Having lived in Nerja for over 20 years now, I have seen some changes in the locality. But its not been the physical changes that have stood out. Yes sure, the place has grown somewhat. The boom of the late 90’s has seen some major development on the “far” end of the town around the Hotel Monica area and upwards. Block after block was raised to the tune of seven stories each, but fortunately, it hasn’t really damaged the surroundings. I still prefer the upper part of the town and the Nueva Andalusia area which is the oldest part of the town as well, harking back to the days of “verano azul” in teh late 70’s, the popular children’s TV series aired on TVE which encouraged so many visitors from outside of Spain to come and taste Ayo’s paella.
The main changes have come, not in the influx of tourism to Nerja, but in the way in which the locals have changed. When i arrived in the early 90’s, materialism was only just beginning to take hold on the locals. Emphasis was still on the family and the old Nerja life. But as the years have crept by and the local economy began to boom, the SEAT 127 has been replaced by the BMW. This has been particularly evident with the younger generation. If you are 18 then you need that expensive new car. Why? Because the rest have one. Family life has suffered due to this, especially in the last few years when families on tighter budgets are feeling the pressure of having to keep up with the jones’s and are in debt to do so. So, unfortunately, the economic boom and subsequent crisis have changed Nerja, not for the better. Lets hope that the current climate has a more positive effect in the long term!