Semana Blanca, is celebrated in the province of Malaga with a week off school, because rightly so all our main Ferias are celebrated in August, and the Junta (Government) believe we need extra time off 😉 This week also coincides with ‘Dia de Andalucia‘ a day we celebrate and commemorate for when the province became a Autonomous region.
For the 9 years I have been here, Dia de Andalucia has always been a day of beautiful weather, a day of hopefulness and a reminder to me why we chose to live here. over the years we have celebrated in many ways, grouping together with friends, sharing typical plates of food, doning green & white and making merry. This year, with children growing up and lives getting busier, at home was just my OH, and no 3 daughter ‘Noo’. So we made the most of just having our youngest in tow, and headed to the coast in search of a few more degrees warmth, places we’d passed but not stopped at and a few family favourites.
First stop the Buddhist Stupa in Benalmadena, this stunning white temple, with gold dome is a perfect backdrop to the blue Mediterranean sea. Perched high on the coast, this wonderful place, was peaceful and calming and exquisitely decorated . Funded and built with one man’s dream, now funded by donations.
Just across the road, The Mariposario (Butterfly exhibition) awaits . Built as a Thai temple, this tropical park is beautifully presented and designed. Tropical plants, cretaures and 1000’s of butterflies are housed, cultivated and cared for here. The whole biological ‘Butterfly’ cycle can be witnessed and is very well explained by the staff, from caterpillar, chrsilis to graceful butterfly. Eye spy ‘ Butterfly’ is encouraged for everyone and a spotting paper given to all. Orchids, succulents and spectacular flora, are enjoyed by birds, Iguanas, Chameleons and even a Wallaby and Tortoise.
Lunch of course, off to the prom we went. The glorious weather had bought out the hoards, locals & tourists, flip slops & shorts 😉 Restaurants and chiringuitos were being queued for, restaurant Maitre D’s promoting there menus, to the wandering crowds. We knew what we wanted, simple Andalucia fayre to celebrate the day. face in sun, cerveza in hand, espetos (sardines) on the fire, the famous and alluring aroma of the Costa in the sun.
Suitably fed and watered and cheeks pinked, bag stuffed with bread to feed the ducks, a stroll around our family favourite park was called for, Parque de la Paloma in Benalmadena, are lush gardens, lakes, waterfalls, rabbits, chickens and ducks waddling free. Adventure parks and cactus gardens, picnic places, bars , fun for all the family.
One more attraction to tick off. A rather surreal place, again built by one mans dream to celebrate his interpretation of architecture through many eras and styles. Byzantine, Moorish, Baroque & Gothic. Built out of stone, terracotta and cement the Castillo de Colomares is an intriguing place to wander around for an hour or so. Built over 7 years, it now stands high into the hills of Benalmadena Pueblo. Those with creative or dramatic minds can be transported into a world of make believe, others may just wonder why ? You decide.
Walked, eaten, played, explored, learned, climbed, discovered – Andalucia solo hay una !