Friday, 20 June 2008

Bruce Springsteen in Dusseldorf

Bruce Springsteen: "GUTEN ABEND DUSSELDORF!"

Me: "Woooooooooow!" together with 38 000 other fans.

For more than 20 years I've listened to The Boss on LPs, cassettes, CDs, watched him on DVDs and TV and then there he was live on giant screens with his voice driving out at a million watts from towering speaker stacks.

I'm glad to share this experience with you even if just to prove I have a life between photographing bus stops. A quick trip taking in London, Stratford on Avon and then on to Dusseldorf to see him live at the LTU stadium next to the airport.

I've seen Freddy Mercury, Tina Turner, Rod Stewart, Julio Iglesias and others in the Marbella football stadium but this rock concert was life changingly different. We had comfortable leather seats but I can only remember sitting down once. Maybe it was the hospitality suite just behind us and being welcomed on a red carpet from the car just below our seats. Perhaps it was the non stop refreshments together with the great company we were in. It might have been the brilliant camera work or the fact that the German fans knew every word in English. Most likely it was everything together with the brilliance of Bruce's performance and his enormous drive and energy during the 3 hour concert. Life just isn't going to be the same again!

Ryanair brought us back to Malaga from Dusseldorf (Weeze), our car was waiting in the free parking at the end of the airport and by 8.30 we were home.

STOP PRESS: Fast foward to July 7th at 5pm on a hot afternoon I was just getting into my car after taking photos from the Miraflores bus stop from the footbridge and the announcer on the local Spanish radio station said "It's only two and a half hours until Bruce Springsteen is on stage in Santander this evening" I looked at my watch and I could probably just have made it. A wild dash to Malaga airport departures and a 90 minute flight to Santander and then a taxi to the concert.

Then Bruce started to sing "Radio Nowhere" and the hairs on my sweating foreams stood on end. Take me back to the concert! I can hear you asking "Well why didn't you go?" Can you imagine phoning your partner from 1000 kms away saying "I'm at the Bruce Springsteen concert and it's great and I'm very sorry, but there just wasn't time to come back and pick you up."?

Back to the business of local travel; to contact me please click on the tiny comment label below for help. Remember to tick the box which says "Email me any posts" so that my reply will be emailed to you automatically. Nobody sees your email address. It's a great system to beat the spammers. Give me a first name to reply to even if you make it up!

Write to me now if I can help you with any travel hints on the Costa del Sol or elsewhere in Spain

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9 Comments:

Anonymous R.K.Simons said...

Dear Mike,

Could you please advise me on getting from Malaga airport to Benavista by public transportation. As we're travelling with 3 kids and luggage we're wondering if it can be done. And once we're in Benavista is it necessary to hire a car or can we get around with the local buses? Thanks in advance.

Kind regards,

R.K.Simons

7 July 2008 04:55  
Blogger Mike Drury said...

Hello Mike,

Great such a quick response! Actually the place I'm staying (I just got the address this morning) is Las Gardenias El Pilar KM167 A7/CN340 29688 Estepona. I know we can take a shuttle bus to Marbella and then a local bus, but I'm not so sure because of the kids and luggage. But because my son gets car sick the minute he gets into a car I would rather not hire one. What we would like to do is take the local buses (the kids would also love the train) to get around the coast. We also want to pay a visit to Gibraltar and maybe visit a waterpark or something like that. That's all.
I hope you've got enough clues and if necessary can you recommend a carhire company?

Lots of thanks and best wishes from a rainy Amsterdam,

Rulette


Hello Rulette

Well I had lots of good intentions but couldn't get my reply to you yesterday. Happily my young grandson is with us from London and he takes up any and all spare time!

If you are OK to get to Marbella on the airport bus, then from there you would take the bus to Estepona from Marbella and get off at the El Pilar bus stop. Have a look at this page and you will find the stop on the list. www.gomarbella.com/costadelsolbuses/bus-stops-between-marbella-estepona.htm Although I have driven along this road a million times I am having to recall exactly where the bus stop is in relation to the footbridge overpass. I think it is right next to the foot bridge actually and when get off the bus heading towards Estepona on the mountain side of the CN 340/A7 coastal road you will be right in Benavista. From there you are very well positioned to travel up and down the coast by bus with at least two buses every hour traveling in both directions during the summer daylight hours.

There are lots and lots of shops, supermarkets, cafes, bars and restaurants along the stretch of road where you will get off. To get to Gibraltar you would need to pick up the La Linea bus from the Estepona bus station but you can do it easily in a day. Check out this link www.gomarbella/costadelsolbuses/la-linea-bus-station.htm for more information about how to get to Gibraltar from Estepona.

Another fun outing for the kids would be to go to Puerto Banus by bus, check out the boats and then catch the small ferry to Marbella, have an icecream and wander around then catch the Estepona bus from Marbella from the centre of Marbella without having to go back up to the main bus station.

This morning I was at the Marbella bus station and asked about the daily trip to Selwo animal park which is very close to Bena Vista in the Estepona district. Basically a special bus leaves the Marbella bus station at around 10.30am, stops in San Pedro de Alcantará then drives on to Selwo animal park. It comes back at about 5pm in the afternoon. I couldn't get exact times from the girl in the ticket office. I think four or five hours in the heat of the summer would be too long to spend up there though if you were dependent on the bus to come and go. I would use the hire car for that and go in the evening. Having lived in Africa I know that the animals will be lying up in the shade until the cool of the evening.

The nearest train station is in Fuengirola. You could go back to airport like that as an adventure for the kids. You would bus to Fuengirola right from your bus stop and then take the train which leaves from Fuengirola and gets to Malaga airport 45 minutes later. There are two trains every hour. The train stop at Malaga airport is about 12 minutes walk from the Departures level at the airport. There is a flight of stairs at the train stop which means you would need to help the children with their luggage.

The nearest water park is in Fuengirola right on the coastal road to Malaga and that would best be done in a car on your car day excursion. There is also a zoo in Fuengirola to combine two attractions on the same day!

If you do hire a car, then I recommend Crown Car Hire. Their rates are very competitive and the service is good.

When are you travelling because if I can, I will check out the footbridge for you.

Main thing travelling with the kids and getting on and off buses and waiting at the bus stops is to have lots of bottles of water for them to keep sipping. It is hot at the moment and they can get dehydrated very quickly.

I hope this helps Rulette, I will put the reply up on the blog too in a day or so!

Best wishes from Marbella and let me know if I can help with any other questions

Mike


Hi Mike,

Having kids myself I totally understand!! So I really appreciate it that you're taking time to answer my questions. We'll be arriving later on in July. So you think taking the airport bus with kids and luggage can be done? Maybe we could take a taxi from Marbella to where we are staying so we don't have to carry all the luggage from the bus stop. I don't really know if the apartment is close to the bus stop. Do you think you can give me an estimation about the costs? We're a party of 3 adults and 3 children.

I think the ferry would be a lot of fun. Is there a special beach you recommend for kids? Any other idea is also very welcome. Another place we like to visit is Ronda. Can we take the bus or do we also need a car?
O boy, lots and lots of questions.......I know but travelling with kids does that to me so please bear with me....

Rulette

12 July 2008 22:29  
Anonymous Danny B! said...

Hiya, I'm hoping to get over to spain next month so i can see my girlfriend, She's at her dad's in Duquesa, I'm trying to plan my route and it so far involves flying to malaga, train to Fuengirola, then i figued a bus to Marbella and then would it be possible to get a bus from there to Duquesa? If not directly there then somewhere not too far, i don't mind walking some, i plan on travelling light, any help you can give me would me much appreciated, sincerely Daniel Bolt

15 July 2008 18:40  
Blogger Mike Drury said...

Hi Danny, thanks for writing in. You have got two choices really to get to Duquesa. You can take the train to Fuengirola train station, walk one block to the Fuengirola bus station and then catch the bus heading for La Linea because that will stop at Duquesa. Actually I think it stops at Sabanillas just a few hundred metres before Puerto Duquesa.

Or you can take the Malaga airport to Marbella bus station shuttle bus service and then catch the bus leaving for La Linea. It will probably be the same one that you would have caught in Fuengirola! The only real difference is in how the connections work out for you in terms of saving time.

The trains leave Malaga airport at 30 minutes intervals and the Malaga airport bus to Marbella bus station leaves about every hour in summer and takes 45 minutes.

Let me give you some timetables to look at and then you decide!

Malaga airport bus service is at: www.gomarbella.com/marbella/malagabus.htm

You will find all Costa del Sol bus timetables including schedules from Fuengirola and Marbella bus stations at: www.gomarbella.com/costadelsolbuses Look for Fuengirola and Marbella bus schedules and then look for the routes Fuengirola or Marbella to La Linea because this is the bus which passes Duquesa.

Another possibility to have up your sleeve is a bus from either Fuengirola or Marbella to Estepona and then a taxi to Duquesa. I would guess the taxi would only cost around 15 euros.

Danny I hope this helps and that you have a great time in Duquesa. The weather is hot, the beer is cold and its a great time for the beach or a bit of sailing and just catching up with your girlfriend.

Best wishes from Marbella

Mike

15 July 2008 22:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,

We will be in Spain on August 1st. We will be in Fuengirola for 7 nights and during that week, we want to go to Sevilla, Granada and Ronda. What do you suggest? Bus? Train? And we were told that the most authentic Flamenco shows would be in Granada. Is that so? Thank you so much for this blog. Your answer will certainly help us.

Joanne From Montréal.

16 July 2008 04:15  
Blogger Mike Drury said...

Hello Joanne

Thank you very much for checking in all the way from Montreal. You are going to get a great taste of the best that Andalucia can offer by visiting Sevilla Granada and Ronda.

I suggest you space out the visits over the week, leaving at least a day to recover in between. Well actually Ronda is closer to Fuengirola than the other two destinations and could be done on the day before or after one of the other two visits if you follow me. It is going to be hot that week and a long day away from home is tiring.

Ronda you could do in a day comfortably. On weekdays the local Portillo bus for Ronda leaves the Fuengirola bus terminal at 9.15am and gets to Ronda at 11am. When you get off the bus look for any cafeteria and have coffee in a glass and a toasted roll with olive oil dripped onto it and slices of fresh tomato or tomato paste. You could then visit the Ronda bull ring, the oldest in Spain and the bullfighting museum, have a look at the dramatic gorge from the lookout spots on the bridge, visit the palaces, the baths, the gardens and the cathedral. Mention Ronda to my wife and her eyes gleam at the thought of the great shopping for bags and belts and shoes and leather goods in general in Calle Bola. I would then have lunch in Restaurante Escudero which overlooks the gorge, it's airconditioned, the food is good and served with traditional Andalusian hospitality and a glass or two of chilled white wine will go down very easily. Book a table whilst you are at the bullring next door for about 2pm, that is still early by Spanish standards. You could then catch the 16.30 bus back, and siesta quietly on the bus until you got back to Fuengirola. If you are still awake on the journey down and look out of the bus at the magnificent scenery and mountains, then please give them a wave from me because I have walked and camped in all of them. You would be back in time to relax, freshen up and then get out for some fish in one of the fish restaurants on the Paseo Maritimo, the promenade in Fuengirola. A great day!

Given the distances to Sevilla and Granada would you consider going on organised excursions? Granada is 3 and a half hours away from Fuengirola by bus and Sevilla is 4 hours. On an excursion you would be picked up at around 6am for the Granada trip and just before 6am for the trip to Sevilla and you would be able to sit back and relax and let your guides do all the organising. On both excursions you would have an obligatory stop for your desayuno (breakfast) and you would get the traditional breakfast of the coffee and roll mentioned above, if you don't, bang the counter. At both destinations you have the choice between a full visit or a full visit and lunch and guided tours seeing the best of both places. Later in the afternoon your bus sets off for the Costa del Sol, you siesta again and get dropped back in Fuengirola around 8pm. Long days but you would keep sipping from your water bottles and you can relax in the air conditioned coaches without having to worry about reserving your seats or finding your way home. You also get to meet other travellers which can be fun if you are lucky.

About the flamenco, I don't know about Granada being the most genuine flamenco. Certainly the flamenco shows in the evenings in the Granada caves overlooking the Alhambra Palace are stunning but it may be the setting as much as the artists themselves. To see these shows you would need to stay overnight in Granada. I wouldn't want to argue the point with a Sevillana dancer who will interpret the dance slightly differently. I have just got an informative pdf file from the Costa del Sol tourist board on flamenco dancing. If you write to me on mike@gomarbella.comx (take of the x at the end before you email me) then I will send you the file and it will give you a good bit of background on what you are going to see which will heighten your enjoyment I am sure.

I have just had a look at some excursion prices: to Sevilla, a 12 hour visit with lunch, ranges from 52 to 70 euros and to Granada, an 11 hour visit, the prices range from 66 to 75 euros. I have come across a spectacular flamenco show in Marbella for 30 euros and I can also tell you where to see a free flamenco show in Marbella!

Joanne, let me get this off to you and then you tell me how you see the week shaping up and I will help you further. I think it is great that you are coming all this way to get a taste of Andalucia and all its culture and history.

I hope this helps for starters and best wishes from the Costa del Sol

Mike

18 July 2008 22:27  
Blogger Mike Drury said...

Hi Rulette,

I have been watching the calendar and knew when I switched on my computer there would be an email from you!

According to the girl at the local taxi company the price of a taxi from Marbella to Bena Vista on a weekday and during the day is 20 euros. Please check however when you get into the taxi at the bus station if you decide to use the service.

I put up a page at this address; www.gomarbella/costadelsolbuses/bena-vista-santa-marta-bus-stop.htm which I hope will be useful to you and travellers to that area. When I got back to Marbella I realised that I had been looking at the Bena Vista apartments and may not actually have visited the Las Gardenias complex which could be right next door. I meant to go back and check it but couldn't with everything that was going on but I am sure that the information on the page will still apply.

Have a great trip down with the group Rulette and drink lots of water (along with anything else) because it is warm! Plase let me know when you get back if any of the information needs correcting or adding to.

Best wishes from the Costa del Sol!

Mike

20 July 2008 15:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mike,

My Name is Noel and i have a Qeustion, next week i will arive on thirsday 5 august at 21.45 at the Malaga Aerport and i need to get to the Algeciras boat how can i get there by bus or public transport? Could you please help me?

Thank you very much.

Regards Noel

29 July 2008 16:44  
Blogger Mike Drury said...

Hi Noel

Thanks for writing in. I am sorry to say that you will not be able to get to Algeciras the same evening by bus.

You can get to Malaga bus station from the airport, no problem, there is a bus every 30 minutes but the last bus out of Malaga bus station going to Algeciras is at 19.15 in the evening.

You can also get as far as Marbella bus station the same evening if you take the 22.15 or the 23.15 special airport bus service but again, there are no buses at that time to Algeciras.

Can you spend a night in a hostal in Malaga near the bus station and then take one of the first buses out of Malaga on Friday morning?

I also checked on trains, the Renfe website is www.renfe.es and the last train out of Malaga on Thursday 7th August is at 17.15. So it looks as if you will need to spend the night either in Malaga or Marbella and then travel out of there the next morning.

How does that sound to you Noel? Let me know how I can help you with your journey.

Best wishes from Marbella

Mike

31 July 2008 00:25  

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