A Weekend of Many Parts 2
Sunday was another stunning day, weather-wise. There is no doubt that there is an autumnal nip in the air first thing, and once the sun has set, but as the sun rises so does the temperature. We had to take our hire car back to Malaga today, and collect another, and decided that we would take in a few sights on the return drive, with Nerja, Maro and Frigiliana on the list.
As it happens, we managed all three.
We neither of us had any preconceived ideas, other than those gleaned from a Google search and snippets of ‘A Place in the Sun’. Nerja was heaving with people! As a first impression, this was not great, but we grabbed a coffee and regrouped, and accepted that today was Sunday and the Spanish love getting out and about, away from the cities to spend time over a long lunch. We procured a map and wandered around the little streets up from the Balcon de Europa seafront promenade, and found a charming town, with many lovely bars and restaurants. We were certainly beguiled enough to want to return, with a handful of recommended restaurants that we can try without risk! We also reminded ourselves that we are fortunate enough not to have to restrict ourselves to weekend visits. Out of season and during the week, I imagine that Nerja will be quite different.
Next on the list was the beach at Maro, just along the coast from Nerja, and apparently a pretty spot with a handy chiringuito, or beach bar. Maro had a respectable air, and we loved the fact that this weekend saw Maroe’en - their own Hallowe’en celebrations, and the trees had all been draped with cobwebs!
The beach is a lovely cove, down a fairly steep road running out of Maro itself. There is plenty of parking on the road before you have to walk the final part (the walk back is uphill; remember!), and if you fancied spending a day at the beach, then this is as good a place as any to choose. As it happens, we were not really here for a day at the beach so actually decided not to stay, so back up the hill we went. The lure of a beer in Frigiliana was more tempting.
What a delight is Frigiliana!
Again, it was busy with many Spanish families taking the chance to enjoy this last burst of warm weather before daytime temperatures take a slight downturn. However, that did not detract one iota from the pristine loveliness of this place. The historic centre of Frigiliana is a network of cobbled lanes lined with, for the most part, immaculate whitewashed village houses sporting brightly coloured doors - the tones of mediterranean blue that prevailed gave the place a look similar to that of Mykonos. The views from this tumble of buildings are beautiful, down the valley and out to sea. Every corner provided a visual treat: a doorway opening onto a courtyard; steps down to a perfectly painted wooden door; steps up through a clutter of whitewashed cottages against a backdrop of deep blue sky. Whilst these houses all looked idyllic, it did cross our minds that it would be like living in a tourist attraction.
We left for home expecting that the fiesta in Salaries would be drawing to a close. On the Sunday, there is a big paella cook-in down by the river at 2pm, and we assumed that, as tomorrow is Monday, the extended families would need to depart to get ready for a new working week. Oh, clearly we were wrong. When we arrived in the village, the main approach was still lined with cars and there was little sign of anyone having departed. In fact, at 8:30pm the loud bangers started again to signify that something was about to happen, and we then heard the brass band strike up. Like Groundhog Day, the Virgin Mary and her entourage appeared in full procession once again, right past our house, exactly as they had done the evening before. Off to the end of the street, followed by another firework display, and we had the prime viewing spot, right on our top roof terrace.
We managed to get in the car and hot-foot it out for dinner as the procession made its way back into town.
Dinner consumed, we headed home, opened the car door to hear the dulcet tones of the live singing trio on the main square, getting geared up for another night of revelry, so fully expect to be woken up at 2:30am by another round of bangers and the vocalists’ voices cutting through the chilly night air. On a school night, as well! Do these villagers ever go to bed?