|On board M/S Finnlady|
A Fully Loaded KIA For Spain
For about two years my wife and I where considering taking the BIG STEP into the unknown and move abroad. I was not given a choice - it needed to be Costa del Sol in Andalucia, Spain. This blog is about our stay in this beautiful part of the world with all the sunshine you might want. I will not bother you with what you know, beaches and all that, but rather try to give a glimpse of a natural beauty unlike the nordic countries, our origin. The mountains, the natural parks, the rich history and culture as well as the mountain villages inspired us.
There was also no discussion as to who is going to perform the magic trick in order to load our small car with everything we needed to take with us. My wife had a funny look on her face and pointed at me seeming to say "mission impossible, you do it". The magic was done with some space left for water bottles and alike and we then set off for M/S Finnlady waiting for us in Helsinki. The ship left for Travemunde in Germany where we arrived late following night. In the picture above taken from an upper deck the ship seem to move at high speed making the water foam. Extra "speed" is given by a small aperture on the camera. Must give all the credit for a nice ship with excellent service for motorists. Early June the ship was not too full and it arrived on time in Travemunde.
A Good Drive Through The Night
The first leg was preset from Travemunde to a hotel in HAMM near Dortmund. The KIA was in perfect shape and overtaking cars on the motorways it arrived safely and on time. The following morning we set off for MOSELTHAL, Trittenheim where we spent the following night. Absolutely great scenery in this wine district that we really appreciated. These early days in the summer created no crowds so finding parking space and tables at restaurants was not an issue.
From Moselthal To Schwarzwald
We had reserved altogether 10 days for our journey from Finland to southern Spain. On the first days we wanted to put as much milage behind us as was reasonable. On the third day we reached Schwarzwald / Freiburg where we spent two days driving around and visiting Titisee among other places. The area was unknown to us so Titisee as a major tourist resort was a surprise. And the scenery was stunning as you can see from the above pictures.
|Auberge De Tavel, near Avignon|
Next Stop In France
The traffic in Germany had occasionally been heavy but we had no difficulties at any stage. The same driving through Switzerland (no time for Mont Blanc this time) but once hitting the French road system we faced a more chaotic traffic and also somewhat worse road conditions. We nevertheless reached the small village of Tavel near Avignon without any hazzle. Our B&B Auberge De Tavel was found more or less by accident. This is a nice B&B that we can happily recommend. They also served an excellent dinner with local wine that they recommended.
The Mediterranean, French Coast
This is it! The Mediterranean! Our small KIA has proven itself strong and carried us all this way without "casualties". All we now have to do is follow the coastline that is really beautiful. We see the Pyrenées on our right hand side when crossing the Franco-Spanish border and we stop for a rest at Torrevieja where we meet up with a Finnish real estate broker to get some information about the market on the Spanish coast. Many places are interesting; Alicante, Nerja.....Thank you Kirsi and Harri for receiving us. It was nice to meet you. We follow the coast to Nerja.....
|Los Arcos pool at midnight.|
Nerja, a Major Holiday Resort on the Spanish Coast
We arrived at Nerja late afternoon and checked-in at a nice small hotel called Los Arcos, took a stroll downhill to the beach, up again just to go down again to see the town centre and the gorgeous European Balcony. You guessed right, the town is situated on a steep slope and rather demanding moving up and down, even for us. But the town is really beautiful. Our room had a backdoor that led directly to the pool. We could not resist a midnight swim on this moonlit night.
|Passeo Maritime, Fuengirola.|
FUENGIROLA, home at last
From Nerja the A7 or A340 passes Malaga and from there we only have some 20 minutes to Fuengirola. Our appartment was in Torreblanca which is part of Fuengirola, picture above. Passeo Maritime is a beautiful promenade to walk along any time of the day. Tourists mingle with locals in the evenings. Enjoy a drink here, tapas there and sit on the benches relaxing. If you want a good fish dish go to a place near the Sohail Castle. This restaurant has blue and white striped marquises.
OUR FIRST IMPRESSION OF SPAIN
We where told that the road network is on very good condition is this is right so. Traffic is heavy mainly close to larger cities. Highways with a toll are almost empty and fast. The countryside is absolutely beautiful and the environment is kept very CLEAN. And the country is inexpensive. And YET, we have seen very little of the fantastic ANDALUCIA.
Thank you for following us all the way from Helsinki to Costa del Sol in Andalucia, Spain (map flickr.com).
PLEASE JOIN US AGAIN IN THE NEXT EPISODE WHEN WE START EXPLORING SOUTHERN SPAIN FROM CADIZ TO ALMEIRA (map: timelines.wikidot.com).