After a much too short visit to the Mediterranean coast, Jerry, Jorunn, and I arrived back in Sevilla Wednesday afternoon. It is much easier obtaining a seat facing forward on the train when you travel in a party of three. We had a set of facing seats with a table between us. Jerry was looking in the right direction from the start and didn’t have to spend the trip standing in the hall by the vending machine. The table provided lots of room for our books, for Jerry’s laptop, and for our “treats.” Jorunn rolled out a box of Norwegian chocolates for the ride home. Total bliss!
| THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA AS WE APPROACHED THE TOWN OF NERJA,
WHICH WAS RIGHT AFTER WE MISSED OUR TURN NORTH TO TORROX.
As planned, we rented a car Tuesday morning and drove east along the coast from Málaga and then inland a few kilometers to the town of Torrox. There are three versions of Torrox — the original town a little away from the water, Punta de Torrox (the point that dips into the Mediterranean Sea), and Torrox-Costa (unsurprisingly, the town on the coast).
|THE MAIN PLAZA AFTER LUNCH. TIME FOR SIESTA.|
The “towns” on the coast are contemporary and have no charm whatsoever, just an enviable location on the water. The original town — our destination — is situated high above. It is historic, picturesque, and has beautiful views. It is the first “pueblo blanco” (white village) Jerry and I have had an opportunity to visit in Southern Spain. You’ll see from the photos why these villages are known by the name.
|VAARIN, JERRY, AND JORUNN JUST BEGINNING THE CLIMB FROM THE PLAZA.
WE HAD NO IDEA WHAT WE WERE IN FOR.
Torrox was settled in the time of the Phoenecians and Greeks who traded in olives, figs, and wine. The Romans increased the town’s stature by producing a type of anchovy paste (no thank you). The Moors arrived in the 7th century and brought new agriculture, terracing, and irrigation that is still in existence.
|NEVER LOOK BACK.|
We parked the car and began a brief, steep climb to the main plaza, where we had a very pleasant lunch with Jerry’s first cousin once removed, Vaarin. We heard no Spanish being spoken in the plaza. Vaarin spoke Norwegian with the staff and with Jorunn, and some English with us. The tables surrounding us were filled with Brits. The waitress was a young blond who spoke English with a Norwegian accent. Jerry and Vaarin shared stories and family photos.
After lunch, we hiked up the surprisingly charming and exceedingly steep streets of Torrox to see where Vaarin is spending her annual 5-week escape from Norway (which is already cold and, as usual, rainy). The climb was daunting, but the views were stunning.
|THE VIEW NORTH FROM THE ROOF TERRACE. SO WORTH THE CLIMB.|
Once we arrived at Vaarin’s house, we then climbed three flights of stairs to the roof terrace. Breathtaking (both the views and the climb… especially the climb). We sat and visited for a while and, once Jerry’s sweat-soaked shirt had dried a bit, we began our descent to the car.
|THE VIEW EAST FROM THE ROOF TERRACE.|
Vaarin insisted on taking us the scenic way down, showing us her favorite streets and views. It is like walking the hills of San Francisco, only smaller, quainter, steeper, sunnier, and hotter. Vaarin’s stamina is awe-inspiring. It must be that Viking stock (Jerry’s stock was watered down by his father’s side of the family).
|ON THE WAY BACK DOWN. VAARIN’S FAVORITE VIEW SOUTH TO THE MEDITERRANEAN.|