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Thursday, 31 March 2011

Prado del San Sebastian Bus Station Seville

Much as this looks like the entrance to an art gallery, it's actually the ticket sales area in the Prado del San Sebastian Bus Station in Sevilla. You'll see the different bus companies ticket offices around the large room. Built back in 1941 it has a very homely feel to it and is still my favourite bus station. As you step in from the heat of Seville in July and August the high ceilings give you immediate relief. I took this photo just last Saturday.

The Estación de Autobuses del Prado de San Sebastian is an easy walk from the Giralda out of the old Jewish quarter in the Barrio de Santa Cruz and across the Jardines Reales Alcázares park. On a hot summer's day in Seville, you'll be well advised to take the tram from Plaza Nueva on the border of El Arenal and the Santa Cruz districts and glide in airconditioned comfort to the TUSSAM transport interchange not 200m from the bus station.

Why might you be using the Prado de San Sebastian bus station? If you're on your way to the east or south of Sevilla, Cordoba, Jaen, Granada, Cadiz, Malaga, Marbella, Almería, Jerez de la Frontera or Marbella Bus station or even travelling as far as Barcelona, Murcia or Cartagena, you'll be leaving from here. Use the Gomarbella online bus reservations for ease of booking and speed.

Run your eyes over the destinations in Cadiz and time will slow right down. Even before you step on the bus you'll taste the sherries of Jeréz, chilled white Barbadillo wines from the white sands of the Cadíz shoreline and the fresh Atlantic fish served in every restaurant..

Here is the address:

ESTACIÓN DE AUTOBUSES
PRADO DE SAN SEBASTIAN
Prado de San Sebastian s/n
41005 Seville

Tel: 954 417 111

From the TUSSAM transport interchange right next door you can pick up the tram to Plaza Nueva and the TUSSAM local buses in Seville to central and outlying suburbs. From Avda de El Cid and Avda Menendez Pelayo next to the bus station you have the C3 Interior circular bus route running clockwise round the El Arenal and Santa Cruz districts and the C4 running anticlockwise round the same area. Both of these routes pass the Santa Justa train station in Sevilla. They are great value at only €1.30 (2011)

The Sevilla Airport Bus starts at the San Sebastian bus station before connecting with the Santa Justa
train station. If you are coming in from Seville Airport and need to get to the Plaza de Armas bus station to travel on to Portugal, get off at Prado de San Sebastian bus station and then take the C3 circular bus around to Plaza de Armas.

Here's a link to an earlier blog about the San Sebastian Bus Station

Please contact me through the Comments Box at the bottom of this page if I can help you at all with your travelling!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Macc Vets and Marbella Rugby Club

Seven years ago when my friend Danny Sheratte first spoke of organising a rugby tour to Marbella with vets from Macclesfield I wondered why he was involved with Cheshire rugby playing medical personnel but it became clearer over time that these were no ordinary vets. They are the Macclesfield Vets, seen here in the photo, veterans of many years of rugby ranging from national level through to the less transparent layers of Macclesfield club rugby.

For evidence of the team's power and determination to win at all costs check out the video of this bruising tackle by Danny in a recent game. Marbella readers please note that he was also one of the original co-founders of our local rugby club.

This is the second Macc Vets tour to Marbella and this time they will be playing against the Marbella Rugby Club in a triangular tournament together with Handsworth on Saturday 2nd April 2011.

Here is their itinerary:

Friday 1st April 2011
The Macc Vets arrive at Malaga airport from Manchester and transfer on the airport shuttle bus to Marbella where they are staying at the centrally situated Hotel San Cristobal.

Hotel San Cristobal
Avda Ramon y Cajal, 3
29601 Marbella Tel: + 34 952 77 12 50 www.hotelsancristobal.com

Friday lunch is at the Argentinean restaurant Clérico.

Restaurante Clericó Marbella
Av. Antonio Belón, 22
29601 Marbella Tel: 952 765 683 http://www.clerico.es

The team will dine on Friday evening at the elegant Da Bruno Sul Mare Restaurant on the sea front.

Da Bruno Sul Mare Restaurant
Edificio Skol,
Paseo Marítimo.
29600 Marbella, Tel: +34 952 90 33 18 www.dabruno.com

Saturday 2nd April 2011
The Macc Vets transfer to the Marbella Rugby Club grounds just beyond Rio Real for the triangular tournament.

14.30 Macclesfield versus Handsworth
16.00 Marbella versus Macclesfield
17.00 Marbella versus Handsworth
19.00 Paella and Beer

Sunday 3rd April 2011
Lunch at Palms Restaurant on the beach in Marbella's Puerto Deportivo

17.00 transfer from Marbella to Malaga Airport on the shuttle bus.

Come along on Saturday and have a great rugby afternoon out with the Macc Vets and the Marbella Rugby Club!

PS: The picture above shows the three teams, Marbella Rugby Club, Handsworth and the Macclesfield Rugby Veterans at the end of the afternoon's play. Here are some more photos from the afternoon's play at the Marbella Rugby Club

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Line Dancing in Fuengirola

My wife is an ardent line dancer here on the Costa del Sol and I asked her to write a few lines about her group, the Mississippi Coasters. Here is what she wrote:

"I'm addicted to line dancing. I started in February last year with the Mississipi Coasters in Casa Juanito at the Feria
ground in Fuengirola. I was hooked after my very first class. When you get a dance right from start to finish the euphoria is amazing.

Bob Horan, the teacher is a master. He knows an incredible number of line dances. He teaches us new steps by walking us through them and calling out the names of the steps eg; Coaster Step, Jazzbox, Rock Recover and so on. Then we dance those steps to music with Bob calling out the steps on his microphone. As we get to know the dances and become more confident he calls out the name of the dance does a preliminary walk through and off we go. The music is great and when you see all the dancers dancing in line and in time it's just fantastic.

Beginners are made very welcome and encouraged right from the start, the good dancers pass on their tips and the time races by, I am loathe to leave when my chariot arrives. Pauline, Bob's wife is the original country and western "chick" and a wonderful dancer. So friendly and warm, such a lovely person she gives out the lists of the steps and introduces newcomers to everyone else. The atmosphere is very conducive to learning. If you look at the picture above with us all dressed up for our photo shoot last week at our Fuengirola line dancing venue, you'll see Bob in the foreground and Pauline standing just behind him.

I really enjoy the classes, the exercise is good and it's great for the memory as well having to remember all the steps! I have so wanted to do line dancing ever since that song 'Locomotion' came out. As a teenager in Zimbabwe we danced in sequence to it making up our own steps so I was over the moon to find line dancing on my doorstep just down the road in Fuengirola. I enjoy the social aspect as well as watching the good dancers. We also have socials, lunches and dinners at different venues.

I wear black trousers or jeans and boots with a small heel,(Cuban is good). I recently bought some line dancing shoes and they're great.

If you are looking for line dancing classes on the Costa del Sol, Bob and Pauline teach at Club Los Naranjos in Calahonda on a Monday from 8 to 10 30 p.m. and at Casa Juanito in the Fuengirola feria ground on a Tuesday from 7.30 to 10 30 p.m. and Cafe/bar Bonanza in Benalmadena on Friday afternoons from 2 to 5pm p.m.

Here are contact telephone numbers for Bob and Pauline; 00 34 952 93 17 54 or 00 34 697 441 313 and their email address is: pmhoran@mercuryin.es Come and join us!"

Monday, 14 March 2011

Places to eat at Malaga Airport

This is my favourite café on the passenger side of security checks at Malaga Airport. My wife and I most often travel in the early part of the day and once we've left the car with Parking Sur we head for security, buy the papers just inside and then make for the La Lechera - Helados Nestlé cafetería.

It's over on the back wall next to the National Geographic shop on the left as you come out of security. If you are flying with Easyjet or Aerlingus, Departure Lounges B and C are a short walk away.

For us it's as good as our local coffee shop at home. The staff are friendly and serve with a smile and their tostada con aceite y tomate (toasted roll with olive oil and crushed tomato) is excellent and they've got all sorts of pastries to have with your coffee. You'll see cabin and ground staff eating there which means the prices are reasonable and the quality good. They're open from 6am through to 10pm at night. I pick up my inflight bottle of water there also. They

If my wife is flying out of Malaga airport later in the day she'll visit the Dehesa Santa Maria restaurant which serves Iberian tapas restaurant, with cured Iberian ham and a crusty roll, it's a real taste sensation. It's at the far end of Departure Lounge D, and if you are not in a hurry, it's worth the walk.

Of course you have the normal range of bars and restaurants, Whopper Bar hamburger bar, Starbucks, Sea Food, Pizza Hut, O' Learys, and the famous La Moraga Airport Gastrobar run by Michelin chef Dani Garcia who I am proud to say comes from my home town. Get to the airport at least an hour earlier to enjoy an unhurried meal of this category.

Whether you are a local wanting home comforts at the airport, a hungry teenager needing a pizza fix or a returning UK golfer seeking the comforting solid dark woods and delights of an Irish bar before going home, you'll find the new T3 terminal a very pleasant place to wait for your flight.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Buses to Mijas Pueblo


May to Mike Hi Mike, I'm so glad I chanced upon your website! It's a godsend since I can't read Spanish and am stressed over finding the appropriate bus routes for my trip in May. I kinda planned my routes based on what I can find using Portillo's schedule, I would appreciate if you can help me take a look and give your comments please.

I need to travel from Sevilla to Mijas Pueblo in May and then a couple of days later from Mijas to Malaga airport. Here's my plan:

1) Sevilla to Fuengirola: 1000/1400 Fuengirola to Mijas: 1415 or 1450 Question: Does this bus stop at Mijas Pueblo?

2) Mijas to Malaga airport Question: Bus or train to Malaga airport? Also I read from your website that Portillo buses might have delays. Is this bus timing sufficient for me to catch a flight at 1525 and where exactly does the bus from Mijas stop at Malaga? For the Sevilla-Mijas leg, some people recommend changing bus at Malaga, but I found that buses from Sevilla to Malaga aren't that frequent as compared to Fuengirola.

In your opinion, is Malaga or Fuengirola a better place to change bus to Mijas Pueblo? Also, do I need to book bus tickets online beforehand? I checked the booking system at your website, but can't seem to find buses plying these places on the dates I want to travel. Thanks so much!

Mike to May Hi May On my way back from Sevilla airport this morning, I came back via Málaga and drove up to Mijas to check out the bus stop and schedules.

In answer to your first question: Yes, the bus from Fuengirola bus station goes all the way up the mountainside to Mijas, also known as Mijas Pueblo and sometimes Mijas Village. I'm looking at a timetable I picked up from the Mijas Tourist Information office just now and you are completely correct, there's a bus from Fuengirola bus station at 14.15 and another at 14.50.

In answer to your second question, to get from Mijas Pueblo back to Malaga Airport, take the bus back down to Fuengirola bus station, that's a journey of 25 minutes, walk one block to the Fuengirola train station and take the train to Malaga Airport, about 35 minutes. The trains leave at 20 minute intervals and you can set your watch by them, they are so punctual, it's a fantastic service. You will find the timetable for trains between Malaga Airport and Fuengirola train station here.

You see if you take the bus from Mijas Pueblo back to Malaga, although you will actually pass the airport bus stop on the main road you will then have a long walk without a pavement pulling your suitcase alongside a busy road to the new T3 terminal departures level. To avoid this walk, you could go all the way into Malaga to the bus station, but you would then have to train or bus all the way back to the airport.

The bus from Mijas Pueblo to Fuengirola bus station followed by the train to Malaga airport is the quickest and most practical option. The Portillo bus service is basically very reliable and punctual but the train is still the very best guarantee of getting to the airport exactly when you need to.

Going back to the very beginning of your journey, I would definitely recommend you take the direct bus from Sevilla to Fuengirola. You will leave from the Prado de San Sebastian bus station and the first stop for a coffee and the loo will be at Ronda bus station on the way down. The scenery is great all the way. Sit on the right hand side of the bus travelling from Sevilla to Ronda. You'll also stop at the Marbella bus station. Give me a wave as you pull out of Marbella on the last leg to Fuengirola.

About booking online, the Portillo company is not completely integrated yet into an online booking system. You will leave Sevilla from the Prado de San Sebastian bus station and you can buy your seat there up to six days before you travel.

May to Mike Hi Mike, Thanks for sharing the detailed information, and suggesting we take a bus from Sevilla to Fuengirola instead of Malaga. I appreciate it! You mentioned tickets can be bought 6 days in advance. Do you recommend we purchase tickets for all legs of journeys once we arrive at Sevilla? And is it possible to purchase all of them at Sevilla Prado de San Sebastian bus station? I suppose we can buy train tickets when we reach Fuengirola and there is no need for advance ticketing. Do we need to wait very long to purchase train tickets at Fuengirola train station? Thanks once again!

Mike to May Hi May You are very welcome to the information. You only really need to book and buy the Seville to Fuengirola tickets in advance at the Prado de San Sebastian bus station. Having said that, you still may then find the bus only half full. Going up to Mijas Pueblo you get your tickets at the little window at Fuengirola bus station and then coming back down again, you buy your tickets on the bus when you get on at the Mijas Pueblo bus stop in the photo.

At Fuengirola train station, there is a continual stream of people at the ticket office but there are also ticket dispensing machines before the ticket barriers. No one ever seems to miss the train! Keep a few coins handy if you use the machine, it operates in English also. The train schedule does change from time to time but since September of 2011, there are three trains every hour, only 20 minutes between trains. Check at the train station before you go up to Mijas if timing is critical. One of you looks after the suitcases at the bus station and the other walks across to the train station to check it out. It will only take 10 minutes and they will give you a train timetable at the train station ticket office.

I suggest getting to the airport earlier rather than later because it's now a really pleasant place to spend pre-flight time compared to the old airport. There's a little cafe restaurant, La Lechera against the back wall, between Burger King and the National Geographic shop and they serve the best coffee and tostados, that's a toasted roll with olive oil dripped on and covered in chopped tomato. It's where the the airport employees have their breakfast and that's always a good sign. So if you are worried about connections, get to the airport earlier than you would normally and just take things easy. I hope that helps you May, keep on asking questions!

Best wishes Mike

Monday, 7 March 2011

Selwo Hills Apartments Bus Stop

Judy to Mike: Hi Mike I'm trying to find info re onward bus service from Marbella to Selwo Hills Apartments (Estepona). We plan on getting the Malaga airport bus to Marbella bus station and then another bus to the nearest set down/bus stop to Selwo and walk or take a short taxi ride?. Can you help me please? Thanks very much. I'm on a very tight budget! Judy

Mike to Judy: Hi Judy, here is the short answer: Your bus stop is the Selwo stop. From there walk up to the first roundabout and turn right, Selwo Hills Apartments are on your left. It'll be a 10 to 15 minute walk from the A7 main road

Below you'll find the longer answer:

Hi Judy, from Marbella bus station take the onward bus to Estepona. On this list of bus stops between Marbella and Estepona, you'll see the Selwo bus stop on it. Right now I'm not sure how far the Selwo Hills Apartments are from this stop. I did however phone the Estepona Taxi company Tel: 952 80 29 00 and the girl said that the taxi fare from the centre of Estepona to Selwo Apartments Estepona would be be from 9 to 10 euros. So if it's raining or after dark when you arrive, you could always just carry on a little further on your bus to the Estepona bus station and then take a taxi from the taxi rank right next to the bus station a short distance to your apartments. That means you can arrive in style for minimum cost.

If you are not in a hurry, I can check it for you on Monday. All you need to do is contact me on this page through the comment box over the weekend. I'm going to the Algarve for the weekend but I'll be picking up my emails on the way. The weather is really lovely at the moment! Best wishes from Marbella and thanks very much for writing in. Mike

Hi Mike thank you so much for your reply, it's very helpful. My friend and I are fed up, hard up and looking forward to a lovely holiday and trying to save costs where we can so this info is great. We aren't coming until July but want to try and get organised and no last minute panics. If you have any further info re distance from Selwo Hills apartments to bus stop that would be great but please don't put yourself out as you have been so helpful already. Thanks again Judy

Hi Judy it sounds as if you both need a really good holiday in the sun. Just keep focussed on July, a big paella on the beach with a glass of cold white wine and the time will fly by. I'll check out that last bit for after the weekend and let you know via this blog.Thanks very much for writing back and have a good rest tomorrow!" Best wishes Mike

Hello Judy I checked where Selwo Hills Apartments are this afternoon on my way back from the Algarve. Your bus stop is the Selwo stop. From there walk up to the first roundabout and turn right, Selwo Hills is on your left. It will be 10 to 15 minutes walk from the main road.

As I said above, that's the quick story. To find the Selwo Hills Apartments we turned off the A7 coastal road at the Selwo bus stop and drove all the way up to the Selwo Animal Park without seeing any signs of the urbanisation. My wife entered into the spirit of the search so we spent about 30 minutes exploring the back roads until we came back to the roundabout by Selwo Hills Apartments quite by chance. Perhaps with the financial crisis the community of owners of the complex don't think good signposts are a priority right now. So be careful to take the first right after the first roundabout or you'll end up in the Selwo Animal Park.

You'll be glad of the swimming pool and a cold beer if you are doing the walk in the heat of a July afternoon. We enjoyed driving around the area for old time's sake because it's very near to where we spent our first holiday in Spain in 1978, never thinking we would come back the following year from Zimbabwe to live here.

Best wishes from Marbella Judy, please keep in touch and tell me how it all goes. Mike