They are building like crazy in Andalucia
If you have memories of Costa del Sol as being a quiet coast dotted with fishing towns, then it has been a long time since you have been there. Spain has benefited economically from being in the EU, and has received an enormous amount of outside investments. Along with that means new construction. A lot of it. Everywhere we looked along Costa del Sol, from Marbella to Malaga (and probably further than that, but that is as far as we went), we saw huge cranes building mega condominium complexes with hundreds of units each.
It is mind boggling to try to understand how there can be so much demand for accommodations. It is even more mind boggling to try to understand why no one is protesting all this development right on the coast, and on the hills overlooking the coast. We weren't sure if the insfrastructure is in place to support all of these residential units. From what we saw, there was a huge amount of residential building going on, but very little commercial development. Mijas, while quieter and less developed than the towns and cities right on the coast, hasn't escaped this new development craze. The subdivision (or "urbanization") we stayed in was still being developed with newly added multifamily dwellings. Across the Mijas road was a new development that was just beginning. Roads and utilities had been laid, and dwellings were just starting.
The good news is, it won't be difficult to find accommodations in Costa del Sol for a long time. The bad news is, if anyone bought here for investment, I doubt that person will make a fortune, given the growing supply of accommodations these days.
Spain is producing some very good wines these days - with the best ones, in my opinion, being the reds. Part of this is due to climate. The grape growing regions are quite warm, and thus tend to produce better grapes for red wines than white wines. The grapes used for red wines are superb, with the Tempranillo being my favorite. Many of the whites are made from Airen grapes - avoid these. If you want a white wine, look for the Albarino grape.
You may see the following on the wine labels: "Crianza" - 2 year old wines, with at least 6-12 months in the cask, "Reserva" - 3 years old, at least 12 months in the cask, or "Gran Reserva" - 5 years old, at least 2 years in the cask.
Andalucia is famous for its sherries, and I tried those, too. They are very sweet and thick, not my favorite. Most are dessert sherries with a very high alcohol content. However, some have a lower alcohol content, are less sweet, and are meant to be drunk with meals. Nevertheless, even the mealtime sherries are sweet, so they weren't my first choice with dinner. Having said that, you should at least try a sherry - at dessert time with Spanish Manchego cheese and figs was the best pairing.
Mijas local lore museum (Casa museo)
We entered the museum just to have a glimpse in the front room where they had the olive presses. But at the end of the room was another and another so we ended up seeing all the rooms draped around the lovely courtyard. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to see the upstairs rooms as well even though we were invited by the staff to do so.
Monday to Sunday from 10 am till 2 pm
Monday to Friday from 3 pm till 7 pm
Saturday from 4 pm till 8 pm
Sunday from 4 pm till 7 pm
The museum is located right by the Plaza de la Libertad and council run. There was no entry fee.
Donkey rides for guiris:
The first thing I smelt as I stepped out the car reminded me of horses for some reason... then as I watched the string of working donkeys be ridden by I realised why: It smelt of donkey poop.
Why come to Mijas again? To ride a donkey of course... to take part in that oh so Spanish tradition of donkey riding. It's like going to Essex in England and riding around on a horse, just because that's what people did before cars were invented. Never mind it is something different I suppose. Interestingly enough we passed a few northern Spanish tourists tut tutting at the practice commenting on the poor donkeys.
If you do feel like being a complete tourist for the day it costs 6 euros to use the 'taxi' service as it is so advertised. Mijas is really too small to need any type of taxi service unless you use a wheelchair which would be difficult to manoeuvre through the hilly narrow pedestrian streets.
You could always hire a donkey pulled carriage too for 12 euros though I'm not sure how far you'd get in that. Maybe just round the main square a few times!
The San Sebastián church.
There are several churches in Mijas and I visited 3 of them. San Sebastián church is a small church in the middle of the village. It was finished at the end of the 17th century. In 1674 the church was rebuilt from ruins thanks to charity.
The church stands by San Sebastián street which is said to be the one of the most picturesque and photographed streets of the coast.
The San Sebastián church is number 12 on the map.