What happened to the Nerja of ' Summer Blue & 039 ;?


Reading time 7 minutes

Probably a good part of Traveler's readers have seen it in one of the many repositions that have been made on TVE. It was released in the fall of 1981 and since then Nerja has not been the same again . The adventures and misadventures of this curious gang located on the map of Spain this charming town of Malaga and I am sure that I am not the only one who has come to the town asking with emotion that of “where is the boat of Chanquete?”.

De ‘Verano azul’ a ‘Blue summer’: así es la Nerja del siglo XXI

From 'Blue summer' to 'Blue summer': this is the Nerja of the 21st century © DR

35 years later, camera in hand, we toured the main locations that television showed us between the months of October and February of the early 80's, when it was less 'silly box' and more window to the world for the Spanish.

We are in the easternmost part of the Axarquía region, in the province of Malaga, one of the most tourist places in the region, something that, to a large extent, is due to the fiction directed by Antonio Mercero . Ok, maybe the many Guiris that we meet in these parts have no idea who Chanquete was. The not few Spaniards that have approached us here do know who it is and we must confess that one of the reasons for the visit - those that we have done on occasion - has been to check if Ayo's beach bar really exists to ask us one of those paellas that looked so good.

Upon arrival we see the first indications that remind us of those vacations of 81: on the right, Parque Verano Azul and boat of chaquente La Dorada . We leave these 'main dishes' for last and continue straight to get lost in the center.

Balcón de Europa

Balcony of Europe © Alamy

The Balcony of Europe could be considered the Nerjeño heart and is one of the first scenarios that appear in the series, while Julia practiced what she called jogging - today running, we have changed the word but we continue with the anglicisms. The truth is that little has changed from this picturesque walk, perhaps now that outsiders win against nationals. The panoramic view of the Costa del Sol from here is spectacular and this circular plaza with King Alfonso XII watching the scene –touch selfie with the monarch– allows you to discover, from a bird's eye view, one of the coves where Bea, Pancho, Desi, played Tito, Javi, Piranha and Quique, that of Calahonda.

Alfonso XII vigilando la escena

Alfonso XII watching the scene © María Sánchez Palomo

We go down a kind of passage to this little piece won to the Mediterranean. In the 80's there was no need to get up early to get a place and there was no need to go around the towels to bathe. As we have changed! And this will happen on other beaches where it was filmed: that of the Molino de la Miel, on the cliffs of Maro-Cerro Gordo, or La Caleta, which at that time seemed to be the private property of the gang.

Nerja de playa en playa

Nerja from beach to beach © María Sánchez Palomo

Very close to the Balcony of Europe is the current City Hall, which was not the one recorded by Antonio Mercero. The one that then served as a town hall is located in the Cabana Square, a few meters from the main balcony, and today it has ceded its place to the Plaza Cabana Hotel . This site appeared in several of the episodes, so if you are very fans it may sound like you.

Strolling through the center it is likely that we will come across this poster 'Bar El Molino, an old oil mill, was the bottleneck of Frasco in the television series Verano Azul'. It is in San José street and is a flamenco tablao with a lot of history, well known among the neighbors and one of the essential places of passage of Antonio Ferrandis, of our Chanquete.

Bar El Molino

El Molino Bar © María Sánchez Palomo

We will now go through one more protagonist of the production, Julia's house . Surrounded by flowers, in a spacious and bright courtyard, this whitewashed house shows us in the first frames a young Maria Garralón striving to give life to a painting. Presence of the situation Tito, Quique and Javi who describe the work as 'plasta'. What a start! Well, this residence is still standing only that over the years some walls have been built that protect it from looks as curious as mine. We will find it next to the Parador de Turismo, next to the beach of Burriana, another of the scenarios, one of the ones that have best taken the passage of time, is almost the same!

La casa de Julia

Facade of Julia's house © María Sánchez Palomo

From here we planted in just a few minutes in Burriana, the next stop. We can go down from the Parador along a path prepared to connect this high part with the coastline or take the car and try to park on the seafront. We caution that in summer it can be very difficult to find parking.

This is the largest beach in Nerja and one of the most visited - by followers and not followers of fiction, huh ?. The walk was renamed ' Maritime Walk of Antonio Mercero ' and one of the streets that flow into it is called 'Antonio Ferrandiz Chanquete'. The same thing in the XXI century to see the road sign is to ask: "Ferrandiz with 'z' or with 's'?" 'Google' quickly to check that someone screwed up, huh? The last name of the protagonist ends in that.

El homenaje a Mercero

The tribute to Mercero © María Sánchez Palomo

Erratas aside, touring the walk we will encounter a monument in honor of the director of Blue Summer, an address chair with the name of Mercero . And if we go a little further we can have a summer red wine on the terrace of what was - and still is - the Chiringuito de Ayo . A kind of pyramid crowns the restaurant, a site that still retains the essence of the traditional snacks of the Malaga coast, probably the only one that continues to keep the sand as soil. That is, we can be testing Ayo's famous paellas while we bury our feet in the sand of the beach. You like the idea, right?

In the bar I found a sign that left me speechless: Blue Summer Route ! I found it late, it would have saved me from losing myself looking for some of the locations of the series but that does not mean that I share the discovery with you. As they explained to me there they have been organized for years and he is no longer so young Tito, the actor Miguel Joven - no joke or irony, huh? it is called like this–, the guide. There is the option of a 'basic' visit or we can opt for the Fan Pack, t-shirt and cap included, or the Super Fan, with t-shirt, cap and cup included.

Chiringuito de Ayo

Ayo Beach Bar © María Sánchez Palomo

From the sea we jumped to the mountain to review what was one more actor / actress in this story, specifically in chapter 11 he monopolized numerous planes, the so-called 'Green Cat Cave' . Yes, it exists; Yes, you can visit. It is on the Río de la Miel, just below the A7 viaduct that connects Nerja with Almuñécar. Here the exteriors were recorded while the interiors are from the famous Nerja Cave, discovered in 1959 and awaiting paintings that are considered the first known works of art in the history of mankind, with 42, 000 years old. It is considered a Site of Cultural Interest and Historical Heritage of Spain and can be visited both on its own and on guided tours.

It's time to close this trunk of memories. The best way to do this is by hanging the 'The End' in what is probably the most photographed 'monument' of all Nerja, the boat of Chanquete. The original location of the 'Dorada 1ª' is in one of the peaks overlooking the sea that meander along the Malaga coast, near Burriana beach. Among orchards and ditches was what was nothing more than a scale model manufactured in Prado del Rey, in Madrid. What we can visit today is a replica of what was the sailor's house in the Summer Blue Park, a tribute made by the people of Nerja to a television production that gave him much of the fame he enjoys today. They form an area for children's games and a parking lot where yes or yes it is time to take another selfie, and that is that each of the streets of the parking lot has been baptized with the name of the fiction chapters and there are also plates with the image of Each of the actors in the series.

Del barco de Chanquete no nos moverán

They won't move us from Chanquete's boat © María Sánchez Palomo

We put the end point, of course, with the tune of Blue Summer . How not to remember it and end up humming it when remembering all this? Although it seems incredible not all the images that appeared in the header and at the end of each broadcast belong to this municipality, but a good part of them were shot in the port of Motril, in Granada.