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Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Two hours to Cordoba

It was hot in Cordoba, pushing 40º but I was there on business. I've driven the stretch of road from Marbella, up behind Malaga, past Antequera and then inland to Cordoba many times and there was no real need to have the TomTom switched on but it was good to see we would have time to have a quick meal by the Guadalquivier river in sight of the famous Cordoba cathedral and right next to our destination, ETEA, the prestigious private business administration university in Cordoba.

Three hours of oral examining with students doing the Cambridge Business English Certificate examinations (BEC) were to follow. It's always a pleasure to assess well prepared and highly motivated candidates and the time raced by.

Another of life's many other pleasures is to drive through the rolling landscapes of Andalucia in the evening. On the way home the earth changed colour from shades of white through to greys, the olives trees gave way to vast yellow tracts of sunflower fields with the heads turning to face the setting sun. Now and again the smell of the olives from the co-operative processing plants washed through the car windows, open in the cool of the evening.

We stopped for old time's sake at the venta nearest the spring between Antequera and Malaga. Twenty nine years ago we would top up the car radiator here or bathe our faces and drink from the pure mountain water which runs all year round under the willow trees.

The setas con ajo and perejil were excellent. That's mushrooms in garlic and served with parsley. Two immaculately dressed Guardia Civil policemen came in for a snack. I turned the blue label of my cerveza sin alcol so that it would be more easily visible.

You'll know by now how much I like travelling through Spain by car, bus, train or by plane. If I can give you any travel help please write to me using the tiny comments link below the blog. If you tick the box you will get a reply from me emailed to you directly and you don't have to revisit the blog. Nobody sees your email address either.

7 comments:

Christo said...

Hi Mike

My name is Liz and I'm from South Africa, I'm planning a trip to Spain in September - it will be my first time travelling to Spain and I can't wait!!

I just have one question - is there a direct bus from Seville airport to BENALMÁDENA-COSTA in Malaga?

Thanks
Liz

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike -

I'm leaving this Sat for Mijas Costa and your website has been very helpful. My sister had a baby and they are at a rental in Torrenueva while they wait for the baby's papers to go back to Morocco. I was wondering if the best stop for Urb. Torrenuva on the bus from Fuengirola to Marbella is the one you have labeled as the Unicasa stop. I want to get as close as possible to them so they don't have to drive with a newborn.

Also, I'm into running as a workout. Would that area be suitable for that?

Your help will be very appreciated!

-Vivian

Mike Drury said...

Hi Vivian, thanks for writing in and especially for letting me know that the Unicasa bus stop is really the Torrenueva stop.

I went out to Torrenueva this afternoon to check out the stop and had a good look around. I got the list of bus stops from the Portillo bus company only a couple of months ago and Unicasa figured on the list they gave me. It would have been called Unicasa originally because there is a yellow real estate office by that name on the hillside next to the Torrenueva turn off. I have changed the name on the list of bus stops between Fuengirola and Marbella. Thanks again!

I took some photos of the stops this afternoon and will try get them up before you leave but in the meantime in answer to your question, yes, the Torrenueva (old Unicasa) stop is where you will get off. As soon as you get off the bus, walk about 100 metres further along the verge and you will come to a nice green grassy roundabout next to the road underpass which is an easy and pleasant place for your sister to pick you up or for you to wait for them.

About running, it's a little hilly just at that point so if you prefer flatter roads, run about 1km on the road which runs parallel to the A7/CN340, in the direction of Fuengirola and you'll come to the Mijas Costa Saturday morning market place. Swing inland and the roads will be quieter and you should be able to get some speed up. Between 10am and 6pm right now the sun is extremely dehydrating so keep up the liquid intake!

I hope the papers come through soon and that your next journey will be to Morroco.

Best wishes from the Costa del Sol Vivian

Mike

Mike Drury said...

Hello again Vivian, I put up the Torrenueva bus stop page this morning. You can find it at: www.gomarbella.com/costadelsolbuses/torrenueva-bus-stop.htm I mentioned you by first name, I hope this is OK.

If you and your sister look at the page, you can probably arrange under which tree to meet each other....

Good luck for your journey.

Mike

Anonymous said...

Mike -

Thank you so much! This is really, really helpful!

And yes, mentioning me by name is fine ;)

Once again, thanks!

Vivian

Menuhah said...

Greetings,
I am flying to Paris from Washington,DC to see friends from 20 years ago who it turns out moved to Estepona. So I will be traveling by train from Paris to them by way of I guess Madrid and then Malaga and then to Estepona. Any advice you can give me about the train connections or suggestions would be great. My friends are not so travel savy and I only visited Spain once and that was in Barcelona. I came across your blog while searching the web for info on buses. Sounds like you know alot.After visiting the friends in Estepona I will be going to see other friends in Nice and need to figure out those connections as well. Hope you can help me. My name is Menuhah.Thanks in advance. By the way I couldn't figure out which box I was supposed to tick so I could leave you my email.

Mike Drury said...

Hello Menuhah, thanks for checking in all the way from Washington. I am glad you found out your friends had moved to Estepona before you set off!

You know travelling from Paris right down to the south of Spain in the summer could be a long journey. I would try to fly down and I am sure it would work out cheaper than the train. I find that www.kayak.co.uk is a great site to quickly compare prices and routes.

Have a look at www.kayak.co.uk and check out the cheapest flights. I found one from Paris to Malaga for 73 pounds one way. I would also try to fly one back to Nice to see your other friends and then go by train back to Paris. It's not so easy flying from Malaga to points in France but there is a flight on Kayak from Malaga to Nice (via Heathrow in the UK!) for 110 pounds. I don't know your flight dates but I was looking at dates in September which are cheaper than July and August of course.

If you really do want to travel by train Menuhah then look at the Spanish national railways site www.renfe.es and select the English pages and then the international routes and you can book yourself alway the way from Paris to Malaga by rail. I think you will find that a flight may be cheaper than the rail journey (depending on dates of course.

I hope those two website suggestions help you and please let me know when you know your plans for arrival at Malaga train or bus station and it will be a pleasure to help you to get down to Estepona.

Good luck with your planning and best wishes from the Costa del Sol.

Mike