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My spiritual quest began in what was once a quaint Spanish fishing village. Nerja, in Andalusia, Spain, is located 50 kilometers east of Malaga along the Costa del Sol.

Imagine standing on the “Balcony of Europe,” built on a rock face overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, and being able to watch the rose-colored sun rise out of the sea in one direction, and later, see a reddish orange sun sink into the sea in the other.

In this painter’s paradise, I felt as if the light and color had entered into my soul. It was such an inner experience, I began my quest for the spiritual — in nature and within — right then and there.

The sun shines over 300 days a year in Nerja. Great sandy beaches line this stretch of the Costa del Sol, the best being Burriana Beach, to the east, where you can swim, waterski, scuba dive and sail. Or, just slip away to a smaller, more secluded beach between there and the Balcon de Europa.

4 km east of Nerja, the Nerja Caves, discovered in 1959 by a group of boys, display beautiful, weird stalactite formations. In summer, for the Festival de la Cueva, classical music concerts are held in one of the underground chambers.

At other times of year, Nerja celebrates the festivals of Carnaval, Easter, Christmas and others with food, music and all-night parties. Nerja Tourist Information: nerja.org.

I stayed at the beachfront Hotel Balcon de Europa (1, Paseo Balcon de Europa). A twin room with balcony and sea view is well worth the 122.50 euros per night (3-night minimum).

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gofurry Nov. 19, 2009 @ 9:13 p.m.

Wow. I don't know if Bonnie Muffie is a pilot, flight attendant, or whatever, but she goes on all these cool trips to exotic locations. Bonnie, will you please marry/kidnap/adopt me so I can go with you? I'm housebroken, have all my shots, have been recently deloused (flea-free!), I am NOT spayed/neutered, but I promise NEVER to stray. If you scratch me behind the ears, I'll lick you all over in appreciation. I'm even good at guarding you from all bad people.


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