We left a cold and blustery UK and arrived in Spain to find blue skies and a yellow thing in the sky that we vaguely remembered - it was the sun which we felt that we had not seen for months. And it was WARM. After a 45 minute bus journey from the airport we arrived at the Hotel Riu Monica which stood like a monolith by the beach. It was the highest building in the whole of Nerja and I think that once it was built the authorities must have decided that nothing else as tall should be built in what was a small village which had been rebuilt after an earthquake in the previous century. The hotel was comfortable and in spite of its size, it was possible to feel quite private within its walls. The food was plentiful - a huge buffet for both breakfast and evening meal, and we never felt hungry enough to eat lunch after a late breakfast.
The water around the main feature of Nerja, the Balcon Europa which is a promenade built on the area of an old fort, was unbelievably clear and turquoise. This photo almost captures the intensity of the colour. Coming from our northern Winter into this hard clear light was amazing. I love the soft colours of an English winter, but this was stunning. Real blue under a clear blue sky and blazing sun. The downside was the concern over the lack of water in the general area. The river beds were dry, there had been no rain at this point for many months and the fear, often expressed, was that the area would suffer from desertification and grow similar to Northern Africa.
This lovely palm tree, lovingly pruned stood on the Balcon. I had no idea that they needed to be pruned to look like this, and assumed that they grew looking for all the world like pineapples.....It took a day of careful pruning to cut away the dead branches and allow the new growth to carry on growing upwards.
The final photo is of the swimming pool outside the hotel and the small beach area between it and the Mediterranean. The days were warm, the evenings cool, the sun shone and it felt good to be out of the incessant rain that we have suffered in the UK this autumn.