The Marbella Money Shot

by Kelly on August 20, 2008 · 32 comments

in Travel. Photography


Marbella, Spain – Where Rich Is Not Rich Enough


Marbella, Spain – where the sun shines brightly, the water sparkles gaily and the streets are lined with gold , gringos and gangsters…


“It’s good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it’s good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven’t lost the things that money can’t buy.”

– George Horace Lorimer, Journalist and Publisher

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1 Robin 08.20.08 at 11:20 pm

Hi Kel – I had to Google Marbella – but I got there.

Maybe I’m just being superior or something, but I often feel sorry for many rich people. They just seem to be trying to fill their lives up with expensive objects and pleasures, because they feel empty inside. Give me the simple pleasures any day.

There are of course lots of rich people who don’t live ostentatiously and spend their money on enhancing their creativity in some way eg equipment, traveling, projects etc – but they don’t grate on the nerves.

See you – Robin

Robin’s last blog post..Reincarnation… A Scenario

2 Kelly 08.20.08 at 11:34 pm


We must have just missed each other because I came back, added another couple of shots and included a bit of vital info, like hello MARBELLA is in SPAIN!

And I think the kind of in your face money of Marbella leaves a bad taste in many people’s mouths. Money is GOD in Marbella.


3 Cath Lawson 08.21.08 at 3:04 am

Hi Kelly – I haven’t been to Marbella before – too expensive and too many criminals. But at least some of them have been sent back to their own country now.

Excessive cash – especially when it wasn’t ethically earned is vulgar. I read the other day that rich Russians are causing house prices to rocket in the South of France and a lot of people aren’t happy. One of their servants told the press that they have games where they burn loads of 500 euro notes for fun. Then they get their servants – who are paid a pittance to clean up all the mess. It really is disgusting. And if they’d earned their money honestly, they wouldn’t have such an appalling attitude towards it.

Cath Lawson’s last blog post..Relationships: Are You Kissing Goodbye To Success?

4 SpaceAgeSage 08.21.08 at 4:25 am

I lived in the resort town of Aspen for years and discovered there are people with money who act like the in-your-face “new rich,” those that act like snobbish “old money,” and those that are as real and as open-hearted as the rest of us. It’s not the money; it’s the heart.

SpaceAgeSage’s last blog post..Self-Knowledge

5 natural 08.21.08 at 4:29 am

those pictures are awesome. i would love to add spain as one of my places to visit. Great quote at the end, that’s true too.

natural’s last blog post..Is Your Subscriber Count Showing?

6 Vered 08.21.08 at 7:15 am

Beautiful photos. I agree with Cath, that “Excessive cash – especially when it wasn’t ethically earned is vulgar. ”

And I LOVE the quote. It is so true. It’s easy to get so caught up in keeping up with the Joneses that you forget about the things in life that are at least as – probably much more – important.

Vered’s last blog post..Thank You For Smoking

7 Marelisa 08.21.08 at 8:48 am

I think that the quote is right on point: it’s great to have the money to be able to visit any place you like, but at the same time you have to remember that true happiness comes from having meaning, purpose, and love in your life. Like spaceagesage points out, I know a lot of “filthy” rich people who are as down to earth as can be, and are always giving to charity and looking for ways to help others. Then there are those people who are simply vulgar. I want lots and lots of money so that I can travel wherever I want and so that I can start a nonprofit foundation in Panama to help poor people become self-sufficient and have all of their basic needs met.

Marelisa’s last blog post..Lessons to Teach Your Children (Part 1)

8 Urban Panther 08.21.08 at 11:55 am

Interestingly, LTR#2 was extremely generous when it came to how much he spent on gifts on me. Ridiculously so. What he never gave generously of was himself. The Lion makes half my income, and yet I am far ‘richer’ for his generosity.

Urban Panther’s last blog post..The cost of relationships

9 chris 08.21.08 at 1:46 pm

WOW! I honestly think that it’s possible to have your cake and eat it too. I have some friends who have money and also have a good stable homelife. Now as for me, I’m broke, but my angst with not having money seem to dissipate every time I’m around my children and my wife. There are times though when I wish I could easily give the things that my children want and need at a moments notice. *sigh*

chris’s last blog post..Divine Intervention

10 Kelly 08.21.08 at 1:58 pm


That is a horrible story about the mob burning their dirty money. Though, I think I’d rather see it burn than have it myself. I can’t imagine benefiting from blood money that was made from murder, drugs and human trafficking. Very bad karma.

I couldn’t agree more. The trouble comes when you worship money or think it will deliver happiness in of itself. In fact, it might be harder to grow up balanced and well adjusted when you grow up filthy rich, because if your parents aren’t careful you grow up without limits and thinking you’re above the law so you have no respect for your place in the order of life. It’s very hard to be happy if you’re self absorbed.

Spain is great and Marbella is a fascinating place to visit because it’s not like anywhere else. Every car is a Merc, or a Jag or a Bentley or a Rolls or a maserati – it’s insane! The motto seems to be flaunt your cash, and the boats are as big as houses. There’s pretty young things parading around with blank faces, their body angled to display their best assets, their eye on the look out for a wealthy keeper. I’d love to hang around for a bit and set a novel there – fabulous people watching – but if I stayed too long the soullessness of Marbella would get to me.

In Marbella I think very little of the money is “ethically earned”. And one thing to remember when looking at the Joneses is many who flaunt rich are actually in debt up to their eyeballs!

I think the problem really comes down not to money itself but the attitude towards money. If you think it makes you better than others, or it is worth more than human life and your own personal integrity, or even that money is the answer to all your problems, then you really are misguided. But money that comes when an individual follows their inner guidance system and life purpose will be a wonderful asset in life – the cherry on the top. People like this are usually so full of joy from fulfilling their potential that they often want to share their gifts with others and the world needs that. Just look at the ridiculous amount of money Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt got for the photos of their twins. Something like $15 MIL went to charity because they were smart and used their power and influence for the benefit of others. That’s a beautiful thing.

Marelisa, I am sure you will achieve everything you desire in life and one day the people of Panama will thank you for it. I’d wish you luck with your endeavors, but I know you don’t need it :)

@Urban panther
My first love was the same way as LTR#2. Showered me with so many expensive gifts, but never gave me the unconditional love and acceptance I needed. Musicman on the other hand inspired me to be myself and follow my dreams from the first moment I met him. He encouraged my creativity and made me see I had so much more to offer, and the gift of his love and faith is priceless.


11 Kelly 08.21.08 at 2:08 pm

Your kids don’t need what they ask for at a moment’s notice. They need love, security, consistency and faith in them. I am positive you give them this tenfold. And by not getting some things we want in life when we want them helps us learn that there is much satisfaction to be gained in waiting and earning our possessions. I think one of the best things you do for your kids is take them back to the Philippines. There they can see how lucky they are and learn more about how the rest of the world lives because travel provides knowledge, empathy and humility.


12 Vered 08.21.08 at 2:49 pm

“many who flaunt rich are actually in debt up to their eyeballs!” This is very true. There was a very funny TV commercial here in the U.S. a couple of years ago. It showed a guy wearing an expensive suit, with a big house and a shiny new car. He looked at the camera and said in a jolly voice: “how do I do it? I am in debt up to my eyeballs!”

It was funny in a sad sort of way.

Vered’s last blog post..Thank You For Smoking

13 Kelly 08.21.08 at 3:49 pm

I went to a self-help entrepreneurship seminar a few years ago and the guy made the point that most of the wealthy people in Australia are invisible because they’re the migrant families who worked hard and bought real estate and still live in the same house they did 30 years ago, but now they own a block of flats in Bondi, Sydney. They’re worth $5-6 MIL and are free to do whatever they really want in life (except buy jets or silly stuff) but they still work as a gardener or whatever and drive a Holden. Then again the stock broker types who flash their money are often slaves to their job because the money is how they define themselves and they have to buy more and more all the time so that people think they are more successful. In reality, they are in so much debt they have no choice but to stay a corporate slave. So I am suspicious of how good the life of the Joneses really is.


14 Al at 7P 08.21.08 at 10:46 pm

Wow, Marbella looks like a very impressive place. Kinda like South Beach in Miami, but with yachts. I could appreciate it as a visitor, but no way I could live like that long-term (even if I did have 500 euro notes to burn on a whim).

Al at 7P’s last blog post..Why Should I Help You?

15 Evelyn Lim 08.22.08 at 2:36 am

I definitely like the pictures you put up! I don’t see money as evil or anything or have mixed emotions looking at them. Money is just a form of energy exchange! It sure can buy us lots of material things but then again, it cannot buy what’s most important in life – happiness.

@Chris, the greatest gift that you can give your kids is not more toys. It is every bit of love and warmth that you can spare!

Evelyn Lim’s last blog post..Guest Post: 7 Tips On How To Handle Rejection In Life

16 Rita 08.22.08 at 3:08 am

I was engaged a thousand years ago to a man I knew I couldn’t marry. (Forget the reasons.) The wedding was planned, everything was going “as it was supposed to.” When we decided (HE decided) on a honeymoon spot, he picked Marbella. Two weeks, just us – of course – at the FINEST hotels on the Costa del Sol. I started to do some reading, and got excited about the trip. Still, I knew I couldn’t marry him. I called off the wedding – and, of course the honeymoon. Your photos make me realize I did it ALL WRONG. I should have told him I had some “misgivings,” and maybe we should spend some time alone at Marbella, seeing if we could sort things out, BEFORE the wedding. DANG, what a fool I was – he was loaded, we could have taken the trip, and THEN I could have called off the wedding! The only problem, of course, is that HE would have been WITH ME on the trip. Maybe if I had told him I needed some time to myself…Oh well!

Thanks for the outstanding photos!


Rita’s last blog post..My Father, the Anchor

17 Kelly 08.22.08 at 8:39 am

When I’ve seen CSI Miami on TV, that show so makes me want to go to Miami. It looks like a beautiful, crazy place. Again a wonderful place to visit and indulge my favoruite past-time: people watching

I agree with you on the money concept. As for Marbella, it is beautiful and really fun for a look-see. While the beach towns on the Costa Brava have a simple beauty and vibe that I prefer, there is something fascinating about the gaudiness of Marbella. The whole criminal undertone and “look at me” tone is part of its appeal. It’s funny and different, and we had a great time. We had some fascinating conversations with people who emigrated there and took some beautiful photos. Some of the best I can’t put up on here though because Bunny and the other kids are unclothed, and I wouldn’t be comfortable exposing those images for everybody to see.

You cracked me up with your story. Maybe you should have just married him, gone on the honeymoon, disappeared with some of his cash, had a fab time and then got a quickie divorce. Dodgy ethics maybe, but that’s what Marbella is all about. You would have fit right in!


18 Shelley 08.22.08 at 6:31 pm

Part of the reason I’m attracted to second and third world countries is because its easier to feel close to nature and foster a genuine rapport with the locals. And I know that’s related to money. While I appreciate what money can do for my life and I am not adverse to having shit loads of it, it’s so obvious to me that the more money we have in the western world, the greater the false divisions it creates between people. Given a choice between travelling on a train from Malaysia to Thailand – the windows down, the fan whirring above and lush lime banana leaves almost within my grasp and riding on the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto (a completely sanitised and dull experience apart from the speed) – I’d chose south-east Asia experience any day. Where else could I chase a train in my jandals along a platform and be hauled on board by the outstretched hands of a monk and a foreigneer?

19 Kelly 08.22.08 at 8:57 pm

Babe, you know I’m with you 100%. I’ll take perilous bus rides through the jungle with a goat sharing my seat over a stroll down Millioniare’s Row any day. You expressed this so well I’m thinking you should write a travel piece for SHE-POWER.

Kisses and hugs

PS. I don’t think any of my the readers know what jandals are. That’s New Zealand speak for thongs, people!

Hang on, do you say ‘thongs’ in the US and UK?

20 Tim Brownson 08.22.08 at 9:16 pm

I am SO disappointed in this post. I just did a Google search for money shot and really didn’t expect to land here. Oh well, now I’m here I should make the most of it.

Isn’t that top photo Puerto Banús? I spent some time there about 20 years ago. At the time Adnan Khashoggi was staying there on his yacht. The thing was amazing and better than any other boat moored there, and that was just the smaller one being towed behind the frickin huge thing that HE lived on. Somebody told me how much it was worth and I forget exactly, but we’re talking about many 100’s of millions of dollars. Apparently even the taps were solid gold. Just get me on to one party I thought and I’m talking a plumbers wrench with me and a large sack. Strangley enough, I never got invited.

21 MusicMan 08.22.08 at 10:50 pm

Yes i was there as well in Marbella. We were only there for a day though and that was probably enough. One of my best friends was there for 3 years hunting a white collar criminal in vain. I couldn’t believe that really in the end he hated it and just wanted to come home – I guess he didn’t have enough money to enjoy it on par with the wealthier locals.

Any place that involves that much money is like paying cover charge to get into a noisy, expensive City nightclub – you need money first and then……?

22 Kelly 08.23.08 at 11:12 am

Yes, it is Puerto Banus, just south of Marbella. Sounds like you missed a golden opportunity there, Tim, but where’s your cunning and determination to succeed? Bugger the invite, you should tried to sneak onto the ship. Maybe pull a James Bond or something. I don’t know, you life coaches are all talk, no action… :)

Marbella certainly didn’t compare to Cadaques, but it was intriguing to have a look after R telling us so much about it.


23 chris 08.23.08 at 11:57 am


I read your response to Vered’s comment and you are so right. My in-laws are closeted millionaires. You wouldn’t even know if you look at them. Meanwhile, I have some relatives that look like they are rich but they’ve mortgaged their souls to the debt collectors.

chris’s last blog post..It Is In The Eyes of The Beholder

24 Lance 08.23.08 at 1:46 pm

Money – is it the root of all evil? I don’t know. But when used for the wrong purpose – when their is so much good that can be done with it – that’s when we need to evaluate if it’s purpose has become superficial. The pictures look beautiful – but it begs to question – is the money to make this look – covering up insecurities, fears, ruined lives, etc.

Lance’s last blog post..Sometimes You Just Have to Take That Leap

25 Kelly 08.24.08 at 10:21 pm

Lucky you – millionaire in-laws can be handy…

Money can certainly do a lot of good, but I don’t think that’s a high priority for the money flashers of Marbella


26 kailani 08.26.08 at 9:41 am

Wow. It looks pretty amazing there!

kailani’s last blog post..My How Times Have Changed

27 Kelly 08.26.08 at 10:43 pm

Hey kailani

It is beautiful, but I’m sure Hawaii is just as beautiful!


28 Graham Strong 08.26.08 at 11:32 pm

@Kelly – In North America, you would probably say “flip-flops” now instead of thongs. The word is now more closely associated with very very thin underwear…

I’m all for being in touch with the local crowd when travelling. They say that the more money you spend, the less you see of the “real” country. I have found this to be true so far!

But as for day-to-day living, I like Jay Leno’s quote: “I’ve been poor and I’ve been rich and let me tell you, being rich is a lot more fun…”


Graham Strong’s last blog post..Find and Replace – Update!

29 Barbara Swafford 08.27.08 at 4:23 pm

Hi Kelly,

What beautiful photos.

I agree, there are a lot of things money can’t buy. Some of the rich haven’t figured that out yet. It’s too bad. If they did, they would soon find out money holds a lot less value than they thought. If may make life easier, but certainly doesn’t buy happiness.

Barbara Swafford’s last blog post..Parties, Spam and Hanging Chads

30 Kelly 08.28.08 at 12:01 am

Ah flip flops. Some parts of Australia say that too, I think. We call your thong underwear a “g-string”. And rich is definitely more fun than poor, though it helps to be rich in love and joy and spirit as well as cash :)

I agree completely .


31 Michael 10.02.08 at 3:02 am

@Tim Brownson

Hello Tim!
I have read with interest that you have spent some time in marbella. You’re talking about the yacht NABILA. I totally agrea with you on that point!
Actually I am planing on making a model replica of that yacht, in her original coulours from the 80’s (because today she looks different and not so beautiful in my opinion).
So did you make some photos of here? I am looking for weeks now on the net but it seems to be impossible finding some pics from these old days. So please let me now if you have something for me (scans?). It would be a big big help for me!!!

Thanks in advance!
Regards, Michael

32 dog 04.10.13 at 6:29 pm

this site appears to be ridiculously slow.. plz fix it

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