Today we were up to a glorious bright morning and excited by, not only putting our feet on land for the first time in 10 days, but our excursion to Marbella and Puerto Banus, Spain.
We chose this excursion because at a recent event, Captain Selväg mentioned that one of his favorite destinations in Malaga was the resort towns of Marbella and Puerto Banus so that is where Randy and I decided to visit while in port.
To reach Marbella we had a 45 minute ride through Malaga. As we drove along our guide gave us a short history of the city and surrounding area, turned our attention to various points of interest like the La Manquita Cathedral, and the beautiful shaded walks down narrow streets. He also mentioned that painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso, Hebrew poet and Jewish philosopher Solomon Ibn Gabirol and actor Antonio Banderas were born in Malaga.
As we rode along we saw many chestnut, cherry, firs, pine and ferns along the road with a large mountain range looming to the west. Randy remarked, “The scenery here reminds me of Southern California”. I agreed.
We had only one hour to visit in Marbella. The first half-hour our guide took on a walking tour of the older section of the city. We walked down narrow streets lined with sidewalk cafes, walls adorned with flower pots filled with various colors of flowers and a beautiful church. I loved the buildings with their beautiful balconies but what really caught my eyes were the streets paved with tile and small white and black shells in beautiful designs.
The next half-hour we were on our own and strolled down to the water through a small botanical beautiful garden that led us to a plaza stretching down to the sea. The plaza was lined with a variety of statuary by Salvador Dali. We walked onto the beach of brown course sand and encountered a large statue of an elephant. The elephant is a shower for beach goers with the water coming out of its trunk. I thought this was a very cool idea. It was early morning so we only encountered a few beach goers sunbathing and enjoying the blue waters of the Mediterranean.
Then we were off to the playground of the rich and famous, Puerto Banús. One of the first things Randy noticed was how many beautiful and expensive cars there were lining the streets. On one street alone Randy spotted a Lamborghini, a Porsche and a Maserati. Puerto Banús is a beautiful marina and high-end shopping area. We strolled along admiring the many beautiful yachts and window shopped the many shops along the pier.
When we stopped at the end of the pier, I was struck by the view beautiful blue water of the Mediterranean glistening white boats and the white-washed buildings of the town against the backdrop of the brown/gray mountains in the distance. The sight was quite beautiful. I was also struck at how clean the area was. As we were walking back to meet our tour bus we understood why everything was so clean, we saw a woman mopping the sidewalk in front of her shop.
Once back on board we headed to Central Park to grab a bite of lunch. Then off to the cabin to rest a while before getting ready for cocktails and dinner. Randy and I always like to watch as the ship leaves port. Randy was standing along the railing and called out, “Mary, you have to come and see this”. What he was looking at were the throngs of people who had lined the pier to watch us leave port. You see, the Oasis was the largest cruise ship to come to Malaga.
What happened next was truly amazing. As the shipped pulled away from the port fire boats came up behind this ship and gave it a water salute. As soon as the crowd saw that they went wild waving, whistling, saying goodbye and cheering. The ship also received an escort out of the port by a flotilla of small vessels. It was all quite exciting.
The entertainment for the evening was journey back in time to the 60’s listening to a band called the Overtures. They were wonderful. With a video behind the band, they played many memorable songs that they called the best representation of the pop era. They started off with the Beatles, moved on to The Moody Blues, the Beach Boys, and so many more. Everyone in the theater were clapping, singing along and dancing in their seats. It truly was a power-packed evening of song
Tired we retired to our cabin for a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow we are at sea sailing to Barcelona, Spain.