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.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

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