Marbella, Spain: Markets, Beaches and Dining
After interrupting my vacation recap with some Bill Easterly love, I must finish covering day three in fabulous Marbella. L. and I had big plans for day 3: hit up the Monday morning market, lay on the beach for hours, get beachfront Thai massages, rent a bike/waterslide contraption to play with in the sea, eat more paella and enjoy more sangria. I’m happy to report that we ticked nearly all of those boxes.
After a 1030A mid-morning start, we took a stroll through Marbella to the Monday morning market. The market was a perfect stop for a few hours: stall after stall of clothing, random trinkets, shoes, fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts. The fruit/veg area was a bit reminiscent of the Spice Bazaar in Turkey with a number of vendors selling mostly the same (delicious) things. After about 30 minutes of walking through it, we headed back to the beach to spend the rest of the day soaking up some sun.
The beaches are dotted with vendors selling random trinkets and tchotchkes: knock-off purses, sunglasses and watches, alongside of masseuses offering inexpensive massages. Though we wrote them off the first two days, we decided that Monday was a perfect day to partake in massage mayhem. For ten euros each, we each got a twenty minute massage (more like fifteen, really), courtesy of a cute set of Thai sisters. During our first day in Marbella, we noticed little waterslides moving around the sea. The slides were attached to these pedal boats that could be taken out to sea. Though we considered looking at pricing on them, we were too busy doing nothing to actually be bothered. Maybe next time?
Afterwards, we grabbed lunch at our most favorite Restaurant Ole. No surprise here: avocado and prawn salad plus a pitcher of sangria that proved to be a much better incarnation than the sangria we had on our first day there. Delicious and perfect to ‘re-energize’ for more beach time. After a few more hours of laying out, reading and napping on the beach, we grabbed our last bit of ice cream at the delicious beach front heladeria and then headed back to our hotel around 8P to start getting cleaned up.
For our last night in town, we decided to check out a restaurant recommended by our concierge, La Venencia. The restaurant was close to our hotel which made it a convenient dinner stop. The service was friendly, the sangria was fruity and the tapas were well-priced. We grabbed paella for our last night in town (surprised?) and enjoyed it with our second liter of sangria for the evening. Filled with paella and sangria, the waiter approached us to let us know that a gentleman from across the bar wanted to buy us drinks. We looked over to discover a 65+ year old American-turned-Marbellan man at the bar with his wife. After ordering G&Ts, this guy (we’ll call him Don Johnson as an homage to his outfit) approached us to chat.
The conversation went from semi-normal to bizarrely weird in about ten seconds flat. He asked us where we lived and how we were making money (while throwing in ‘you guys are f*cking gorgeous’ every now and then for effect). He also let us know that we could stay with him if we were in Marbella and that he had loads of men to hook us up with. He gave us his business cards and we couldn’t help but feel as though we were being invited to join some kind of escort service… we Googled him and his ‘company’ but they were nowhere to be found. UNGOOGLABLE. I’ve never heard of such a thing. In any case, we assumed that whatever kind of operation he was running, it was seriously underground. Plus his shiny gold-foiled business card was a bit off-putting. In any case, we finished our drinks, headed home and said our goodbyes to Marbella. After three fun days, it all had to come to an end and I can’t even tell you how many thoughts were running through my mind. I was thinking of any way possible to be able to stay just a few more days. Sunshine, you are missed.
Now I’m back in London, sitting in a 10 x 16 room, revising for exams and looking on the bright side: I’ll be back in Espana in a couple of months and the thought of Spanish sunshine couldn’t make me happier.
Love from Londontown,