Marbella Inside & Out

Discover the magic of Marbella from an "insider" point of view – by Liz Glazer


2 Comments

Joining in the family fun of a traditional local summer evening fair in Marbella Town

To escape from the hustle and bustle of Marbella Town’s busy tourist season last Friday night, I decided to take myself up to the “Verbena” (traditional summer night-time local fair) which was being held at the very top of the Arroyo de la Represa park, beyond the suspension bridge.

As I walked past the remains of Marbella’s Moorish castle walls, patches lit up by strategically placed spotlights, offered ghostly glimpses of a long-gone past.

I entered the fairground and stepped into a time-capsule of a scene, reminiscent of the village fairs of my childhood summers spent in Andalucía, long before the property boom took hold:  A gathering of local families out enjoying a balmy summer night – children clamouring excitedly around the sweet and games stalls or delighting  in rudimentary fun-fair rides, while the adults looked on indulgently or sat around tables eating and drinking and watching the performance of traditional dance groups in front a stage.

I got chatting with a stall-holder who came from a family of fairground workers. He told me how when he was a boy, this same Marbella Verbena was held on the banks of the river that once flanked the castle wall, until it was first covered over and converted into a park in the late 60’s. His eyes lit up, as with a whimsical smile he painted a picture of a summer evening get-together organised by the local people, picnics shared, as neighbours celebrated, dancing and singing into the early hours amidst the natural, untamed riverside setting …

And then the magnificently cheery local music entertainers Duo Arenal came on stage –belting out a mix of popular rumbas and blast-from-the-past Spanish summer hits  -urging everyone onto the dance floor.

What else could I do but join in?

I eventually made my way home, bathed in the warm glow of neighbourliness and simple good-old fashioned fun that this traditional family summer evening Marbella fair still embodies.

(Text and photos by Liz Glazer)

 

Advertisements


5 Comments

Dawn Mass on the shores of Marbella Town – a ritual of simplicity and unity

Viva la Virgen del Carmen!

There’s something that transcends the purely religious when it comes to the beachside Dawn Mass that starts a day of festivities every 16th July in Marbella Town, honouring the  Virgen del Carmen, protector of fishermen and Marbella’s patron saint.

There’s absolutely none of the sense of formality you get within the confines of a church but one of a unified local community, gathering as one, barefoot around an altar in the sand.

Perhaps it’s the natural setting but you get a feeling of witnessing and participating in a more primal ritual – a ceremony of gratitude for the simple things in life, the blessings of good health, and the love of family and friends, departed and presently in our lives.    A homage of respect to the force of nature in the guise of the sea.  A celebration drenched with devotion for the Virgen del Carmen and her role of mother-protector but a devotion expressed as joy.

This is the feeling it transmits to me at least and the reason why out of all the festivities, I chose to join in the celebrations again this year. Here are some photos I took, as I embraced this enchanting early-morning ritual and felt equally embraced by the simplicity of spirit and the overwhelming sense of unity that pervades…


12 Comments

A mooch around Coín’s “La Trocha” Sunday morning markets

by Liz Glazer

With cloudy skies and a chill in the air, the weather was perfect for my planned outing with a group of friends last weekend, to visit the inland town of Coin´s weekly  Sunday morning markets. Held in the grounds of  La Trocha Industrial Estate, there are three separate market areas: an outdoor farmer’s market, a small artisan produce and crafts market and the enormous covered flea market, held in the car park beneath the La Trocha shopping centre building.

Driving along the inland roads above Marbella to reach Coín,  there was a magical  moment when the landscape changed from winding mountain roads, to Coin’s vast valley landscapes of ploughed fields and open skies with the sierras etched out softly in the background, swathed in a light morning mist.  Winding down the car window, I sniffed in the delicious smell of damp rich earth. The Valley of Guadalhorce in which Coín lies, is renowned for its fertile agricultural land and is referred to locally as “La Despensa de Malaga” – Malaga’s pantry.

We got there just before 10 a.m, for the early pickings of fresh local-grown produce from the organic farmer’s market.  I read somewhere that Coín is one of the first “transition” towns in Andalucia that aim at creating a more sustainable local economy through initiatives such as this one – a platform for small-scale farmers to sell their produce to local consumers.  What a great idea-  and it’s certainly going down well, judging from the people that streamed around the stalls while we were there, despite the relatively early hour. Continue reading


3 Comments

Marbella Walkabouts – an early Sunday morning stroll around Marbella’s historic Old Town quarter and Parque de la Represa.

1Happy 2017! Made all the happier for me, by Chewa, the four-legged companion I´ve had the pleasure to dog-sit for the past couple of weeks since I got back from the UK. Having a dog to take out, inspired me to revisit some of my favourite walks around Marbella Town, as a change of scene from the fabulous beachfront promenade seascapes I witness every day from my doorstep.

Avenida Ricardo Soriano, MarbellaAccess to Marbella Old Town via Huerta Chica streetWaking up to a fresh sunny Sunday, I decided to take an alternative route up through Marbella’s Old Town – with no particular sense of purpose other than to absorb the quiet that pervades before everyone starts stirring just before midday, after a long lie-in. Continue reading


4 Comments

Startling rain-laden clouded sunset skies in Marbella Town

Rain-laden clouded sunset skies

Driving down from the nearby mountain village of Ojén to Marbella Town in the late afternoon, after a lovely Sunday lunch with some friends, the patches of blue sky amid the dramatic dark heavy rain clouds that hung above the sea, was a sight to make my heart sing… Continue reading


10 Comments

A celebration of Marbella Town’s autumnal sunset seascapes and magical moons

Marbella sunset skiesHaving been absent from Marbella Town throughout the month of September due to the death of my dearest Dad at the end of August – and not really here in spirit since my return – it is only since I got back home last weekend after a week literally walking my grief away in the healing wooded hills of the nearby white village of Ojén (post coming soon)  – that I’ve come back down the mountain with my soul refreshed and inspired once more to relaunch my blog and  share the gentler-paced late autumnal life in Marbella  – both inside and out.

We have been blessed with inordinately beautiful mild weather these past few weeks and now the welcome rains have come, I’ve had time to go through my photos and select a few taken on my evening walks along Marbella Town’s beachfront promenade to share with you… Continue reading


3 Comments

Following the traditional celebrations of the Festival of the Virgen del Carmen in Marbella Town– 16th July 2016

Queen of the Seas Marbella Virgen del Carmen 2016

As a personal tribute to Marbella Town´s fishing community, some of whom I´ve gradually got to know over the past year since writing my first blog post about the fishing port, I decided to join in the various ceremonies and processions that are held throughout the day of the 16th July,  honouring the Virgen del Carmen, Marbella´s beloved patron saint and protector of all sailors and fishermen…. Continue reading