Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Road to Nerja: Fasten Your Seatbelts

When Linda and Tom (San Geraldo's sister and her husband) were in Spain some years ago, they spent a month in the town of Nerja, which is about an hour east of us along the coast. It's a charming town of about 22,000 people. Nerja is known for some very special attractions, including: Roman ruins, a donkey sanctuary, an 18th-century aqueduct, and, among other things, caves that were inhabited as early as 25,000 B.C.


San Geraldo doesn't "do" caves, so I might have to go back some time on my own. But we strolled the streets and Nerja's Balcón de Europa (Balcony of Europe), which offers spectacular views, and enjoyed a perfect day.

ONE OF MANY VIEWS FROM BALCÓN DE EUROPA.

According to folklore, King Alfonso XII gave the Balcón de Europa its name when he visited Nerja in 1885. Official archives indicate the name was already being used long before the king dropped by. But, that didn't stop city officials in 2003 from erecting a statue of the king and placing a plaque officially giving him the credit.

FROM FICTION TO FACT?

Since Alfonso I, II, (not III), IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, and X were all great-grandfathers of San Geraldo, I assumed XII was, as well. So I made San Geraldo pose with Grandpa. Turns out, they weren't related. Still, it's a nice picture.

SAN GERALDO WITH NOT-GREAT-GRANDPA ALFONSO XII.

Balcón de Europa was originally called "La Batería" for the gun battery and fortified tower located there. La Batería was destroyed in 1812 by joint British and Spanish forces against French occupiers. Ironic, given that the fortification was built originally to protect Nerja from British pirates.

WHERE THEY FELL:  SOME OF THE REMAINS OF THE FORTIFIED TOWER.
A FISHERMAN'S COTTAGE/CAVE.
ANOTHER VIEW FROM THE BALCÓN.
PLAZA BALCÓN DE EUROPA.
(WHERE WE HAD COFFEE AND, LATER, ICE CREAM —
I HAD DARK CHOCOLATE AND DULCE DE LECHE.)
CHURCH OF EL SALVADOR (1697).
CAPE HONEYSUCKLE SPANNING A STREET
(OBVIOUSLY PROTECTED FROM THE CYCLONIC WINDS).
PLANT-FILLED BALCONIES.
TOM AND SAN GERALDO, LUNCH ON PLAZA DE CAVANA.

Getting There
San Geraldo and Linda both get motion sickness. So, Tom and I are relegated to the back seat when we go on drives (although Linda always offers to take a motion-sickness pill, so I can ride in front). When we got in the rental car (only a 2-door was available) to start our drive, I automatically belted myself in. Linda got in the front seat and, reaching back for her shoulder strap, asked, "Where's my seatbelt?"

San Geraldo said — as if it were perfectly normal — "Mitchell's using it.

No wonder it was so comfortable. They're usually kind of snug.

"MITCHELL'S USING IT."
LATER: LINDA WOULDN'T SHARE.

22 comments:

  1. I love that Bette Davis line. And the pictures of you guys are just wonderful.

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    1. Stephen:
      Initially, I planned to post the song from the musical, "Applause," but then I came across this 8-second clip.

      Delete
  2. I think I visited the town as a boy

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    1. John:
      It must have been so different. Linda and Tom were there during a really awful time in the economic crisis. They were amazed and pleased with how much better it looked (but they still fell in love with it 4 years ago).

      Delete
  3. San Geraldo is looking wonderful. I visited Nerja and the caves a couple of years ago, it was wonderful.

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    1. Elaine:
      San Geraldo really does look great. The photos don't do him justice (we even bought him some new clothes on our way home from Nerja -- a huge improvement). Loved Nerja and can't wait to get back to visit the caves.

      Delete
  4. Go, Bette, Go!!

    Such a pristine, clean place......and the waters look so warm....I think I'm jealous....no I'm not....yes you are! Shhh......alter ego!

    Jerry is taller than his not so much relative.....is that a sign of the times?

    Nothing worse than motion-sickness which Jim's sis Mim gets, so I understand the back seat relegation!!
    Ron

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    1. Ron:
      Jerry commented on how short El Rey was (and Jerry was semi-squatting in that pose). It should have been obvious that they weren't related! Even with meds, Jerry has an unpleasant time riding in the backseat. Linda can manage and always offers, but I don't mind taking a back seat to these two.

      Delete
  5. Looks very peaceful and serene, Mitchell. San Geraldo found some jeans that fit I see.....looks great!
    So, you are a seat-belt hog?! lol

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    1. Jim:
      Those jeans and shirt don't actually fit. If you saw him from the back, you'd see about 4 inches of extra denim scrunched up under the belt. But, we shopped on our way back from Nerja. He's got new jeans and some new shirts. What a difference!

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  6. Wonderful photos....San Geraldo looks wonderful but the scenery in Nerja makes me want to leave this very moment and go there! Those soft blues and white sand......Heaven.

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    1. Kristi:
      We had glorious weather for a first visit to Nerja. Really charming and picturesque. But not someplace I'd want to be during "season."

      Delete
  7. Gosh, there just aren't any white buildings like that in France, even in Southern France. I wonder why not? It seems like you find them in Italy, too. Love these photos.

    Though my favorite picture of San Geraldo is that fabulous one of him on the side of the blog, posing as el rey, I'm impressed by this new one... it's the first one you've shown us of him, full length, since the new eating regime was begun. Looking great!

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    1. Judy:
      Nerja is an example of the "pueblos blancos" of Southern Spain. I still love that photo of San Geraldo El Rey. The picture in Nerja really doesn't do him justice. The jeans and shirt are two sizes too big. He really IS looking great! Thanks!

      Delete
  8. Great pictures, looks like a lovely day out and yet another reason Spain is on my list of places to visit. Cheers!

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    1. Cheapchick:
      I highly recommend it. So much variety. So much beauty.

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    2. I loved your post so much I gave you a shout out tonight in mine (Sgetti Post - just look past all the cooking crap to the bottom :))

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    3. Cheapchick:
      For a cheap chick, you are so unbelievably generous. Thanks for the very kind words... and for warning me about all the cooking crap.

      Delete
  9. Beautiful scenery, as usual. It's nice to see a little more (and a little less) of San Geraldo. I can relate to jean shopping (from an earlier post); the prices on this side of the Atlantic are ridiculous.

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    1. Walt the Fourth:
      We found an outlet store (of sorts) on our way home from Nerja. Levi's weren't 100€; they were only 90€! But,there were other brands with better prices (like Lee Jeans at 2 pairs for 90€). So San Geraldo got two pairs to hold him over until we can buy more Levi's in June. And four new polo shirts. What a difference two sizes make!

      Delete
  10. I thought San Geraldo had wasted away. He is looking very healthy.

    The fallen rocks could still be put back in place to keep the evil French away.

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    Replies
    1. Andrew:
      I do put rocks in San Geraldo's pockets on windy days.

      Oh, some people still haven't forgiven the French for Napoleon.

      Delete

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