Virgen del Carmen

On Saturday night ( very hot and humid),we had dinner at one of our most favourite restaurants-Puerta del Mar; a very traditional, `old school` fish restaurant,just off the Balcon in Nerja. We go there regularly, love the staff, the food is fabulous,( huge platters of grilled seafood), and the views are even lovelier-across Calahonda beach, to the sea, with a pink hued sky.

Last night was even more of a treat, as the ‘Festividad Virgen del Carmen`, was taking place in the town, and we had the most amazing view ,as the fishing boats and the Virgen arrived onto the beach .I have to say it is the most incredible operation too-with forty men manoeuvring the heavy platform out of the boat, before walking it back into the water , then up the hill to the Balcon…precarious to say the least.

July 16th is Virgen del Carmen Day, and is celebrated in Nerja in honour of the towns maritime history. The procession leaves the church in the square at 6pm, and the effigy of the Virgen is taken out to sea ,(she is also known as `Queen of the seas`), on a flower adorned boat, escorted by a flotilla of vessels along the coast, eventually being brought ashore to Calahonda beach, walked down the Balcon de Europa, and returned to El Salvador Church.

There were cheering crowds of people everywhere , brass bands playing, and the inevitable fireworks. The Spanish are wonderful supporters of all things religious, and the pomp and ceremony and respect and atmosphere is wonderful .

 It was a moving and magical sight, and we were privileged to be there.

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