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Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Saturday morning in Sevilla

Saturday morning in Sevilla in the shadow of the Giralda Cathedral saw these two grooms carrying out running repairs. One is holding the hoof whilst the other swings a small hammer. In the background a driver is discussing prices with two prospective clients.

I took the Málaga Antequera route to Sevilla this time, just for a change. It's about 30 kms longer than the route through Los Barrios down in Cádiz but it's faster. I like to go one way to Sevilla and make the return journey on a different road. One of my favourite roadside ventas is about 50kms before Sevilla. The coffee and local olive oil on toast is to die for.

I was back in Sevilla and checking out the two big bus stations in Sevilla. I get quite a few enquiries about buses from Marbella or Malaga to Portugal and I wanted to sort a few things out although when the AVE (Spains high speed train) connects Sevilla with Malaga later this month and brings the journey time down to 50 minutes, the train will be a very good alternative to the bus for this stretch. If you are thinking of taking the bus from Sevilla to the Algarve check out the travel information about the Estacion Prado de San Sebastian and the Estacion de Plaza de Armas bus stations

For more destinations to the south of Seville, you'll travel out of the Prado de San Sebastian bus station next to the Tussam bus, tram and local bus transport interchange.

I love Sevilla on a Saturday. Smartly dressed Sevillanos proudly board their immaculate new trams and others sit in the sun all around the city sipping fino and eating tapas. They do it with such style as well!

I drove back via the historic city of Ronda and on the way checked out Zahara de la Sierra. It's a lovely little pueblo blanco (white village) about 19 kms before Ronda, about 16kms from Grazalema and is perched on a peak above a large lake. I'll definitely be spending more time there soon. I have passed it countless times but I'm really glad I had a look around.

By the way, if you thinking of taking the bus from the Costa del Sol to Sevilla, why don't you break your journey at the Ronda bus station and take a couple of hours to explore Ronda?

The hypermarket in Ronda on the bypass, just on the coast side of the railway line and close to Ronda train station is well worth stopping at for a coffee and some top up shopping before dropping down the coast.

Can I help you with any travel enquiries? Leave a question for me in the comment box below.

PS: You can now do online bus ticket reservations through the gomarbella reservation system.


Anonymous said...

Hello GoMarbella! With reference to your comments concerning Ian Smith and African politics and your invitation to comment I offer the following:

"Ian Smith only once doubted the wisdom of his decision to declare UDI and lead Rhodesia into a 15-year civil war to protect white rule.

That moment of doubt occurred in April 1980, during a meeting with Robert Mugabe, who the previous day had taken office as the first Prime Minister of Zimbabwe.

Mugabe had summoned Smith to Government House and Smith was surprised to be greeted with a warm handshake and a broad smile; after all, the country's new Marxist leader had promised his people that, come liberation, he would have Smith publicly hanged in Harare's main square.

At that meeting, Mugabe told Smith he was acutely aware that he had inherited from his old adversaries, the whites, a jewel of a country, and he praised its superb infrastructure, its efficient modern economy, and promised to keep it that way.

The point is Mugabe was not the sophisticated, balanced, sensible man Smith had briefly hoped for. Even as he was shaking Smith's hand, he was plotting the destruction of another group of political enemies, the Matabele, and was soon to send Korean-trained troops into Matabeleland to conduct a campaign of torture and murder that has still to be fully exposed.

He became the embodiment of corrupt, violent, amoral African dictatorship - just as Smith had warned his supporters.

Let us not forget the context of Smith's determination to hang on to white rule in the 1960s.

At the time that he claimed to be defending "civilised standards", Rhodesians had already witnessed the flight of Belgian refugees from the Congo; Idi Amin had trashed Uganda, and Mobutu Sese Seko was about to introduce an even more brutal and dysfunctional regime in neighbouring Zaire; immediately to the north of Rhodesia, Kaunda's Zambia was in a mess, riddled with corruption and economically mismanaged, and Malawi was being similarly misruled by the eccentric despot Hastings Banda. So why, Smith argued, would Mugabe be any different?

Why, indeed!

It was easy to mock Ian Smith, but perhaps he was right - both about the betrayals and about the quality of most African politicians."

Mike Drury said...

Thanks for that. Isn't it amazing that he was able to murder 15 000 Matabeles even while the world was queuing up to give the new Zimbabwe's begging bowl. How long do you give South Africa?

Anonymous said...

It's a good question Mike and one that Nelson Mandella was acutely aware of when he said, "South Africa cannot escape its African destiny. If we do not devote our energies to this continent, we too could fall victim to the forces that have brought ruin to its various parts."

Sadly Mandella is not typical of African politicians and when people like South Africa's Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka says that South Africa could learn a lot from Zimbabwe's land reform ... namely, how to do it faster .... it makes you wonder! South Africa needs a bit of "oomph" she says, and maybe it should get some colleagues from Zimbabwe to come and advise on how to get that oomph.

What chance indeed!

Anonymous said...

Hello Mike- I hope you can help us, we're taking the airport bus from Malaga to Marbella, then we are thinking of taking a taxi from Marbella to Costalita where we have booked an apartment.

How much does the taxi fare cost? (is it per person or per taxi)
How far is it to costalita and roughly how long does it take?
Many thanks

Clive and Lynn

Mike Drury said...

Hi Clive and Lynn

Thank you very much for writing in and I am sorry to have delayed my reply to you.

I phoned the taxi company this afternoon and the girl said it would be approximately 20 euros by taxi from Marbella to Costalita.

I hope this helps you and the information has not come to late for your stay on the coast. Very best wishes from Marbella


Mike Drury said...

I should have added it's about 20 kms from Marbella placing it about halfway between San Pedro de Alcantara and Estepona.

On a good day it shouldn't take more than 20 minutes. The preparatory road work for the new tunnel under San Pedro is quite unpredictable but the Spanish road engineers are excellent at keeping the traffic flowing whilst building goes on.

Best wishes


Joni said...

Hi Mike,

I think it is wonderful that I can email you for your help. Thanks!

My family and I are traveling to Seville airport from Ireland on Saturday 14th June and staying in a villa in Isla Cristina.

I need help finding the right bus to take me from the airport to IC and I dont know if I can get on from the airport itself or do I have to go into Seville town?

Do you know bus times for Saturdays to and from Isla Cristina?

Thanks in advance for you help.

Kind regards,

Mike Drury said...

Hello Joni

Thanks very much for writing in. My wife and I were in Isla Cristina at Easter this year just to look around and it seemed great. We go to Portugal at least once a year and everytime we go past Isla Cristina we say "We must go there next time" and so we did it this year.

Without having checked in detail yet I think you will need to take the airport bus into Sevilla and then the bus from the Plaza de Armas bus station which serves the Huelva and Portugal area to Isla Cristina.

While I have a look at the airport to Sevilla times, can you let me know your arrival time at the Sevilla airport? I would like to see how it fits in with the connecting bus from Sevilla to Isla Cristina.

Look foward to hearing from you Joni


Joni said...

Hi Mike,
thankyou so much for your swift reply. Our flight departs from Dublin at 7.45am and arrives at 11.35am. With the hour difference and with baggage collection we would be looking to get a bus from 1pm onwards into Seville town.

Our flight back to Ireland the following Saturday is 12.10pm and I suppose we would need to be at the airport at least an hour before. The bus times from Isla Cristina to Seville and then to the airport is what concerns me. We wouldnt want to miss the flight home ha ha!

Thanks for all the help and advice, it really is appreciated.


Mike Drury said...

Hello Joni

Getting from Seville airport to Seville and back to the airport is easy, there is an airport bus which runs from Seville Airport to the Prado de San Sebastian bus station in the city centre at 30 minute intervals and costs €2.10 for a single single fare. (June 2008),

The first bus from the airport is at 05.45 and the last one is at 00:45 Monday to Saturday when the service

runs at regular 30 minute intervals. On Sunday the first bus is at 06:45 and the last is at 23:45 - running at

30 minutes or one hour duration depending on the time of day.

The route is Seville Airport - Kansas City - Santa Justa Railway Station - Luis de Morales - San Francisco

Javier - Carlos V - Prado San Sebastián bus station. From San Sebastian bus station you need to take the C4 shuttle bus to Plaza de Armas bus station, There is a linking bus service every 15 minutes from just outside the Prado San Sebastian bus station. As you won't be in hurry on the way there, this would be a great place to stop and have breakfast coffee, rolls and they have a fresh orange juicing machine and if you are passing through Sevilla, you must have oranges from there. Look after your belongings, this is a bus station like anywhere else in the world. Of course this would be a good time to have an early lunch if you are still on Irish time. It's a lovely old building and a great place to start taking things easy.

After your pit stop, take your C4 bus to Plaza de Armas bus station right next to the Guadalquivir river. The next bus out of there to Isla Cristina is at 17.30pm. This is why I suggested taking things easy. After getting your tickets, relax by the cool of the river or take a tour of Seville in a topless red bus. They pass right by the Plaza de Armas bus station. I think there are left luggage lockers at Plaza de Armas for your luggage. If not take it with you on the red tour bus.

Getting back to the airport is going to be tricky. Your Seville to Isla Cristina bus route is operated by the Damas bus company. Their website is and you can choose the English version. You will see that the earliest bus out of Isla Cristina on the Saturday leaves at 7:00am. I have just phoned the girl in the Damas bus company in Isla Cristina (The customer attention from Damas is always first class) and she said that the journey takes 2:30 hours. So you would get into Seville at 9:30. If you took a taxi to the airport you would fall into place just after 10:am. How do you feel about that? Other alternative is to come into Sevilla the night before and sleep over or get a quote from the local taxi company in Isla Cristina to run you into Sevilla to the Prado de Sebastian, Here you can have a well earned breakfast, this is Spain remember and you take the bus from there to the airport.

May I make a suggestion about your stay in Isla Cristina? If you get bored with relaxing and drinking white wine and eating great fish fresh from the Atlantic, take the local bus to Ayamonte, the nearby border town with Portugal, not much to see there but take the ferry across the wide Guadiana river to Villa Real de San Antonio on the other side and have some great Portuguese white wine with great Portugese fish from the Atlantic. You can tell what I like to do on holiday in that area!

Joni I hope that helps you and that you have a great stay in Isla Cristina. Please send in a picture when you get back. Best wishes for your holiday.


Anonymous said...

Hallo Mike

We are planning a trip to BENALMÁDENA-COSTA in Malaga, our first trip to Spain (we are from South Africa)

I would really appreciate it if you could help me with the following query as to how we can get from Seville airport to BENALMÁDENA-COSTA - is there a direct bus? Any information would be appreciated!! Thanks


Mike Drury said...

Hello Liz

Thanks for using the www.gomarbella .com/costadelsolbus pages.

Basically you will need to get from Sevilla airport to the Prado de San Sebastian bus station in Sevilla and then take a bus to Malaga bus station and then a shorter bus ride from Malaga bus station along the coast to Benalmadena Costa.

If you look at the comment just above this one you will see information about getting from Seville airport to the Prado de San Sebastian bus station together with the frequency of the Sevilla airport bus service.

How soon are you planning to travel? If there is still a bit of time I can check the bus connections for you. Let me know what time you are landing in Sevilla and I will tell you if you can do the rest of the journey comfortably on the same day by bus.

I am from Zimbabwe, came to Spain 29 years ago and as you can imagine I am very happy to be here.

I hope you have a brilliant stay here Liz and let me know your arrival time so I can look at the rest of the journey.

Best wishes from Marbella