Category Archives: Costa del Sol

SUNNY SPAIN – November and December

Day 8 – Malaga

We were up early on this Thursday morning to check out of Los Amigos Beach Club, with some regret, because we enjoyed this resort much more than we had expeted.  2316316_125_z

DSCN1911   Not only did we make friends, but we walked to the beach, had good food available close by, and Mijas is so centrally located along the Coast del Sol that we could walk or ride almost anywhere in a 2 hour radius–which we did for Ronda, Granada, La Calla, and Fuengirola, which gets you to Malaga by train.   area_map_costa_del_sol

In fact, this day’s journey was exactly that. Thanks to new friend Ivon, we had a town car ride with him to the train station, instead of the wild taxi ride we had getting to Mijas. Believe me, that was a great relief.

We said our tata’s to our British friends Ken and Marjorie, Gordon and Edna, and then found Ivon.  images

We got the train, had a lot of help from the locals and station personnel figuring out how to buy a ticket, and which train to catch.

We arrived in Malaga, and decided to walk the mile to our hotel, partly so we could get an idea of the terrain and how to navigate our two days in the city.

Unknown-1 We arrived at the hotel, Carols V (which I had said to Elton, as we checked out at Los Amigos as Carlos “V.” He replied, graciously, “I think it is Carlos the Roman Numeral Five–you know Charles V, ” the Holy Roman Emperor in the 16th Century.” We had a good laugh. I guess I am forgetting my Latin I and II.

The Carlos V in Malaga isn’t a luxury hotel, but the price was right–and we were only sleep there two nights, expected to be out and about most of the day, so it was really just fine.  Unknown-2

We were bent on tapas for supper, and had it early since our late breakfast at the condo of everything left in the fridge that we didn’t give away, was plenty to tide us over till 4p.m.     IMG_2600

Seated at our al fresco cafe, we people-watched, enjoying the balmy afternoon, and then dined on lovely Serrano ham, olives, cheese, potatoes, roasted peppers, bread and wine. Oh life on the Mediterranean. You could get used to this.  IMG_2611

We had booked a Hop On, Hope Off trolley tour, but had trouble finding the right station. On foot, we traversed quite a bit of the city, and only after a couple of hours realized we were out oftime for the day, because it was almost twilight this December evening.  We had hoped to use the transportation to get around, especially since we had scheduled a tapas workshop on Friday.city-sightseeing-malaga-hop-on-hop-off-tour-in-malaga-138384

As it turned out, we didn’t need much transportation other than our feet. Almost everything in Malaga’s main district is walking distance. And, as in so many city areas of Europe, if you stop off for a gelato or a cappucino or some refreshment, you can do miles with little effort.

IMG_2637  As evening grew, we wandered into the mall near our hotel, and discovered it was the day the Christmas lights would be lit. Shoppers were clustered waiting, and then a collective ahh went up when the lights came on.

Shopping here was a congregation of little shops and posh department stores like Massimo Dutti, where we found accessories–a belt and purse that will give us sweet memories of this trip.   IMG_2628

We had a great time finding gifts for the kids and grands, and a couple of totes for us at the little kiosks in the mall, where everyone was so friendly and helpful.

We headed back to Carlos V for the night, happy to rest up for our full day Friday.

 

 

 

 

Sunny Spain – November and December

LA1_resort-header-01_0Day 7 – Back in Mijas.

We took a break, knowing it would be our last day in Mijas and with our new British friends at Los Amigos Beach Club.

We had a paella lesson in the community room, and also learned how to make sangria. The resort had a new person teaching, so the crowd had to interact, and some of them had done this before. Great fun.  IMG_0074

Our poolside condo was the perfect location, and strangely quiet–but then it was December. Not a lot of swimming going on.

We relaxed, enjoyed our afternoon, tried to eat up all of the things in the fridge and gave away the rest.

In the evening, our friends Ken and Marjorie invited us to their condo for a party, and there the rest of our new acquaintences were gathered. It’s amazing how a good hostess can provide the perfect appetizers with just bread and condiments and some other yummies, but Marjorie had done this before.   Unknown-3

On our dinnertime the day before, we had shared our table with Ivon, and he offered,  now, to drive us to the train on Thursday for our excursion to Malaga. He had his car, having driven through France to Mijas.

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We got a picture of just how homey this place was to these English and Scottish friends. They thought nothing of driving to Spain, as we would feel traveling through States to a holiday.

UnknownWe had a great time, went back to our condo to pack for our last leg of the trip, and then watched BBC till we were sleepy.

All good.

 

Sunny Spain – November and December

Day 6 – La Cala Mijas

Day 6 was a time to kick back a little and see more of the local area. We felt the need to walk, and found La Cala Mijas was about an hour or less from our resort, and worth the walk along the Mediterranean where the view was never hidden.   Coastal-pathway-La-Cala-de-Mijas

We had to navigate along the busy highway’s bridge which paralleled the road, and the traffic was loud and scary at times, but we kept the Sea in sight, so had a good trade-off.  Besides, we knew the distance was possible, and the day was cool and pleasant, about 75 degrees F. on the first day of December.  We weren’t sure whether it was the Spaniards or the tourists who didn’t walk everywhere, but in Mijas, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of foot traffic. In any case, we enjoyed our walk, even though the road roar made it a little difficult to chat as we walked.   Unknown-4

We started out around noon and found it a pleasant mid-70 degrees F. on this Tuesday, December, 1.
When we arrived, we were delighted to find a navigable town with restaurants and expansive beach areas with tables for dining al fresco from El Torreon, the large white beach restaurant we decided on.  Unknown-3

We ordered seafood, of course, at El Torreon, and we leisurely dined with the Mediterranean as our companion. The food was delicious. The whole scene reminded us of Santa Monica, and we felt at home there, almost as though we had always known it.

Unknown-2 It doesn’t get better than having lunch on the beach of the Mediterranean Sea, and strolling through the beach town, with no worries of parking cars, being lost, or dodging children begging for coins. (There was absolutely none of this in Spain.)

After lunch, we strolled around the small town, and enjoyed the freedom of a new place in walking distance to our “home away from home.”

By around 3:30pm. we decided to get to the bridge to walk before any chance of a rush hour, since we didn’t really know much about traffic patterns along the highway.

733987_175558075926207_1560753296_nReturning to Los Amigos, we changed for dinner, and wandered back to the Indian restaurant, Punjab Palace, which we knew we liked, and feeling like this couple of blocks of walking was nothing.   We weren’t about to start exploring new food on this walkabout day.nearby-restaurants

BBC provided our evening’s entertainment, and we also said hi to our British neighbors, who invited us to their party the next day, which we accepted, especially since we planned on leaving Thursday, cutting our time share stay short, to go to Malaga for two days before flying back to Boston.

It was a breezy delightful day by the Sea, and we knew we could get used to this very easily.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunny Spain – November and December

Day 4 – New friends

We awoke Sunday, December 3, and made our breakfast of Spanish ham, eggs, toast and apricot jam, all available at our very satisfactory grocery on the premises of Los Amigos Beach Club. Since our condo had a full kitchen, there was no problem making our own breakfast, and this was delicious.     Unknown

los-amigos-beach-club

After breakfast, we  wandered out to the patio and the pool area, and even though the mid-60 degree F temp was pleasant, no one was  going to go swimming. We did find our neighbors sunning themselves on their patio.

exterior-view We were planning to sit on the chaises farther away from them, since we didn’t want to intrude, but they struck up a conversation and seemed to want to engage.

Soon Gordon and Edna from Scotland, and Ken and Marjorie from England, were warmly letting us know we were going to be chatting for some time, so we pulled our chaises to face them, and happily got to know them better.

It seems, that even though we had visions of meeting a lot of Spanish people, we were destined to be connected more with the Brits, who had vacationed here for many years.

They had a lot of stories to tell us, and most of them were of England and Scotland, not of Andelucia.   europe_map

We didn’t get the feeling they were planning to do the tours we had planned, and their whole demeanor was that Los Amigos was kind of a home away from home, which was familiar and comfy. In fact, they were amazed that we had made the journey for a 10 day stint, rather than the fortnight they regularly scheduled.

Ivon passed by and said hello, and he seemed to be part of the group as well. His condo was across the path from ours.
We stayed until lunch time, and decided to do some exploring, since our British friends and hinted that there were other eateries beyond Farro Playa across the street, and besides, as I said, Farro Playa had closed December 1, so we thought we had better find new adventures in eating.   There was a small cafe on the Los Amigos grounds, but it seemed to be ordinary food, and we wanted local color (or colour).

nearby-restaurantsWhat we found was a little strip mall in walking distance from the condos, with a couple of Spanish food restarants and the Punjab Indian restaurant, plus a convenience store with trinkets, water, T-shirts, etc., and other goods.

We were thrilled we could reach this little mall on foot, and knew then that we wouldn’t be needing a car, or be stuck with hamburgers at our grounds cafe.

We dined on the terrace on Indian food at the Punjab, and found the lamb and vegetarian dishes lovely and affordable.

DSCN1927We had enough leftovers to have an adequate supper with some crackers and cheese appetizers from the Los Amigos grocery. Oh, and I forgot to mention the delicious white wine.  We are not finished experiencing Spanish wines, but this adventure will have to wait till our next visit because we didn’t have enough information for this trip.

Refecting back on this day, I realize there is nothing pressuring us to find the exotic every day. We so enjoyed finding out that we could feel at home in Mijas, and that our planned touring didn’t need to be a frantic daily event. Unknown-1

 

We walked back to the condo, put on beach shoes, and headed back across the street for an evening walk along the Sea. We could get used to this.  Sunset on the Mediterranean in Milas