Monday, September 2, 2013

Marbella: A jewel in the Costa del Sol

Last night in Puerto Banus was quite an adventure. La Lopez and I took a taxi to the clubs while Sister napped and acclimated to the time change. We ended up at Lineker's pub which plays really good music and has friendly bartenders. There were no other Americans there and we were so spoiled I received a bracelet to drink free all night (which I didn't really take advantage and we danced our butts off! We rolled back into our hotel at 0330 and I finally got the sleep I'd been needing for a week!
Around midday we finally got into gear to walk around see the town of Marbella. Being in Andalusia, this area was under Moorish control for hundreds of years until the Arabs were booted out in 1492. Marbella still has the remains of a Moorish fortress. The main cathedral in town, La Iglesia del Encarnacion, was built in the 16th century on the foundation of a mosque which was destroyed after the Moors were defeated.
The church sits in a pretty little piazza lined with palms. A statue of St. Barnabas keeps watch over the cafes and the entrance to the cathedral. We covered our shoulders and walked in to see this beauty of Spanish baroque architecture. The whitewashed painted ceilings soared high above us, from the organ pipes guarded by angels to the heart stopping gold painted altar. Along the sides chapels were evenly spaced, each more amazing and humbling than the next. Sister and I stopped to say a prayer at the chapel of Our Lady before we left while La Lopez went to say a quick novena.
As we walked the narrow twisting and shady lanes of the old part of the town, which reminded me a lot of Venice or Mykonos Town, we ended up next to what could only be a shield wall. It turned out to be the Moorish fortress and the shield wall was still in very good condition. The tower anchoring the corner still had its arrow slits and along the wall I could still see the scaffolding holes from when it was built.
We sat down to lunch of caprese, shrimp fritters and salad mixto. Dessert was fresh Spanish style churros drizzled with chocolate and hot out of the oven. Holy crap they were good!
When we got back to our hotel Mix Brazil had finally arrived. Tonight we'll go out to Puerto Banus and see what else we can see.

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