A couple weeks ago, we had visitors from Estonia. Our au pair from back in the day, Merle, came with her sister, Kirsika, and sister’s boyfriend, Jaak; quite the travel trio with whom we have so much fun. World travelers and curious souls themselves, they made sure we all had new experiences while we were together.
Merle found us hard-to-get-tickets for Caminito del Rey (the king’s little path), a breathtaking hike north of Malaga through a gorge and along steep rock cliffs, where hydroelectric power workers used to navigate through and hikers and climbers have risked (and sometimes lost) everything for the thrill. The trail was originally constructed in 1901 but was rebuilt and reopened in 2015 so that visitors could safely pass and enjoy the scenery. Wearing hard hats the whole time, we felt like we were walking through another world, looking down upon the raging river and passing ruined homes where the workers used to live with their families. And when we exited the gorge, we felt like we had escaped one of the many dangerous adventures in Lord of the Rings or Indiana Jones.
We also visited the caves of Nerja (Nerja is another coastal town west of us). Filled with stalagmites and stalactites these caves have some of the oldest neanderthal drawings in all of Europe dating as far as back as 42,000 years ago. We, grownups, were a bit more impressed than the kids but it was still something new for all. I continue to be intrigued with how George and I tend to feel more awe-inspired than the kids when we visit attractions. Perhaps the kids’ limited life experiences prevent them from realizing what was possible before they existed or perhaps their attention span is just so short they have moved onto something else by the time their brain would have processed how unbelievable something is (and thus boredom kicks in faster). Or perhaps it is just my kids. I’m not exactly sure and other than articles written about helping your children learn to tolerate boredom, the internet is not much help with this.
After we were done with the caves, the 8 of us climbed into a tiny fiat, acknowledging that it was probably not the safest form of transportation into the center of town but with only a couple miles to go, we figured we could fly under the radar. After constantly joking about the police catching us, sure enough an officer AND his partner pulled up right behind us and followed us for a decent few minutes. Panic filled the car and we quickly ordered those who sat on laps and in illegal places to duck and hide, only to have the police car turn off at the next roundabout. Just like in the movies and much to our relief, the two officers were clearly distracted by their own conversation or argument to notice the criminals right under their noses. After our adrenalin dissipated, we parked in the center of town, emptied our clown car and enjoyed some spontaneous shopping, tasty tapas and a refreshing swim at the beach.
We of course couldn’t let the Estonians leave without seeing Frigiliana (where we have taken almost all our visitors) so we took our friends there for lunch on their last day and took even more photos of the beautiful town. In exchange for the Estonians making the trip, we will head north in August to see their country.