Looking at Gibraltar from across the water.
Looking at Gibraltar from across the water.
Marbella is a city and municipality in southern Spain, belonging to the province of Málaga. Due to the proximity of the mountains to the coast, the city has a large gap between its north and south sides, thus providing views of the sea and mountain views from almost every part of the city.
During the period of Islamic rule, after the Normans lay waste to the coast of Málaga in the 10th century, the Caliphate of Córdoba fortified the coastline and built a string of several lighthouse towers along it. In the Umayyad fashion they constructed a citadel, the Alcazaba, and a wall to protect the town, which was made up of narrow streets and small buildings with large patios, the most notable buildings being the citadel and the mosque. The village was surrounded by orchards; its most famous crops were figs and mulberry trees for silkworm cultivation. The current name may have developed from the name the  Arabs gave it: Marbal·la (مربلة).
It’s 8:00 in the morning and where are we? At a monastary. La Cartuja de Granada was formerly a Roman cemetery. In 1506 the Great Captain donated land to the monks so that they could build the Monastery.
Then we hopped on the bus for 3 hours and ended up on the coast in Marbella- Party Central in Andalucia. If only we had spent one night there. *sigh* We were, however, able to grab a meal and dance around in the beautiful water before we boarded the bus again.
After our meal we drove to Puerto Banús, a marina located in the area of Nueva Andalucía, to the southwest of Marbella, Spain on the Costa del Sol. It is also scene to many exotic cars that are owned by international celebrities and wealthy owners that also own large yachts. Luxury cars like Rolls Royces and high end sports cars like Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Mercedes Benz are a common sight in the summer months around Marbella and Puerto Banus. Also, from this vantage point we were able to get an excellent view of the mountain in Gibraltar, our stop for tomorrow. We all indulged in some helado and enjoyed the scenery and good weather. Then we were off to bed.
Today was the day people officially started getting annoyed with each other and branching out to other people. I got tired of the constant waiting and indecision so I decided to hang out with Dahia and Lucea today. It was a welcoming and hilarious change.
Found the perfect spot to pose…
…and walk away. ❤
After an 8:30 am breakfast, we headed to La Alhambra.
The Alhambra is a palace and fortress complex located in Granada, Andalusia, Spain. It was originally constructed as a small fortress in AD 889 on the remains of Roman fortifications and then largely ignored until its ruins were renovated and rebuilt. It is the architectural culmination of the works of Nasrid art that were undertaken in the 13th and 14th centuries, with most of the Alhambra having been built at the time of Yusuf I and Mohammed V, between 1333 and 1354.
It was so beautiful to wander around this gigantic palace and be privy to the amount of culture that alone exists within its walls. The time and dedication that was put into all the walls and doorways alone was a testament to the talent that helped with the construction of this edifice. No matter how much other cultures try, they will always fail to prove that Moors were ‘primitive’, they were advanced beyond their years.
We had a few hours in the palace, and then we headed back to our hotel for lunch which was welcomed because it was hot and we were not handling the sudden onslaught that well.
After naps and dinner, everyone in friend polygon wanted to be homebodies, so Manerva and I decided to go explore the city center since we were leaving the next day. We got ice cream and popped into H&M quickly. We decided to stop at a square to enjoy a fountain and our ice cream and were approached by a few skaters who thought we were gorgeous and wanted to teach us how to skate board. ❤ It was a hilariously cute few minutes.
THEN, we saw some souvenir vendors and Manerva remembered that she needed one more item, so we jogged up the side street (first red flag) to catch them before they closed. After a 5-minute flurry, she decided on her items and we stepped out the store to see small groups of men and women milling around the store (second red flag). Now, I was watching this unfold with SERIOUS wariness because we had heard the non-stop warnings about theft and kidnapping. I nudged Manerva, and when she looked at me I said,
“We gotta go N O W!”
Then she looked up from packing away her items and realized what I was talking about, especially after one of the men walked up to us (with what looked like a coat check number circle) and said,
Man: “Where are you heading tonight?”
Man: “That is nice. Come with me.”
I don’t think I’ve ever shoved another human being away so fast and left an area the way we did. I’m pretty sure I drag/pulled Manerva for a few minutes before we reached the square where we had met the skaters. Thankfully they were still there showing off, so we hung about them long enough to explain the situation, and one agreed to give us an alternative route to our major intersection (cause at that rate we weren’t telling anyone where we were sleeping) which followed the main road and had lots of cops.
We finally made it back to our hotel (mind you, it wasn’t even close to midnight) and decided we had explored ENOUGH and it was time for bed.