Welcome to Part 2 of the post about our recent visit to the Costa Del Sol and our 2nd week in the sun.
We started off our 2nd week with a bus journey to Marbella. The journey is simple enough, from right outside our apartment complex we got the once hourly bus. It takes about forty minutes to get to the the city, past numerous golf courses and resorts
But be warned a little thing that will help you if you do this journey, get off before the end, the bus garage is a fair distance from the main city, the marina and the shops of Marbella and you will have a fifteen minute (1km) walk back to where you should have got off.
But once back there, the beach and marina are pretty, on that day the sea was a bit rough, that made for gorgeous pictures but not so good for swimming, so we wandered the beach then headed along to promenade to see what food we could find (see food and drink post). The Marina there is pretty and full of boats, we headed back.
Next day we got on the bus again this time to Benalmadina to see the ‘very Spanish village’ and the Aquarium. What we found was a town with a mass of Irish Bars and lots of rather typical British tourists, in their sandals and socks and white English Football tops and moaning that it was too hot and the food wasn’t ‘English’ enough. This is a pet hate, why leave England if you don’t like it aboard?
One good thing about the Benalmadina Marina is it is the only place that the Street Traders are banned, so no men trying to sell you cheap watches and handbags.
The marina is more impressive than the others along the coast, with it’s crenelation topped apartments in the middle and encircling the mass of boats, glorious turquoise water and shopping complex.
We found a veggie restaurant and some decent shops, but still it was spoilt by the sheer overload of British bars, Irish pubs with lots of Irish and Spanish drunks outside abusing the passing locals and tourists alike. But the best thing in Benalmadina is the Sea Life Centre. A good aquarium with a great selection of underwater life, including a giant turtle and lots of sharks!
The next day we ventured even further to Malaga. Again a tip, don’t bother getting the train from Fuengirola there, it takes too long, you are better on the bus, if you can wait and time it right. Because when you eventually get to the city, the train station is nowhere near the city centre and the shops, but out to the south.
There are a lot of shops and restaurants many are higher end and tad expensive, but a great place for a late Spanish lunch. You only have to turn off the main roads and take a alleyway to find yourself in graffiti covered, empty streets where tourists are stared at with menacing looks. But it is also to be said that we saw more tattoos and piercings in our afternoon there than in all the rest of the Costa Del Sol.
We wandered around, looked at a lot of churches, while looking for a veggie restaurant named Vegetariano El Calafate, when we found it, it turned out to be a café. But we happened to turn and look to one side where a sign over an archway announced the Invisible Square.
This is a great secret lost in the back streets of Malaga and filled with chilled out, artisans and workers enjoying a siesta filled with drinks and vegan chilli.
The Friday we chilled on the beach throughout the day before heading out for the night in Fuengirola, to sample a night of drinking and dancing. But what we found was well…disappointing. The so called raving nightlife consists of bars playing very loud music and people sitting outside. To actually find somewhere to dance we had to (under protest) head to the very British London Bar and club and before that the appropriately named New Tramps bar!
The night played out like this. One drink in the Tramps bar, watching orange girls dancing with some sleazy guys in a tiny dance floor to Beyoncé and Bieber. Then we had a choice of two clubs, both offering exactly the same music, clientele and mood (the bouncers words not ours) and two free drinks for your €10 entry fee. Then dancing to a lot more Beyoncé and Bieber while guys grab at girl’s bum and instead of them slapping the guy’s faces, they turn and grin and utter ‘Oh thaaaaaaaank yoooou’ and proceed to jump on him.
Clearly we don’t understand it, Instead we ran for the late bus and our beds!
The 2nd Sunday we had a bright idea of going shopping – yes we know now! – Spain is a Catholic country and shops don’t open on Sunday there! So that was a waste of time.
Instead we got the bus back to La Calla de Mijas and walked about, shopped (though to be fair there wasn’t that much to purchase.) and then found a restaurant (see our food post for more)
Then we walked the boardwalk home.
Monday our last day – we spent on the beach before heading to the tapas bar for one last cocktail and to say goodbye to the pretty dog! A quick tip, if you are in Calahonda, cross the bridge and you will find one of the best cocktails places in Costa Del Sol. The owner has such a beautiful dog and was also super nice!
Mia the apartment owner collected us and drove us back to the airport.
We have to say Malaga Airport though vast and well built is shut! Even when they say it will be open 24hrs a day! it is closed by 10pm. So we were practically starving when boarding the plane, therefore we had to purchase M&S sandwiches on the flight.
There you go that is our 2 weeks in the Costa and overall we did not want to come back, we did want to be very British in one regard, that was to buy a bar and move there full time!
So have you been there, what did we miss? ( A lot we realise), Were you there for the Festival of St. Juan?
Well tell us what you think and if you are going there this year, we would love to hear your experiences of anything we found.