Good, It is Friday!*

Rutas Murales Map TwoSome would say this was a Good Friday, but Kim was leaving us on Saturday, so it was not that great for me. We had to make the best of our last full day together. Early on in the week, we discovered that Estepona has a Ruta de los Murales (aka Ruta de Murales Artísticos) all mapped out. This happens to be not only a wonderful tourist attraction, but it revitalizes neighborhoods in the process.

“…since 2012 a number of artists have been invited to brighten up the facades of many buildings…Artists are given free rein to fill urban canvases, which may consist of one or more facades of up to 80 metres high. At the time of writing this article, there were about 20 murals, but this number is continuously rising. With mostRutas Murales Map 1 murals being completed in just two to three weeks, works seem to appear one after the other.” Spain Holiday

As a trio, we had seen a few, Ron and I had hunted down more, but now with Kim in tow, we utilized the map from the tourism office to check more off of our list. We did have yet to cover half of them. There is considerable walking from one to the other as they cover the city.

In total, there are 25 murals. Some of them cover an entire wall, while others continue over multiple walls. The fisherman casts his line from one wall over three more walls, to catch his fish on the fifth wall. The math alone involved getting the proportions correct boggles my mind. Okay, confession time: you could not get me a step-ladder, let alone the ladders and scaffolding these take to create. I will give my heartfelt appreciation from the solid earth, thank you very much!

02 Spain - Estepona Angel ed BuceadorMy Android phone pedometer loved this exercise involving a great deal of walking from place to place. Though the map shows the spots, it does not provide exact addresses, so it is part treasure hunt as well, which adds to the excitement. Once you are near a mural, you can just about sense it is close.

There were only a few that were 09 Spain - Estepona Regando La Huerta de Irene‘ordinary’, but still remarkable considering the expansive amount of space they covered. What a joyful experience this was.

20 Spain – Estepona Pasen y Vean 3We had not found too many today as Kim was wearing down and we wanted to get to the Orchidarium or Parque Botánico-Orquidario, which promised a new exhibit that opened this morning.

We have been to botanical gardens where there have been dedicated orchidarium areas, but this was our first time seeing a full-fledged dedicated and independent orchidarium. Admission was free, but I am not certain this is always the case or if it was due to the opening of the show. The building boasts over 1,000 square meters of space to nurture and display over 5,000 plants. Of these, more than 1,300 are different species of orchids from around the world.

As we made our way through the building, the walkway spirals down to the center of Spain - Estepona 244the lower level. Each display was more glorious than the last. What I could not wrap my head around was the vastSpain - Estepona 191 amount of labor involved just in creating these displays. Not only does it take talent, but dedication and a great deal of labor besides.

There is a waterfall of over 15 meters high sending mist throughout from the falling water.

I cannot imagine designing something like this for various plants, giving each the room it needs to survive, while at the same time, making it look attractive and artistic.

Spain - Estepona 190I really loved the architecture of the building. The glass dome not only lets in tons of light, but it was also incredible attractive being a distorted bubble shape. Estepona has an estimated 235 days of sunlight a year.

We went for dinner on the beach since it was Kim’s last night with us. Ron found a restaurant that served fresh sardines. Thankfully, we were sitting on the beach; I could barely watch when the dish was served. I had ordered a steak, but at first the waiter told me “No, no steak for you. This is Good Friday.” After sharing that I was not a believer, he went ahead and submitted to my request.

After dinner, Kim returned to the apartment, but Ron and I wanted to get a glimpse of Spain - Estepona 204the Good Friday procession. No matter how many times I have witnessed it, seeing a group of people in long robes with cone hats, still disturbs me.

I did not realize at the time, this was not the freakiest thing I would witness this Easter season.

After completing my Ed.D., the frustration of finding a teaching position where I was willing to live, led to Ron and I leaving the country. We intended to travel for a year before settling somewhere in MA or RI. We left the US without any credit card debt, no car payments and our house mortgage paid by renters. We had $10,000 in the bank to make our way through a year.