|the mountain village of Mijas|
It was as easy as taking a bus in front of the Office of Royal Club of Benal where we were staying for a week. Thirty minutes later, passing through Benalmadena’s downtown area higher up the hills, the enticing Butterfly Haven and the glistening Muslim Monument, the town of Mijas slowly appeared as a lovely mountain village of white pueblos. It sits about 1,476 feet above sea level, right in the heart of the Costa del Sol in the region of Andalusia of the Province of Malaga, southern Spain.
|symbol of Mijas, a burro|
When we got off the bus, we walked across the street to the Visitor’s Center with the colorful Mijas sign. There was also a unique sundial beside the Center, but I was more drawn to a sculpture of a burro in front of the Center. Soon after, we found out that piece of art is a monument to the burro taxis. They all lined the plaza edge under the wood and palm roofing that gave them shelter, waiting for tourists they will carry around town. Krishna and Daniela were in awe of the work the poor animals had to do.
|burro taxis in waiting|
|The Rock Church|
So we didn’t choose any and decided to use just our own feet to walk about town. The next thing we were drawn to was the Shrine to the Virgin on the Rock. The Rock Church was built around the cave in 1586 by the father of two children who found there a long-lost (five centuries) statue of the Virgin Mary. Her statue now stands outside on the Rock atop the Altar in the cave. Beyond the sacristy and behind the altar is a display of golden priestly vestments and ornate crosses used for village processions.
|inside the Rock Church|
|view from the terrace of the church|
Outside the church is a spacious terrace from where one can get spectacular views of Costa del Sol and the foothills that lead to it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a clear day so we could not see the Rock of Gibraltar and the northern coast of Africa. So we walked to the commercial area and immediately found some ice cream to stave off the heat.
|my yellow-inspired hat|
Then my granddaughters found a stylish Spanish alley that led to the residential area from the shops. A little later, they surprised me with a summer hat that they found, with a yellow ribbon accent! It was what I had been looking for, without success, in the past couple of days.
By then we only had a little over an hour left before the scheduled arrival of the bus that will take us back to our hotel. So we chose a pub where we ordered some delicious Spanish tapas and robust Spanish wine. We were happy that we had been able to see a part of Mijas Pueblo, the residential hillside village, and Mijas Costa, the central commercial area. With a population of nearly 80,000, the town has seven golf courses, with four more being built.
On the way back, I tried to get a good picture of the white village receding from the background. Again we drove past the Muslim Monument and the Butterfly Haven. As we neared downtown Benalmadena, I noticed that artsy chimneys topped the rows of condos and homes. Flower-bedecked walls. And the roundabout featured an attractive sculpture, a usual feature of each Costa del Sol town.
But the young ladies could not wait but go back to the beach! They went back to the Butterfly Haven another day, however. We were all definitely enchanted by the mountain village of Mijas. Alas, it wasn’t high enough to have cooler temperatures!