Following three busy days of exploring Toledo and Granada and a hike in the Sierra Nevada that turned out much longer than expected due to us getting lost, we decided to spend some very relaxing days on the Costa del Sol, one of the sunniest parts of Spain and despite the throngs of tourists flocking to this area every year still a gorgeous coast.
We rented an apartment in a small village not far from Marbella, as we didn’t want to be in the middle of the hustle and bustle yet we did want to be able to visit the town – known for the many Arabs who visit it every summer – easily.
That appeared to be slightly more complicated than expected. Or rather, we made it ourselves quite difficult. You see, I love the idea of days spending on the beach or by the pool, reading my book and listening some music, but once I finally get the chance to spend a day just doing that I feel bored easily and want to move my body. So I convinced Ahmed to walk on the beach to Marbella, which was ‘only’ 10 kilometers away from where we were.
It turned out 10 kilometers may appear little for a marathon runner, but it should not be underestimated when walking over the beach. After two hours or so we were only halfway. The sun was burning on our head and shoulders (of course we went during the hottest time of the day) and we did not exactly feel like walking another two hours, not to speak of how to get back.
So we decided to walk to the highway and hop on a bus. But that was also easier said than done: once at the bus stop we saw this bus was only coming once every two hours or so, and – you guessed it right – it had just passed. We had no other option than to hitchhike or take a taxi to the town. The former resulted impossible, but luckily we did find a taxi who stopped and took us, charging us a fortune that was difficult to bear knowing that we had a cute little rental car parked right under our apartment.
Marbella, however, was well worth the journey. Though the tourist boom has undoubtedly taken part of its former charm, it is a well maintained village and beautifully located.
What we liked even more was Mijas Pueblo, a tiny village up the mountains that is famous mainly because of its stunning views. Having learnt from our Marbella experience (I haven’t even talked about the adventure to get back to our apartment in the evening!) we decided to take our car and drive up the mountain.
Although this village, the views aside, doesn’t boast of many attractions, it is mainly worth visiting because of its typical Andalusian character of whitewashed houses and maze-like windy streets. In fact, it is one of the most visited Andalusian traditional white villages. To make your experience complete, you can rent a donkey taxi to go up and visit the town.
Ahmed and I decided to do the climb up the village without the help of a donkey, and I had a great time photographing all the gorgeous views, houses, alleys and flowers.
The following day we were going to our next destination, Córdoba, where we both had been before but about which we were both happily surprised. I’ll write about that in my next post.
Curious what happened on our way back from Marbella to our apartment? We thought there was only one bus going back, and only every two hours, so to be sure we decided to take the one before the last. We were at the bus stop 30 (!) minutes before the bus departed, but somehow it left without us, because I was looking for coins to pay the tickets and Ahmed was busy on his phone booking our next hotel!
We didn’t want to wait another two hours, so we tried to hitch-hike (no one even looked at us) or find a taxi (there weren’t any). Somehow, we were so busy looking for other ways to get home that we missed the last bus as well!
We were quite desperate when a friendly bus driver told us there was another bus going to where we had to go; we had to wait another 40 minutes or so but that was totally ok for us!