Had it not been for a Senior Moment, you would be reading a piece, and looking at photographs of Nerja’s Three Kings Fiesta. But I got the date wrong! How could I do that? For the past umpteen years, I’ve attended the Fiesta on the evening of the 5th of January. For some reason, I got it into my head that it was on the 6th. Fortunately, by lunchtime on the 6th, I’d realised my error. So as my bike was already loaded in the car, I decided to drive and then cycle. I drove a few miles along the coast road towards Nerja and parked the car on Playazo Beach.
From there, I cycled along the dirt road, crossed the almost dried up river, then along a short piece of promenade to the headland, known as La Torrecilla. In the 16th Century, a small castle was built on the promontory to ward off marauding Berber pirates.
However, in 1812 the Mediterranean Fleet of the British Navy bombarded the castle and rendered it useless to prevent its use by Napoleon’s invading forces. From the point, there are beautiful sea views in both directions.
The small beach to the east takes its name from the Castle. Being a bank holiday, both the beach and the cafes were popular.
Even a swimmer was tempted into the water. At the far end of the beach, the rocks begin again and a promenade runs uphill. At the foot of the steps where they go up into the town, a commemorative column has been set up to mark Spain joining the EEC in 1985. The column contains a worked piece of stone transported from each of the then 15 member countries, plus a stone quarried from Nerja. The piece from “England” is close to the bottom. I couldn’t help but wonder if they will want to remove it in three months time?
At the top of the steps is a row of restaurants and bars The first is one of my favourites, The Bamboo.
Higher up is another favourite, Mirasol. Continuing up through the town, one enters a maze of narrow street.
Eventually, we arrive at the Balcon.
Here, some 150 years ago, this was just another high headland, also with a 16th Century castle built on its point. This castle, like the one at Torrecilla, was also attacked and destroyed by the British Navy.
During the second half of the 1800s, the area suffered a drastic downturn in its fortunes. An insect plague devastated the vineyards. Outbreaks of cholera and typhus lead to hundreds of deaths. Then finally in 1884, the area was rocked by a severe earthquake which ruined much of the town. No wonder many of the population set out to seek new lands in South America.
After the earthquake, the town was visited by King Alfonso 12th. Tradition has it, that he was so impressed with the view from the headland, that he suggested it should become “The balcony of Europe”. Whether or not that’s true, on the strength of the story a full-sized statue of Alfonso has been erected standing alongside the railings.
Certainly, the views in both directions are superb.
After spending some time enjoying the views, I cycled back through the town to the car, eventually reaching the site to find I’d had visitors!
And I thought I’d kept it a secret!!!
To read this blog with extra pictures see:- https://jondogoescaravanning. com/spain-nov-2018-feb-2019/