The Spanish Monaco

The Spanish Monaco

Puerto Banús, Spain – December 27, 2011

Earlier this morning, we left Rota, Spain. At about 10:00, we pulled off the road to take a photograph of the Mediterranean Sea. After taking some pictures, I noticed directly below us a small cafe on the beach. I walked down to the restaurant, Chiringuito Tubalitas, and found an older man inside. I would guess he was in his late 70s. I asked if he was open. He said he was open for coffee. I went back outside and motioned for Leslie, Hillary, and Tyler to come inside.

The man’s name, the owner, was Juan Mateo Ordonez. His wife appeared to have had an accident recently. She had a dressing on her forehead and two black eyes.

We had four coffees and a snack each. It had a “small town” price of 6.80€ (US$8.30). The cafe was right on the beach. It was sunny, but it was very windy.

In addition to the older couple, there was an older German Shepherd dog. He seemed to know he could not come into the bar. He stood at the open door and looked inside.
Anyone familiar with beach life will recognize the trouble with beach sand — it gets everywhere on your body! Now, imagine petting the dog. It was like stroking a part of the beach! The dog loved it nonetheless. I guess not too many strangers would bother. Or, if they did, they would quickly stop.

The Spanish flag above the Chiringuito Tubalitas restaurant in Manilva, Spain.

An unusual looking plant at the restaurant.
The Mediterranean Sea was a little rough.

We arrived at our hotel, the Marriott Playa Andaluza, at about 12:30. After checking in, we went to our room — wow! It was not a room, but rather an apartment. I might add that I would be proud to own such an apartment. The terrace of our apartment overlooks the Mediterranean Sea. It is by far, one of the best properties at which I have ever stayed.

A bedroom at the Marriott Playa Andaluza.
The entry at the Marriott Playa Andaluza.
The kitchen at the Marriott Playa Andaluza.
The front door and laundry area at the Marriott Playa Andaluza.
The dining and living areas at the Marriott Playa Andaluza.
The living room at the Marriott Playa Andaluza.
The master bedroom at the Marriott Playa Andaluza.
The master bath at the Marriott Playa Andaluza.
Our view of the Mediterranean Sea at the Marriott Playa Andaluza.
One of the swimming pools at the Marriott Playa Andaluza.
A water fountain at the Marriott Playa Andaluza.

Shortly after getting all our stuff into our apartment, we had the front desk call a taxi. When the cab arrived, we took it to Puerto Banús, Marbella, Spain. The first store we went into was Versace. Yes, Puerto Banús is that high-tone. Hillary saw a jacket for 1,800€ (US$2,197) and a dress for 6,199€ (US$7,565). The sizes were not quite right, so we did not buy either.

The Versace store at Puerto Banus.
Merry Christmas at Puerto Banus.
The outside seating area of Salduba Pub.
The rather pricey daiquiris and the drinkers of said daiquiris.

From Versace, we crossed the street to a bar, Salduba Pub. Boy did they see us coming!  Two vino tintos and two daiquiris came to 32.80€…yes, 32.80€ (US$40)!  I felt taken compared to our coffee earlier in the day!  I am sure the reason it was so expensive is that we were at Puerto Banús, sitting about 20 meters (65 feet) from several mega-yachts.  When we finished with our “golden” drinks, we walked along the dock and looked at the yachts.  We saw:

Serenity from London (I could not find details for this yacht)

Lady Haya from Georgetown (64.6 meters/212 feet)

Shaf from London (52.8 meters/173 feet)

Xargo from Marbella (26 meters/85 feet)

I found the Xargo is for rent at a measly 39,000€ (US$47,600) per week.

The Lady Haya is the property of the King of Saudi Arabia.  The approximate price is 35,000,000€ (US$42,714,000).  The Shaf also showed its ownership as Saudi Arabian.  These yachts were huge!

A lineup of some of the “smaller” yachts.
The yacht Xargo at the marina.
An Aston Martin parked near the yachts.
The yacht Lady Haya.
The yacht Shaf at the marina.
Tyler taking in all of the sights.
This yacht placed small banzai-type trees at the gangplank area.
View from the marina to some of the buildings on the hill.
A memorial to Alberto at the marina at Puerto Banus.
Coins on the floor of the memorial.

As we walked back along the dock, we decided to try the restaurant Amore and Fantasia. The décor in the restaurant was not what one might typically see at an Italian restaurant. It was so eclectic it was fun. The television looped through a slide show of motor yachts and expensive cars.

Our lunch was fantastic! Leslie and Hillary had a Greek salad to start. Tyler had croquetas, and I had a cream of vegetable soup. For the main course, Leslie had the hake (fish), and Hillary had the grilled chicken. Tyler and I shared a wood-fired pizza. We all thought the lunch was a steal at 15€ (US$18) each; just a little more than the price of one daiquiri!

Leslie and Hillary waiting for lunch at Amore and Fantasia.

Tyler and me at Amore and Fantasia.
We definitely were at the early lunch time. The restaurant did fill up later.
The TV screen had a slide show of very, very expensive toys…
A Greek salad.
The plate of croquetas.
The presentation of the hake.
The presentation of the chicken dish.
Our pizza!
And bread pudding for dessert.

Departing the restaurant, we continued walking along the street beside the marina. We saw some fantastic cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Bugatti, and Porsche, to name a few.

As we strolled along, Hillary and I spotted a Louis Vuitton store. We went inside, found a key chain for 295€ (US$360). We came back outside — without a key chain. We flagged down a taxi and returned to the hotel. That is when we went to the beach to relax. Overall, a beautiful day — except for the first round of cocktails!

An expensive store and an expensive Audi.

A Range Rover at the marina.
A Lamborghini parked near a yacht with a Harley Davidson.
The front of the Lamborghini.
A Ferrari with the steering wheel on the right side.
The front of the Ferrari.
The very large yacht in the distance is the Lady Haya.
The Dolce & Gabbana store across from the marina.
A full marina. The yacht in the foreground is for sale.
Christmas decorations on a palm tree.
A Bentley parked across from the marina.
A white Porsche parked near the shopping.
A statue in Puerto Banus.
The rocky shore at the Marriott Playa Andaluza.
The rocks and the seafoam.
Detail of the rocks and the seafoam.
Leslie and Hillary watching the Mediterranean.
Tyler and Leslie standing at the shore.
A Mediterranean Sea sunset.
A Mediterranean Sea sunset II.
A Mediterranean Sea sunset III.
A crescent moon and evening star over the Mediterranean Sea just after sunset.

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