Written by: Odessa Miranda-Tuazon
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 while we were in Marbella 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 most commonly known as the Old Town Marbella was a 15 minute or so 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 souvenir to anyone and everyone they know. 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.
|Cappuccino Latte at Old Marbella Square|
|Beach at Marbella|
|Tourists and Locals at Puerto Banus|
|Coronado Hotel at Heritage Resort|
|Tiles on exterior walls|
|Portillo Bus service|
|Flamenco performer at the heart of Old Town|