Saturday, 22 March 2014

Marbella Old Town and Benalmadena Waterfront

Marbella Old Town

Marbella Old Town with its Moorish walls.

Seal of Marbella

Our interest in Andalucia has focussed on the less touristic side of the region and our visit to the nearby Marbella e.g. has been limited to a few short visits to Puerto Banus so far. Now we decided to take a walk in downtown Marbella to get a better idea of this 8th largest city in Andalucia. Mrs. T is not always THAT keen on my different "explorative missions", especially if "curly roads" are included. Maybe it was the shops that lured her along this time. Few shops where visited this time because we ended up walking in the old town of Marbella. We where both pleasantly surprised by the inviting neighborhood including narrow passages, small cosy hotels and historical sights like the Alcazar (above) as well as churches. The old town also seem to offer many restaurants in an relaxed atmosphere without any busy traffic around.

Ermita del Santo Cristo in the background.
One of the many "green" alleys.

Main square with restaurants.

Trial of one of the restaurants was left for the next time.

Archeological findings indicated that already the Romans inhabited the old town, but the Moors have had a stronger influence and possibly given the town its name in Arabic Marbil-La. After the second world war Marbella had only 900 inhabitants. At that time the Marquis of Ivanrey popularized it among his rich and famous friends, created a resort called "Venta y Alberques El Rodeo"when development of tourism begun. Another aristocratic, Prince Alfonso of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, acquired another estate that in 1954 was turned into the Marbella Club, a resort for movie stars, business executives and the nobility. The site was frequently visited e.g. by Bismarck, Rotschild, Adnan Khashoggi and others. In 1966 Beverly Hills architect started to design Puerto Banus that was inaugurated in 1970 with royalties present and Julio Iglesias performing. A little later also the King of Saudi Arabia arrived in Puerto Banus. The rest is, I suppose, almost a legend (read more in wikipedia). 

Colorful street view in the old town Marbella.
Photography allowed.
A pink scooter captured everyones eyes...

...and the details of the balcony captured mine!

Towards the end of the walk by the sea - Faro de Marbella.

Benalmádena Waterfront

Benalmádena Waterfront in the afternoon.

Coat of Arms Benalmádena

Benalmádena is a neighboring town that we have visited before (see our previous blog). It is divided into Benalmádena Pueblo, Costa and Arroyo de la Miel. Its coastal line was unknown to us so we appreciated a nice gesture from our very good friends from Finland to join them for an afternoon walk together. After a glass of "sparkling" at the hotel we started off, passed Castillo Bil-Bil and walked the shoreline to the nice Marina nearby. We spent some good six hours together talking and walking the time away. We actually did not get that far before we stopped at Restaurant La Sirena for a bite. Given the chance we cannot resist local fresh fish. This time we had turbot and sea-bass to share together with a very nice Spanish white wine. Sangria to start with, of course.

Mrs. T  keeps a close eye on the grilled fish.

...making sure Mr. T does not get anywhere close to the catch.


Spring flowers bring the colors. 

And seafaring people are getting ready.

Walking the dog.

Beaches being prepared for the season.

We arrived at the large and beautiful Marina of Benalmádena. Both Mrs. T and I said the same: so similar to the Eastbourne new Marina, but slightly larger and busier. So many shops and restaurants available. On a Friday evening the going was lively with some youngster getting into mood for Flamenco.

A unique architecture in the marina of Benalmádena.

And nicely decorated bridges leading from one section to another.

With many different kind of vessels to admire.

The afternoon was turning into evening and we turned back in a while only to discover the setting sun. This gave us the opportunity for a few more photo shots. If you visit Benalmádena do consider visiting also The Tivoli World, the Butterfly Mariposario, the Beautiful Gardens of La Paloma, Bemalmádena Pueblo up on the hills and to take the Cable Cars up to the mountain for the eagles and a nice view over the shoreline.

Sunset in Benalmádena.

A special afternoon / evening with special friends ending with such skies.


To our readers: One week to go. Look out for the summary of our Andalucian adventures. The best of the best of Andalucian hospitality coming up!

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