February 2003 -- Costa del Sol Spain

John's brother and sister-in-law Peter and Kay invited us to join them on a late winter break to Southern Spain in February. Our Resort Complex at CalaHonda They rented an apartment on the coast beteen Malaga and Marbella at Calahonda. The weather was cold for the the first half of the week but improved considerably for the second half so we managed to get some winter sunshine.

It's really one big building site all the way from Nerja in the East to Estepona in the West. There are a couple of through routes; the older N340 and the A7 motorway. Since the A7 is a toll road the N340 is particularly busy, dashing through urban neighbourhoods. I've never seen so many construction cranes! Despite all this activity creating resort complexes you can still manage to find the odd attractive coastal region, and the inland towns and villages are very picturesque. We liked the old part of Marbella and the sea front and town centre of Fuengirolla was also very pleasant.

The highlight of the week though was a trip east to Granada and the famous Alhambra palace. The moorish architecture is superb. Alhambra Palace
Bronwen took many pictures of mosaics with the thought that she might be able to work the designs into her new hobby of patchwork quilting. Mosaic at Alhambra Palace The Costa del Sol is an amazing strip of coast sandwiched between mountains and the sea.

Nerja, to the East of Malaga is one of the least spoiled small coastal towns. Nerja It has absorbed the tourist hotels and apartments better than most of its neighbours. It would make an excellent base for a vacation in the region.

There are many lovely villages in the mountains inland from the coastal strip. We sampled Mijas which is close by our resort, and Ronda about 40 miles Northwest. The mountain road to Ronda made John wish he was there on his motorcycle!

Ronda Ronda is perched high on a cliff-top. The picture shows the "new" bridge, built in the 18th century I think.

All-in-all we had a lovely week of sightseeing, dining and enjoying our time together. The apartment was very comfortable and well equipped and we had several leisurely evening meals "at home". It proved to be a good introduction to the area. If and when we return we'll probably stay at Nerja.

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