Carolina: Cruising Past 70: Our Lifestyle Adventures: Soaking up the Sun in Southern Spain

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Our Lifestyle Adventures: Soaking up the Sun in Southern Spain

Costa del Sol in Benalmadena, Spain @ sunrise
Costa del Sol from our plane
Now that we have finished my Book Tour and successfully launched my book, Carolina: Cruising to an American Dream, let me go back to our March-April European Tour. All my posts for our week in Italy (March 18-28) with Bill’s daughter Suzanne and her family have been completed. The next few will be about the week that followed, when we toured southern Spain with my granddaughters Krishna, 22, and Daniela, 18. After some jitters about their taking such long flights by themselves (yes, even at that age!), I was ecstatic and heaved a big sigh of relief when they arrived at the Malaga International Airport.
from our balcony: Krishna, me and Daniela
sand castles
We took a short taxi ride to Benalmadena, one of 14 coastal towns and communities along the coastline of the Province of Malaga in Andalusia in the south of Spain. This region is collectively known as Costa del Sol, literally, “Coast of the Sun.” Benalmadena is one of the middle-sized towns (population, 58, 954). When I looked out from our plane window, the view was downright enthralling. When we got to our room at the Royal Club of Benal Beach, part of the Diamond Resorts International Hotel, our timeshare, we got even more excited! A balcony looked out to the beach! This post is about our posh and comfy home for the week.

Spanish paella, first of many
After the frenzied picture-taking, we hurried to the beach for our first Spanish dinner and found many eateries lining the shores. Waiters competing for our attention could not confuse the issue; we were just looking for seafood paella and all of them offered the Spanish staple, with the same views of dusk at the beach. Spanish wine completed the scene at the table! And we finished the night by planning our day trips from this luxurious laid-back life on the beach.
resting under palapas
their version of St. Tropez
Costa del Sol in Benalmadena entertained all four of us in so many ways. The two young ladies wasted no time buying beach apparel at the many shops along the beach and soaking in the sun for hours. Well, they have the gorgeous curves to show off. Bill and I walked the beach, resting from time to time among the recliners shaded by bright palapas. We marveled at sand sculpture fashioned by eager hands, had drinks and tapas at noisy pubs, got huge bargains from more than enthusiastic sidewalk vendors and analyzed Spanish menus for future meals!  
the park beside our hotel
Royal Club of Benal Beach
The Royal Club had many pluses besides being on the beach! One, there was a bird tweeting park right beside it, ablaze with many colors of different flowering trees and shrubs and complete with a cafe. Two, the hotel itself has great amenities: swimming pools, a fitness center, and a restaurant. Third, the bus stop connecting us to the city of Malaga and other towns along the coast is right in front of the hotel. Fourth, groceries, pharmacies, and other needs were just steps away. And fifth, it had the most hospitable reception desk, catering to every request, answering every question, and offering chocolate treats. We could not have had a better location or better hosts.
the Marina at the back and the yellow palapas in front
full moon at the Marina
At the end of the week, we all decided to walk to the Marina, the farthest point on the Bay of Benalmadena. Many yachts, boats, and ships were anchored there. A good-sized mall featuring many souvenir shops, restaurants, and pubs dotted the mall. But what was most mesmerizing was that, after dinner, we were greeted by something other than the bright Spanish sun. A full moon, glowing in the dark sky, lent light to the lively night scene. It was hard to leave this life we tasted in southern Spain,  especially when, at dawn, an amazing sunrise greeted all of us goodbye. 
Benalmadena Beach

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