April 19, 2024

Nerja, Spain (23 March- 09 April 2018)

After leaving Ronda, we drove to Malaga to meet up with our friends Jim and Mary Jane. We had a few hours before our friends arrived so Pat and I had time to walk down to the Med and walk the beach to enjoy the views, fresh sea air and gather some sea glass. After our meet up we took a bus to Nerja where we would stay for the next few weeks and enjoy the Easter Week festivities.

Because we had been in Nerja two years ago for Christmas, this was a much different visit since we already knew the town. It felt more like coming home rather than exploring a new place. The weather was cold and often overcast (or rainy) so we spent lots of time having tapas and wine (and an occasional cerveza). Our new favorite pub, which we visited many times, was Starrs Tapas and Vino. The couple that ran it were delightful – he was from England; she from Spain. We also went to a restaurant, just around the block, called Jamaica – ate here several times (my favorite meal – Secreto iberico con patatas fritas y ensalada). Another place we enjoyed was La Joya.

One of the reasons we were here was to experience the Easter processions during the week before Easter, which fell on April 1st. The first procession occurred on the Wednesday before April 1. “In Nerja the ‘Brotherhood of Jesus of Nazareth’ and the ‘Infant Brotherhood of Our Father Jesus and Saint Mary of the unprotected’ are just two of the organizations that, along with others, take on important roles throughout one of the town’s biggest annual festivals, by staging processions of religious idols through the narrow streets. These events are steeped in hundreds of years of tradition and combined with the strong Christian symbolism in each ritual make for very atmospheric occasions. The combination of the crowds that line each parade route, the incense, music played by the municipal band and the pretty, narrow streets of Nerja make it a beautiful spectacle for any visitor to see whilst they’re here and offers a side to this pretty sea and sand town that you might not expect whilst lazing around on the beach.” [explorenerja]

The robes and conical hoods (capirote) have nothing to do with the KKK (which was our first reaction to seeing them), but are a leftover from the 16th century and the Spanish Inquisition. It was definitely uncomfortable when we first saw them.

We attended several of these processions and ran into one on Easter Sunday we hadn’t planned on.

Additionally, we visited two other places outside of Nerja, but nearby. One, Fragilliana, by bus; the other, an abandoned Sugar Factory and Eagle Aquaduct, we walked to. These will be covered in a separate post.

From Nerja, we rented a car and headed to the Murcia region of Spain.

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