Writings of Andrew Schiestel

Frigiliana is a little gem of a village located in the mountains in the Costa del Sol, a 15-minute drive north of Nerja, and 45 minutes east of Málaga.

I sat at a café’s patio run by a British woman for 19 years who was reticent at first but gradually opened up.

“How did you get to running a café here?”

“I was raised in Madrid. My father was in film.”

A British couple sat down.

“We’re worried about Brexit,” They explained to me as we conversed. “It split the country. Half are for it; half are against it. It was a lot about immigration.”

The convivial couple was most worried that the U.K. parting from the E.U. would introduce the 90 of 180 rule: That’s rule that citizens of Canada and the United States and certain other countries are under—that is, you may stay no more than 90 days in a 180-day period in the Schengen Area.

The retired couple lives in a quaint coastal city near Almería about an hour’s drive away.

“We decided to do the lock down [COVID-19 travel sanctions] in England.” They said. They returned to Spain in July.

As the pair left, another British couple arrived.

“We live up there,” The wife pointed to the mountains.

“When we visited the place and saw the view, I wanted it,” The wife became effulgent. “I didn’t even care what the home looked like!”

“You can change a home; you can’t change a view.” I said. We all chuckled.

A short while later, a heavy set and bald garrulous British man sat down and began drinking red wine alone waiting for a guest to arrive.

“I sold my business in the U.K. and the plan was to travel the world. I’ve always wanted to see Australia.”

“I was in the courier business for 30 years.” He continued.

“The deliveries around the city were bread and butter,” He said. “Is that a term you’re familiar with—bread and butter?”

He emphasized to me that most of the money in the courier business is made on international shipments.

His plan was to travel to Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States. He would meander with no real plans.

He rented an abode in Frigiliana and was waiting to see how COVID-19 would pan out. He liked the region but didn’t want to stay long-term.

“Which of the 42 restaurants do I want to eat and drink too much at today?” He dryly quipped.

When asked if he’d ever do logistics consulting, he was adamant against the thought.

“I’m done with the business!” He emphasized. “I enjoyed it at one point but I’m sick of it now.”

In addition to being known for fantastic views of the horizon, traditionally architected buildings, and colourful puertas (doorways), every year in August, Frigiliana hosts a festival called 3 Cultures where people celebrate Muslims, Christians and Jewish people living harmoniously in society together.


The hero image is of Frigiliana, Andalusia, Spain in the mountains in the Costa del Sol; the sea in the background.

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