We are home after a week in Spain. Friends have a vacation house in Marbella, and we had the place to ourselves: Relaxing hours spent by the pool, interesting hours spent walking in old Marbella, satisfying hours spent exploring different traditional tapas and paella restaurants as well as those that featured a more modern menu, delicious hours sampling new Spanish wines, exploring hours spent driving in the Andalusian mountains … the week went quickly and we didn’t dive into any deep historical exploration, but for a last-minute opportunity to go we felt we absorbed as much of the local cuisine, culture, and experience as we could.
It was wonderful.
Even with just a week’s visit, I have (of course … 😉 ) way too many photos and thoughts. To begin sharing a few of them, I decided to first focus on the autonomous community (Andalusia), Province (Málaga), and especially city (Marbella) in which we stayed.
Wikipedia highlights about Andalusia:
– Most populous autonomous community, it covers 17.3 percent of Spain
– Located south in the Iberian peninsula and north of the Mediterranean Sea and the Strait of Gibraltar, the main mountain ranges are the Sierra Morena and the Baetic System, and the average temperature throughout the year is over 16 °C (61 °F)
– Rich culture and a strong cultural identity; many phenomena that are seen internationally as distinctively Spanish are largely or entirely Andalusian in origin: flamenco, bullfighting, and certain Moorish-influenced architectural styles
Province of Málaga
Wikipedia highlights of Málaga:
– Area of 7,308 km² and 2012 population of 1,639.127, concentrated mainly in the metropolitan area of Málaga and throughout the coastal area
– Climate is a warm Mediterranean, with dry and warm long summers and short mild winters
– Main industry and claim to fame are its tourist resorts
Wikipedia highlights about Marbella:
– Part of the region of the Costa del Sol (Sun Coast) on the Mediterranean Sea in the foothills of the Sierra Blanca
– Has a significant archaeological heritage; some historians believe the first settlement on the present site of Marbella was founded by the Phoenicians in the 7th century BC, the Roman population center was in what is now the El Casco Antiguo (Old Town) area, the Caliphate of Córdoba fortified the coastline and built a string of several lighthouse towers along it, and so much more
– Between the old town and the Mediterranean is a garden with fountains and a collection of ten sculptures by Salvador Dalí
– Particularly noted for the presence of aristocrats, celebrities and wealthy people, it is a popular destination for luxury yachts (which Jan and I made a conscious decision to NOT go see)
I have specific “themed” photos for future posts, but thought I’d share a few random images from Marbella now — most are my own but, as with those above, a couple are from the Interwebs and I’ve credited their sources.
How about you — when you only have a brief time in a new area, do you try to absorb and experience as much as possible overall, or do you focus on one or two aspects of the trip to experience more fully?
(Here is where this part of the world is located on the map.)