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January 25th 2015
Published: January 26th 2015
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Saturday 24th February: we headed west on the main coast highway towards Marbella then turned inland up into the hills past the multi million euro villas of middle eastern potentates: the uber rich and other ne'er do wells, and onwards and upwards. At over 3,000 feet, and not far below the snow line, we stopped off at a cafe for some delicious Spanish coffee and to share the view with the bikers who use this cafe as a rest stop; in a similar way to the bikers who congregate near Storey Arms on the A470 Cardiff to Brecon road. Then it was down the mountain, but not too far, to the town of Ronda. It's an old Moorish stronghold whose claim to fame is a spectacular gorge that separates the old town from the new (comparatively speaking) town. After spending some time getting lost trying to find the way into town, then dodging around the narrow streets trying to find a parking space, we eventually parked then went for a look around the famous El Tajo Gorge: very impressive. The town is at nearly 2,400 feet above sea level so it was pretty cool up there: ok in the sun but
In the mountains behind MarbellaIn the mountains behind MarbellaIn the mountains behind Marbella

On the mountain road to Ronda, nearly 3000 feet high with the Atlas Mountains in Africa on the horizon
very chilly in the shade. After viewing the Gorge and looking out over the surrounding countryside we had what turned out to be one of the worst lunches in the history of gastronomy. I had Spanish omelette with salad: the omelette was stone cold and the salad (tasteless lettuce and tomato) was even colder. Jane had barely warm pork something and oily potato slices. All quite nasty and a suitable TripAdvisor report will be posted. Getting out of Ronda proved very easy as we had fortuitously parked on a road signposted Salida (exit). The drive back over the mountains towards Marbella and the coast was uneventful and we got back to Liz's flat before dark. Talking over the flat viewings of the first two days I realised that I had forgotten three viewings in the Marina area of La Duquesa. I had forgotten about them presumably because we had discounted them as possibles at the time; so the first day, Wednesday, we had actually viewed eight flats.

Sunday 25th February. We took the train into Malaga to have a look around the the castle there and for a paella lunch at a restaurant that I had looked up on TripAdvisor which had many rave reviews about its paella. The weather had warmed up considerably, mainly because the cool wind had disappeared and it was very nice walking around in the sunshine. The castle, actually two of them: the lower Alcazaba being the emir's palace and very Moorish was very interesting, while the upper one, the Gibralfaro, required a 20 minute walk which we decided to do after lunch. We found the TripAdvisor recommended restaurant where it was supposed to be (TripAdvisor directions are not always accurate) and we had a seafood paella. Nice and good value but not worthy of the rave reviews that I'd read. Afterwards we strolled back along the quayside then up the hill to the upper castle, where we arrived at the entrance just after 5.30pm to be told that last entry was 5.30 and we could not go in even though it closes at 6pm. So we had to retrace our steps down the hill and then we wandered around part of the picturesque old part of Malaga before returning to the train station and the 50 minute ride back to our station called Carvajal and the 5 minute walk up the
El Tajo  Gorge RondaEl Tajo  Gorge RondaEl Tajo Gorge Ronda

Difficult to photograph because of the big contrast in light, but very impressive in reality
hill to the flat. No need for dinner as the paella had been enough to last.



Monday 26th February. A friend of Liz's called Denise who lives across the road, came around to the flat to introduce herself and see if we needed anything. She and her husband Dennis are from Yorkshire and spend quite a bit of time out here and were happy to advise us about what to do and where to go, and about properties. Denise introduced us to a couple in the same development who had been living here permanently but are moving back to the UK, tomorrow in fact, and are selling up here. They showed us around their flat which was very spacious and well fitted out but didn't suit us as it was over budget and also didn't have a very good view. Afterwards, on Denise's recommendation we walked along the seafront towards Fuengirola town which is about two miles to the west. It was a pleasant walk in the warm sun but not very interesting as the seafront consisted of an unbroken line of high rise apartment blocks with restaurants and bars on the ground floors: very nice long
Puente Nuevo Ronda, but over 300 years oldPuente Nuevo Ronda, but over 300 years oldPuente Nuevo Ronda, but over 300 years old

Over 300 feet above the river Guadalvin
beach though, and kept clean by the local municipality. After lunch we strolled back along the seafront to Carvajal then back uphill to the flat.


Additional photos below
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Rooms with a viewRooms with a view
Rooms with a view

The Parador Hotel Ronda at one end of the Puente Nuevo bridge
Casa LizCasa Liz
Casa Liz

View from Liz's flat in Fuengirola. The railway station is down the hill in front of the building on the lower right. Trains to Malaga every 20 minutes right through to midnight
Casa LizCasa Liz
Casa Liz

Location. Location. View of the apartment block where Liz has her flat, from the railway station.
Malaga inner harbourMalaga inner harbour
Malaga inner harbour

With Alcazaba Palace at the base of the hill and the Gibralfaro fortress at the top
Malaga HarbourMalaga Harbour
Malaga Harbour

From the Gibralfaro fortress
The emir's view: Malaga CityThe emir's view: Malaga City
The emir's view: Malaga City

From the Alcazaba Palace with Cathedral on left and snow covered mountains in the background


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