illustrated cities map of spain

As I have mentioned, we spent a full week at Club la Costa, very interesting most of the time but also often very irritating. Before we came here we had discussed places we would visit using our rail pass and these included Marbella, Granada and Ronda

illustrated cities map of spainFuengirola and Marbella are situated between Malaga and Gibraltar

We initially had also considered Gibraltar but now that the UK requires South Africans to get a visa, at a cost of almost R1000 each, we changed our minds. To pay that amount of money for 3-4 hours on ‘The Rock’ was not worth it. I visited Gibraltar in 2002 when visas were not required and, besides the Barbary Apes and the boat trip to see the dolphins, it is lots of shops and food places so Trevor was quite happy to cut that off the list.

As we had taken day 2 as a day of rest from travel, we made enquiries at Reception about access to the other towns mentioned above. I should really say that we attempted to make enquiries with regard to trains. Once again we almost came up against a brick wall as the 2 ladies on duty spoke 99% Spanish while we could only offer 100% English. After quite a while I got some answers.

There is no direct train or bus to Seville or Granada from Malaga. One would have to catch a train to Cordoba and then a bus or train to one of these 2 cities. It was not just the mode of travel that would have to be negotiated but the length of time involved as well. To get to Seville or Granada from Malaga would take 3 hours minimum as there were stops on the way and then, with a 3 hour return, it would leave very little time to do some exploring of the city. Thus, we wrote those 2 off. We could get to Ronda direct from Malaga and, even though it would take about 2 hours each way, we decided to make that trip later in the week.

For the next day we chose to go to Marbella, a half hour journey by bus. We had to pay the minimal fare as our pass was not accepted on these buses. We decided to stay on the bus until it came to the end of its line deep in the city of Marbella. This actually gave us an opportunity to see parts of the city that most other tourists do not. According to all the pamphlets about Marbella tourists should leave the bus at one of the stops in the city centre and then walk down the small side roads to the old city and then to the mansions of the super-rich who now live there. Then there is the Marina with the beautiful and very expensive yachts.

Main st with mountainThe main street of Marbella

We had the opportunity to walk into Marbella from the ‘the other side of the tracks’ so to speak. It was really quite fascinating. Large sections of the roads around this area are closed to traffic and so it is easy to just amble slowly. Without any effort on our part we unexpectedly arrived at the Tourist Information House. It was a bit surprising to find it at this end of the beach but the persons on duty told us that there was another one at the other, more ‘touristy end of the Promenade. What a brilliant idea. Outside the Office on the promenade was a large digital sign which gave the day’s temp, the weather forecast, the water temp and the date in rotation.

RestaurantRestaurant with Tourist Office

After sitting on a bench outside the Office for a while we walked along the promenade and discovered a beautiful small park, The Cosmopolitan Park
. It was built upon an ancient nursery and many of the trees, in particular the Cypresses, are from that nursery. Cypresses can live from anything 500 – 1000 years and so are often planted in cemeteries as some people consider them the link between earth and heaven.

Statue of Jaime de MoraJaimie daMora, Spanish aristocrat and actor

We continued along the promenade and were surprised when it suddenly opened on to a concourse for a large conference centre. From there we discovered that we were back on the road from the bus station and Trevor had remembered seeing some beautiful fountains so we went back to find them. It was here that we bought the best ice creams we have ever had.

Conference CentreEntrance to the Conference Centre

Copper obeliskCopper Obelisk outsie the Conference Centre

Trevor was so disappointed to find that the water to the fountains had been turned off as he wanted to get photos. Extremely frustrating! We continued toward the city centre and, WOW, there on the left was a most amazing building which housed both a car club and a golf office. The frontage was in 3 sections. The sections on both the left and right were simple and square but the centre was one huge fountain. It was 3 storeys in height, down which the water cascaded and, in the centre, was a large pond with sculpted boats.

Fountain on Motorclub bldgThe fountain on the Motor Club building

Fountain with pond and yacht modelsFountain without water

sculpted model yachtsSculptures of yachts 

 Making a few guesses as to which was the way to the town centre we, we eventually reached the street in which to catch the bus ‘home’.

Yacht harbourMarbella harbour

 {module Subscribe to my blog}