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Costa del Sol

     Costa del Sol is a famous sunny coast with small touristic cities  that became very  popular among tourists from all over Europe a long time ago. Lots of sun, fantastic beaches and good hotels, Mediterranean gastronomy and wonderful wine. Two of the most expensive places are Marbella and Puerto Banus, where nowadays plenty of people are buying exclusive properties. This part of Costa del Sol, called Golden Mile, is crowded with  Arab sheiks, movie stars and successful businessmen.

During a trip to Andalusia, apart from enjoying the beaches, you can enter instantly into Moorish Spain  – not to make a virtual trip, but what feels almost like a real trip back in time visiting the great cities such as Cordoba, Seville and  Granada.

Malaga is often called the touristic capital of Andalusia. It  is a big port city  where you can hear locals  speaking with a typical accent. In the morning the streetsof Malaga are filled with  a lively crowd, people go to have breakfast. They respect their traditions: for breakfast they love churros with hot dark chocolate, and they loveto be noisy. Mealtime for Spanish people,  is usually a ritual process  and it has nothing in common with simply eating – it’s part of  a tradition.  After lunch, it´s siesta time. A great time for a nap and to escape the afternoon heat.

You can argue forever about the religious preferences  of Spaniards, but for many people it is just a culture of  following religious practices, for others it is more tradition than faith. During Holy Week the whole town participates in the grand ceremonies. It’s an incredible show, with hours of processions  that kids, young and old people take part in – to test their spirit.

The great Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga. His museum is there , where the artist’s ingenious  work can be seen.  There you can appreciate how his vision of the world was changing, from his early very realistic paintings to his transition to the blue and pink periods,  to the gloomy black cubic epoch during  the last years of his work. And also you can see the house where the future genius was born . Relics of a baptismal shirt and pillow on which the baby Pablo slept lie under glass. He was baptized in the Church of St. Jacob.

By the way, Picasso was allegedly  born dead, a fact he later repeated all his life. The story goes that he was born lifeless and numerous aunts did not know how to tell his mother the terrible news. In this dramatic moment his uncle who arrived  at the moment of birth came puffing a cigar. He leaned over, breathing thick cigar smoke onto the baby´s face. He sneezed and began to breathe.

Picasso used to say that the perception of a person is such that we often do not notice what actually is, but we see what is not.

The greatest  Spanish actor of Hollywood, Antonio Banderas, was born in Malaga.

Another popular tourist spot is Ronda, made popular because of its high location on a cliff. Puente Nuevo, an old bridge over the 100 meter river Guadalquivirgorge is filled with people. Casa del Rey Moro, the house of the Moorish king of the 17th century is a structure that stands on the foundation of an Arab palace. You can appreciate an unforgettable view of  the Tajo canyon from the garden of this place.

To get down to the river it is necessary to traverse 365 steps. The river is called Milk River, translated  from Arabic, and it´s name comes from its light white shade, a result  of chalk rocks.

The Bullring in Ronda is the oldest in Spain and every matador dreams of performing in a bullfight in the famed arena.

The Bull is a symbol of Andalusia. The bulls are specifically prepared to participate in bullfights (corrida). Before entering to the arena they have quite a good life.

Some say that the true art of flamenco cannot be learnt. You have to learn it growing up in the culture.

Nowadays, in the Costa del Sol there are many golf courses, which give the region a funny name: Costa del Golf.

Tarifa´s beaches  are completely different from  the Costa del Sol, a strong wind blows there , so it´s known as the capital of windsurfing.

At the southernmost tip of  Spain and the Mediterranean Sea lies Gibraltar. This famed rock does not belong to Spain, it´s British territory.

The South of Spain was a unique meeting place of East and West. Due to this fact Spain becomes one of the greatest civilizations in the world and it´s worth a visit.

 

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