Living in a different country from your loved ones has many disadvantages – the infrequency of being able to see them, time differences, long journeys amongst some of them. But then there are some advantages – free holiday (!), a getaway, the infrequency of being able to see them (if you like a bit of space between you and them!).
My in laws live in Nerja on the Costa del Sol, Spain. I’ve been going there a few times a year for the past 7 years and it has definitely become my home away from home.
The first time I visited them there was a big sense of apprehension, this was the first time I was actually going to be meeting them so there was a lot of pressure on me to make a good impression!
After being picked up by my now father in law at Malaga airport I got to take in the glorious Spanish scenery in the back seat while he caught up with his offspring.
The beauty of the Mediterranean to my right and the approaching outline of the Sierra Nevada mountain range to my left, I knew that this was going to be a place I would really love visiting.
Prior to my journey to Nerja I had never actually heard of it so I didn’t know what it would be like (now whenever I mention that my in laws live in Nerja almost everyone has been there before and has a nice story to tell! – except my Grandparents, but that’s because they unfortunately came during a downpour!!). It is a lovely Spanish town, touristy but not enough that it doesn’t still have a Spanish feel. While there are lots of ex-pats, there are lots of Spanish people living in the area providing many tapas bars for those arriving for a sejour. And that means tapas in the traditional sense of the word – buy a drink, get a free tapas!
The town is most famous for the Balcon de Europa (Balcony of Europe), an old fortress which now offers an amazing view of the coast, it’s idyllic and perfect for your obligatory tourist photo! Grab yourself an ice cream and walk down the palm tree lined balcony and experience the awe of seeing the Med come into view.
Another place worth mentioning is the Nerja Caves, these are one of the biggest caves open to the public, stretching 5km and is also the home of the world’s largest stalgmite! After a trip to the caves it’s worth popping into the nearby village of Maro which also hosts many tapas bars and gives you another view of the sea.
There are also plenty of beaches for those who enjoy a sunbathe, or for those who enjoy lunch or dinner by the sea, there are plenty of restaurants that offer traditional Spanish food.
After many years of visiting Nerja I do think of it as a home away from home. Though I have seen many of the attractions there are to offer, there is still always something new to find, or somewhere new to try. And while it would be lovely to have my in laws living nearer, you’ve got to take the positive of having such a lovely town as a second home.
Auf Wiedersehen for now,