Monday, 19 March 2012

Marbella, Spain “A Way of Life”

Written by: Dez Miranda

After a hectic year for me and my husband, a trip to Marbella, Spain was very much due.  

From wedding preparations to unexpected surgery, from selling & buying a house to moving twice and finally settling into married life ... Spain was a great escape.

Our 6-hour bus trip from Madrid to Malaga has given us the opportunity to enjoy the rural & mountainous scenic views.  

Purchasing our bus tickets online at www.movelia.es ahead of time saved us a lot of time and a lot of running around.  One can avail ticket discounts if purchased weeks early and all of the information can be found on their website – but you may take a while to navigate their website. It is also nice that the bus company provided passengers with complimentary bottled water and is very much appreciated especially on a hot summer day.  
Upon arrival in Malaga bus station, we took a taxi that drove us to our resort in Marbella.  It is about an hour ride.  Marbella is situated on the Mediterranean Sea and right away we were mesmerized by the blue waters and long coastline.  With that, we felt tensions from our bodies & worries in our minds left and we thought, “This is the life!”

Our resort, Club Playa Real ~ Heritage resorts is an exchange from our QVIClub timeshare membership.  

It is a couple of minutes away from the beach and the bus stop going to the Old Town Marbella & Fuengirola municipality.  It has a supermarket, several restaurants & cafés, and an internet café close by for convenience.  Since it is just the beginning of summer, it is not quite busy as yet.

For our first day, we’ve opted to take it easy and enjoyed a cappuccino at the hotel’s café which became a regular special treat while we were in Marbella.  One thing that I loved is that we enjoyed the simple things and my husband & I found that from the small cup of cappuccino (the view of the beach helps for sure!). Another thing, there is no upsizing the cup, any flavour shots or no such thing as no foam, half foam or full foam – no complications just a simple cappuccino please!
Casco Antiguo or Old Town Marbella was a 15-minute bus ride from our resort.  

You can pay cash on the bus and if you know little Spanish that is okay as most drivers speak English. There is no way one can get lost or miss their stop at Old Town as everyone on the bus who is mostly tourists get off at the same time.  Around the Old Town square are the town hall built in 1568 by the Catholic Monarchs, the Mayor’s house and the Chapel of Santiago

There are a lot of fountains, churches, shops, cafes and restaurants.

We tried some empanada from one of the bakeries close to the square and sat at one of the tiled benches at the square while people-watching.

The Old Town is a lovely town with narrow streets with small shops where one can find a souvenirs. 

I especially enjoyed the tiles embedded on the exterior walls - I found them very charming. The bougainvillea flowers hanging over the veranda was a delight. The houses are mostly white while some are terracotta coloured.  

On one occasion, we’ve tried churros and paired up with cappuccino and sat at one of the plazas underneath a big tree. There are several restaurants that offer tapas that we meant to try but unfortunately ran out of time. Oh well, maybe some other time. As we continue to tread along the cobblestone streets, we stopped and watched a flamenco dancer performing at the outside patio of one of the restaurants at the heart of Old Town Marbella. It was amazing to witness on how she stomped her feet, sway her frilly dress and smiled at the restaurant’s patrons and passersby.  

It made me want to learn flamenco.

Between the old town and the beach is the Alameda walkway.  One can immediately notice the several bronze sculptures lined up on the marbled floor walkway. 

We were intrigued by the first sculpture titled “Perseo” depicting Perseus beheading Medusa.  

As we were taking pictures, one local offered to take a picture of us and quickly mentioned that the artist is Salvador Dali.  

We’ve enjoyed admiring the art with the sound of sea as our background. 

 Very relaxing, very soothing!

At the Southwest area of Marbella, is the marina called Puerto Banus. 

The area was built by a local property developer, Jose Banus in 1970 where luxurious yachts and boats can be found and expensive shops like Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vitton and Gucci.  

You can tell that there are a lot of wealthy visitors as the parking lots were filled with luxurious cars like Ferrari, Porsche & Lamborghini. The view is spectacular - with the blue water, hotels lined up on the hill and restaurants and bars all around.   

One cannot miss at the Cristamar Centre the three-ton rhinoceros statue officially known as "Rinoceronte vestido con puntillas” or “Rhinoceros dressed in lace”.  This is another work by Salvador Dali.  

Another amazing statue situated on the east side of Puerto Banus is a 25-metre high statue composed of bronze and copper on a granite column.  The statue is overlooking Playa Levante, Levante Beach known as La Victoria or Levante Statue.

Having visited Marbella made me realize the richness of culture and history that this town has to offer.  It gives us the chance to slow down, take it easy and enjoy the beauty of Southern Spain.  With Marbella’s mottoA Way of Life” made me think, one make their own way of life, one has the option of making it simple and enjoyable.  

I think this is where I want to go, take pleasure of the simple things in life.

More Photos of Marbella, Spain

Fuenta Virgen del Rocio Fountain

Park at Old Town Marbella

Rhinoceros statue at Cristamar Centre

Restaurants at Puerto Banus

Bronze Sculptures at Alameda Walkway

A view from our hotel room

Heritage Resort

Cappuccino Latte at Old Marbella Square

Tourists and Locals at Puerto Banus

Coronado Hotel at Heritage Resort

Supermarket close to our hotel

Tiles on exterior walls

Portillo Bus service

Flamenco performer at Old Town
           
25-metre high Levante Statue

Tiled bench at Marbella Park

"Perseo"

Alameda walkway

Hotel Coronado

Puerto Banus

Lighthouse at Puerto Banus marina

Author Bio: 
Odessa is a Toronto-based freelance writer, blogger and editor.  She is a bachelor's degree graduate of the University of Toronto, Canada, Class 2003. She has travelled to Europe, Asia, Australia & Oceania and North America, including the United States of America.