explore and climbing up big rocks and jumping in the Mediterranean like the locals. Some local kids come and jump off the rocks all day and play soccer in the surf. No phones. Playing in the water and outdoors all day. Young teenagers. Loved it. The next day was to explore the town of Nerja a bit more and check out a secluded beach we had read about in our travel book. It said drive to a cliff and hike a half hour down to a lovely beach. Now we had read the beach was topless (which every beach we had been to had topless women so this was nothing new)…and that a further hike would lead you to a nude beach. Well, we thought we would hang at the topless beach no problem and enjoy a different beach for the day. Let’s just say the WHOLE BEACH was clothing optional. At first my kids didn’t know where to look or what to do. We had done a pretty intense hike down and weren’t ready to turn around right away. We decided to relax and enjoy our time regardless….Got some sun beds in a good location and after awhile didn’t seem to matter much. We had lunch at a great little restaurant down there and I tried the traditional sardines cooked at an outdoor fire with sea salt. Not too bad. No one else wanted to try them. That day the ocean was really rough so we didn’t swim much. Enjoyed the shore and looked for rocks and shells. Took the shuttle for the return back up the hill and headed back to our hotel in the cliff. Swam in the pool that evening. The sea water was still rough at the hotel as well. Cozy in the sun and snoozed a little after some sangria. Last night in Nerja was spent walking around, exploring new stores and Annalin picked a Mexican restaurant for dinner. Was actually pretty good. Had a late night out strolling and then headed to bed. The next day we visited the Nerja caves on our way to Estepona. The Nerja caves are filled with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites. It holds the Hall of the Cataclysm, the world’s largest stalactite column. One trillion drops of water to make the column. Quick little side trip and we had fun exploring! We head from there to the coasal town of Estepona for the next eight nights. We are looking forward to unpacking a bit more and spending the time at the beach. We had a great time in Nerja. We became fast friends with some staff at the hotel. Several Spaniards here and all types of other cultures. Fun to see all the different people and hear all the different languages. To Estepona….