A Travellerspoint blog

October 2007

Andalusia

2007

Day 1

We were up before 5am for the drive across to Gatwick, where we arrived at the parking about 6.30am.

No problems at all getting there and none leaving the car. The reason we went so early was due to the expected (and reported in the papers!) long delays at the security check. In the end we were through in 8 minutes!

Luckily there were no delays on the flight and we arrived on time. We had hoped to meet brother's party on their way out, but an hour and a quarter queuing to get the hire car put paid to that.

In the end we got a diesel Focus instead of the booked Fusion. Not a bad car, although damned heavy and I keep stalling it when on the hill out out the apartment parking!

At night we went into Fuengirola for dinner. I can recommend the portions at the restaurant. If only I could remember the name!

Day 2

Local day. Got up late after the long day we had had the day before and after breakfast we Went to Marbella. We got parked easily and walked down to the promenade and then all along it westwards until it ran out! On the way past the Banana Tree pub I ducked in to see that the Arsenal were 2-1 up over Sunderland.

We went to the lower level on the edge of the beach as the grilled fish was attracting us. We had sardines and salad and a couple of small beers to quench the appetite and thirst. Man was it hot!

Sardines on the beach?

Sardines on the beach?

Beach Art @ Marbella

Beach Art @ Marbella

Beach Art @ Marbella

Beach Art @ Marbella

Marbella Street Artwork

Marbella Street Artwork

Marbella Street Artwork

Marbella Street Artwork

Marbella Street Artwork

Marbella Street Artwork

Marbella Street Artwork

Marbella Street Artwork

We had a swim in the late afternoon on the beach just down from the apartment. The water was freezing at first and then we acclimatised.

In the evening we worked out the TV was showing UK channels and we saw the Jocks lose the rugby to the Argies, Top Gear and then Michael Palin in Eastern Europe. Has he been to Slovakia yet? I'm sure he can't miss the opportunity to visit Andy Warhol's family home in far eastern Slovakia!

Day 3

Whose idea was it to go to Malaga to shop and have chocolate and churros?

The traffic even after 11am was horrific! The 25 miles from the apartment took over 75 minutes and we were finally parked in the cool of El Corte Ingles car park. This is one hell of a department store. It sells everything. Even Piaggio scooters!

Our first stop was the market for fruit and vegetables. Tomatoes that taste like they should, and everything on a scale about 50% bigger than at home.

The chocolate and churros part of the deal was thwarted as we couldn't find the little back street where we had enjoyed the thick chocolate and sweet doughnut like churros the last time we were there. Instead we had to make do with a coffee.

The drive out wasn't as bad as the drive in.

After another swim we decided to eat out again!

Tomorrow it is our longer trip to Cordoba. I even borrowed a digital movie cam for that!

Day 4

Up and off to Cordoba. This time the motorway past Malaga was clear and we made good time to the turn off up the main N331 towards Cordoba. We were slowed as they are building the motorway alongside it.

On arrival the GPS had is perfectly on route but it can't plan for local drivers blocking the road. After a detour and a bit of manoeuvring we arrived right by the Mesquita. Coppers everywhere. The reason was some European conference on intolerance to Moslems.

The hostel I had chosen was recommended in the Rough Guide to Andalucia. The Hostel Santa Ana is a short walk to the Mesquita. After parking in the private garage, we set off for lunch and then into the Mesquita. We even went back to the hotel to get another couple of Nikon batteries for the still camera.

I'm still not convinced about the movie cam. Although we managed to take 30 different short films in and around the Mesquita itself!

Hostal Santa Ana @ Cordoba

Hostal Santa Ana @ Cordoba

Cordoba, Spain

Cordoba, Spain

Cordoba, Spain

Cordoba, Spain

Cordoba, Spain

Cordoba, Spain

Cordobés perro...

Cordobés perro...

Cordoba, Spain

Cordoba, Spain

Cordoba, Spain

Cordoba, Spain

Cordoba, Spain

Cordoba, Spain

Cordoba, Spain

Cordoba, Spain

Cordoba, Spain

Cordoba, Spain

Cordoba, Spain

Cordoba, Spain

We had a long walk that ended up in the new city. Once again the hunt for chocolate and churros was thwarted!

By now it was time to change for dinner. This was taken in a Moroccan restaurant near to our hotel.

Now it's time to delete the chaff off the cameras before tomorrow's trip to Medina Azahara and then back to Cala de Mijas.

Day 5 Medina Azahara

After staying in Cordoba the night before we were handy for Medina or Madinat Al-Zahra as they call it locally.

We arrived about 1100 after a late morning and getting the car from the car-park and the heavy traffic in Cordoba!

The car-park at Zahra is quite small and less simple once a coach or two are involved. We ended up on the way in, half on the road and half in a ditch, and they charged us 80¢ for the privilege.

On the other hand it is free for EU citizens to get in!

For the next three hours we spent walking in the burning heat and looking at the magnificence that Abd ar-Rahman III built and named after his wife.

As well as a palace it was also his main seat of power and was connected to the city at Cordoba with a brick road, sadly not yellow or paved with gold.

The site is in two halves, the business and private areas. It is hard to see the difference. Both show an opulence that was designed to show his power and visitors got the IKEA system of walking round and round to get to his official "office" or the throne room. The best of the discoveries was in the private area and is covered to protect it.

The work of discovery and restoration will take years and years.

Medina Azahara, Cordoba, Spain

Medina Azahara, Cordoba, Spain

Medina Azahara, Cordoba, Spain

Medina Azahara, Cordoba, Spain

Medina Azahara, Cordoba, Spain

Medina Azahara, Cordoba, Spain

Medina Azahara, Cordoba, Spain

Medina Azahara, Cordoba, Spain

Medina Azahara, Cordoba, Spain

Medina Azahara, Cordoba, Spain

Medina Azahara, Cordoba, Spain

Medina Azahara, Cordoba, Spain

Medina Azahara, Cordoba, Spain

Medina Azahara, Cordoba, Spain

Medina Azahara, Cordoba, Spain

Medina Azahara, Cordoba, Spain

Medina Azahara, Cordoba, Spain

Medina Azahara, Cordoba, Spain

Medina Azahara, Cordoba, Spain

Medina Azahara, Cordoba, Spain

Medina Azahara, Cordoba, Spain

Medina Azahara, Cordoba, Spain

Day 6 - Estepona and Casares

A long walk and a paddle on the almost deserted beach at Estepona before a drive up the mountain to one of the "white villages" of Andalucia.

Casares is perched on the side of the mountain and comes into view as you round a bend in the road.

Well worth a visit.

Posted by InvictaMoto 08:03 Archived in Spain Comments (0)