Friday, June 10, 2011

Autobuses, Trenes, Hostales = Buen Viajes

Traveling with public transportation is very easy here in Andalucia and can also recommend to use the services, buses are new and all have aircondition and usually run in time as well. Trains are even better, really modern, clean and have seemed to be also in time. All can be bought and reserved on-line.


We have been using local buses and trains a lot with kids, never had any complaints. Last weekend I took a bus to Sevilla from Fuengirola and then took a train back to Malaga from there. The bus journey is a bit longer with hours, but I would say definately worth the effort. The bus station we have in Fuengirola is very small and no services whatsoever, I had to go around the block to try find cafeteria open at 8am on Saturday morning.. heh. But the good news is that many many buses do stop here. You can get a ride to Madrid, or to Algeciras, Cadiz, Tarifa, La Linea- to the "other side of the Costa" - you can go to Gordoba, Granada & Sevilla ( via Ronda )  directly  or then just take the direct bus to Malaga and change there to other routes. Buses are also very reasonable priced, my 4hrs busticket to Sevilla cost 19.50euros.

We have a line of mountains all the way here in Costa Del Sol, big bigger higher.. and everytime you want to go see "Real Andalucia", these mountains need to be crossed over. I chose this Sevilla road by bus because the bus really goes to top and the views are stunning... I was my nose in the window all the way and laughed at myself, since the other people next to me.. they all slept. So I guess there was nothing new for them..
for me this was the first time I got to see whats hiding behind these mountains..

However as cool as it was,  I dont recommend this bustrip to a person who gets carsick or does not like hights.. roads were really small and narrow and sometimes felt a bit scary. Too many crosses with flowers and rememberance stones along the roads.. I would say even 2-3 sometimes within 1 km's journey. I can only imagine how dangerous and slippery it gets there during the wintermonths. But now its summer it was a beautiful hot day and I took the early morning bus and off I went..

Bus stopped for 30mins in a mountain town called Ronda...  more HERE
750m above sea-level, cute little-old old-  town Ive heard, lots of travel agencies make trips to Ronda from here. It would have been nice to stay there for few hours and then continue to Sevilla, but this time, I had my limited hours for my trip, Ronda will have to wait for another time.
Lots of farming what I saw from the bus window and ofcourse.. a place where you can take your olives to make oil out of them. Like everywhere here.

aah.. done Ronda, whats next?
I was just amazed the see the scenary that came after the mountains, first lakes and little villages, mountain farms.. .then sunflowers, sunflowers, hills and sunflowers..pretty, how beautiful how just amazing, the colors of the nature.

I can see and feel and imagine all those hundreds of artists who have spent days and weeks here trying to capture this beauty on canvas. All the colours are changing  in one blinck by the movements of sun and clouds.

Also, the concept of Siesta gets a whole new meaning, looking at these farms, thinking, yeah... It was damn hot already at noon, I can imagine people sleeping there in shadows under their olive trees, orange trees, what ever trees .. and living The Andalucian Way of Life.

Little forgotten houses and barns on fields, sunflowerfields that seemed never ending.. the peacefullness allover.. was just magic.  Here in the Costa, you dont realize, feel or experience this.. too many turists and action. This is Andalucia.. but just a fraction of it.

I am very happy I took this trip and saw all this.. I hope someone is walking / driving  around there with a better camera than I have, with more time than I had..  and making it all real for more people.

In Sevilla there are several Bus Stations all over the town, this one left us Prado San Sebastian which is right in the heart of the city.

In Sevilla I had booked a little hostel formyself, when I travel alone it does not really matter where I sleep, as long the location is good and looks " pretty" outside.. hahaa.. There are many many many little hostels in Sevilla center, all about the same price and the same size. This one had female rooms of 4 and 6. I took 4 bedded room and paid 18e per night. Which I thought was just prefect, this hostel was right in the heart of everything what I wanted to see.

There is also Salvador Dali Hostel and Vincent Van Gogh, but hey I live in Malaga District- I chose our own boy Picasso.   ( from Hostelworld ) I had German and French girls sharing this room, they were traveling around Spain, really nice girls. Also I made a note that the people I saw in kitchen, I was not the oldest this hostel was popular with " us Adult " people or is it Sevilla? I did not notice any drunken screaming people, or teenagers anywhere, just adults and I dont know, smart turists, can one say that?

I came back from Sevilla with the train.. just to win time and to travel more comfy .. bus comes here in Fuengirola, train goes to Malaga, but train is always faster and in a way nicer way to travel. There are running trains in neawrly every hour between Malaga and Sevilla, small trains, no restaurant etc.. but there was a vending machine and inva-access, all the modern things you need. 2 kinds of trains, speed train and slower one. The difference in time is only 35mins but price for the faster one is 20e more. So.. since I travel cheap, I took the slow one and paid 18..something for the trip. Train stations here seem to be completely different than  bus stations; Sevilla is modern and new and spacious and clean. Malaga has a mall attached to it. What I did noticed and was wondering why.. In Malaga we have similar security checks like in airports, but in Sevilla there was no such thing.. thinking Sevilla is the capital of Andalucia, The Parliament is there.. do we have so many more criminals here? dont know.. oh well.. safe it was and felt all the way anyway.

the biggest difference with trains and buses - and these mountains.. was-  train came through tunnels I dont know how many kms in total.. but felt like 50+kms and more.. and for me that was scary :) I have never liked mountains and tunnels,.. and this train was giving this horn-sound -really -loud all the time - giving me creeps- could there be someone in front of us ? however,as said.. home safe.

From Malaga there are high speed trains to Madrid, takes only around 3.5hrs. Similar trains like TGV,  the trains they have had for years and years in France. Not very cheap ones, but then again, time is money and each time you travel from center to center without the silly time to travel to airport and back and the waiting time there in between.. train is often faster.

Here in Malaga area we have 2 local trains, one to Fuengirola one to Almeria direction.. they run in every 30mins and are clean and fast and nice and we use them all the time.. ( stops also at the airport )
so basically, the entire trip with local public  transportation cost me less than 60e - bus train and hostel- for one night.  not bad.. needed no map reading on the roads and no hours of searching for parking spaces.
Me like!

and now you are all thinking... where is Sevilla? its coming..

I took nearly 1000 photos from my trip there.. and just have finished sorting them all out. I think I will make 3 different parts of Sevilla. I read from somewhere before I went there ; " ooh, Sevilla, it  makes Paris and Rome silent.. and I was thinking, how would that be possible?
 - well, if not silent, for sure; a  real little sister to those both.

What an amazing place! Sevilla!

You could really feel and see that this city was one of the most important cities in world around the 15th century.

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