Sunset at the Faro de Torrox

My cozy nest on the Mediterranean Sea

Plane, train, bus, and a mile on foot. I arrived late at night. The darkness cloaked anything beyond the wide, clean sidewalks illuminated by streetlamps and the four-story beachy apartment buildings lining the road. 

I found the hidden keys and figured out which entrance to try, and made it into the building. Easy part done. Now which apartment? 

I tried apartment 2 on the first floor and the key wouldn’t open the door. I checked the host’s directions again and it said the apartment is on floor 2. Crap. So I went up to the next floor and tried apartment 2 there. A key clanks a lot when it’s uselessly hitting against more metal instead of sliding into the lock. An irritated man’s voice came from inside the apartment and I remembered that European floors start at 0, not 1…

I scuttled away from his door and hit the elevator button, hoping to escape before getting an angry earful. Phew, into the elevator and up another floor. Oh please let this be where I live my exhausted, addled body wished. Apartment 2 greeted me with a tropical “Hola” on the doormat. This looked promising. And success! When I made it into my apartment, I dropped my two bags, boots, and stress at the door, chugged a glass of water, and crawled into my prize: a perfect, comfy bed with soft sheets and cozy blanket.

I had no idea how the morning would greet me. At 8-ish, I slipped off my sleeping mask and couldn’t tell if the day was turning into night or night into day. I’ve never seen such a vibrant sunrise. It clicked that this was sunrise and I literally leapt out of bed and yelled aloud “HOLY Shhhhhh!” 

I grabbed my camera and took this photo for you:

The Mediterranean Sea extends out before me as far as the eye can see. Look left, look right, or straight ahead. The most ancient of highways is my constant companion all day long. 

I now understand why artists paint the same place in different lights. I watch the sea all day long as the color changes. And every night the soft percussion of waves landing on shore lulls me to sleep.

I came here to resettle into myself. Over the last eight months I kept saying in my mind and out loud that all I wanted in my first month traveling was a quiet, safe place that I could relax and walk around anytime and not have to be overly careful. Not have to be anymore on point than if I was walking around Medway, MA. A place I could be in delicious solitude. 

I have been in the physical presence of a singular other human being almost every day for the last seven years. A wonderful human being who is still one of my favorites in existence. But now I am solo. There is beauty and joy in being with another person. And there is creativity and expansiveness that comes from being alone. 

So here I am, alone with this balcony overlooking the sea (ok, to be honest, I have two balconies overlooking the sea). This is the dream I wished for. I found this place randomly on an Airbnb map when I was looking for affordable apartments in Spain. Nobody I know, including myself, had ever heard of Torrox. It’s very popular with German tourists. And the third act set. 

From here I can hear sweet bird calls. The breeze is barely cool on my face, like a late April day in New England. I feel like I’ve cheated the system that this is my mid-January. The building colors are exactly how I’d imagined them: peach and cornsilk yellow with burnt sienna accents around the windows and balcony floors. The roofs are set with curved terracotta tiles. The rooftop across the way is lined with manicured topiaries. The town feels peaceful, but not rarified.

A flush of BRIGHT GREEN parakeets just flew past my balcony and across the street, lit up by the golden hour sun. Big, round, green parakeets. These birds exist in the wild?! My face is frozen in shocked delight as I let my good luck settle in.

🌍 Torrox Costa, Spain

10 thoughts on “My cozy nest on the Mediterranean Sea”

  1. This is an amazingly beautiful description of your new chapter in life. I can’t wait to share this adventure.

  2. Thank you for sharing the beauty of this place through your words and pictures. Both are exquisite. I can only hope that your followers won’t have to wait too long to continue on this journey with you through Spain!

  3. Ah, this sky. And this sea, and the ancient road. I know them well, from just a few miles down the coast. Delighted to have met you, Julie, and I am eager to read about your further adventures.

  4. Beautifully descriptive writing and amazing pictures! The sunsets are gorgeous, and I’d love to see parakeets flying by as I sit on my balcony, so cool! Glad you’re enjoying Spain.

  5. I almost feel like I’m there with you. Tell us about the people. And the food. And the night sky. I wish I was there with you.

  6. Call out to Medway! Thanks for sharing Julie, for the past few minutes I was with you in Spain soaking in the joy that is Julie.

  7. Wow, Julie. Paradise found! So glad to hear from you. Your writing and the pictures are just amazing! Please send more!

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