Thursday, July 10, 2014

Splendid Spain, part 2

I’m back to continue the tale of our February trip to Andalucia. After Colleen and Ryan’s exquisite wedding, we spent a relaxing day exploring the nearby Mediterranean beach towns.

Our first stop was Nerja, an upscale vacation town known for its “Balcon de Europa”. The expanse of blue-green seas, rugged cliffs topped by white-washed homes, and tropical vegetation were just as impressive as their delectable ice cream!

Then we followed the coastal road east past the occasional ancient fortification or tile-roofed beach house.

We soon arrived at Almuñecar, where more gorgeous coastline mixed with Roman, Moorish, and Christian ruins from the town’s colorful history.

Our final coastal stop was Salobreña and we arrived just as the setting sun bathed the stone walls in a golden glow and tinted the distant Sierras purple.

I loved the narrow cobbled streets that wound up to the castle, though their compatibility with modern transportation is questionable. We were grateful for Aunt Marian’s legendary driving skills, she just folded in the mirrors and forged ahead as the ‘street’ got narrower and narrower until we reached the top!

The next morning we bid farewell to the Palacete, (where we stayed for the week and the wedding was held) but not without taking a few more pics and a  video to document the rustic mountain road that takes you there. Minimal medieval-era guardrails separate traffic from steep drop-offs and you never know when a group of goats or bicycles might be hiding around the next hairpin turn. But when you finally arrive, the location is well worth a few heart palpitations. The Palacete dates back to 1492 and is set atop terraces of avocado trees,

Overlooking the sleepy town of Otivar.

And don’t get me started on the sumptuously grand yet comfortable interior, and the picture-perfect grounds! To have the private run of such a paradise felt like an extended daydream of a royal family vacationing at their country chateau.

I’ll be back soon with the final Spain installment, our whirlwind tour of Sevilla!.

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