, is one of those places that rich and famous of Europe
, and the world, have decided to call their own. Located on the Mediterranean Spanish Coast, (Costa del Sol), Marbella is full of (wealthy) tourists from all over the world. Everybody from Sean Connery to Osama bin Laden (not recently, I assume) have come to Marbella for the pristine beaches, the golf course scattered landscape and the absolutely ridiculous hotels and restaurants. This is the playground of the rich, but even for a more modest traveler like myself, there is plenty to do and see. (Even if a lot of what there is too see is the rich, and what they are doing.)
Like all playgrounds for the rich, Marbella has the ocean. (Spanish beaches
are beautiful, both for the warm Mediterranean and their liberal policy on bare skin.) There are two great beaches here, Playa de la Bajadilla and Playa de Fontanilla . They also have a marina to park giant yachts (some I honestly mistook for small cruise ships, just ridiculously large, Bruce Wayne style boats) which is called Puerto Banus. This is a marina where Rolls Royces are parked. Rich people also need games to play, so naturally Marbella has a horsetrack
where one can throw away money while getting drunk and over 40 golf courses in the immediate area. (Some of which are actually affordable). Lots of expensive restaurants
and hotels, (I found a hostal, still pretty pricey). But you can find good paella
, which might be my favorite food on Earth, for reasonable prices. Check out the Le Papillon Restaurant & Beach Club for some amazing Paella and a place to lay out in the sun.
Like any good Spanish city, Marbella is not without its old world charm and sun drenched architecture. The Arab wall that surrounds the old city is a really nice walk. Marbella is surprisingly walkable, and a great place to people watch. All that wealth and power, all those sons of Oil Barons and daughters of the banking elite. But Marbella is not a place to feel the difference, to feel class and its barriers. It’s a place to feel social mobility, a place to imagine what could be, because there is plenty to do on a budget while dreaming of someday never having to know the meaning of the word.