The pictures tell the story……….
During my stay in Nerja, I was able to enjoy the Carnival and although some locals told me that it was very “Provincial”, I was very impressed with the costumes and all the work the people had put into this event. Only a few places in Andalusia celebrate Carnival, mostly the Southern part. It started at around 5.00 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon downtown in Nerja, around the “Balcon de Europe”, as this area is called, because of the beautiful views over the Mediterranean Sea. It is like a “hanging cliff” over the sea…….Downtown Nerja is where everything is happening and here also the Carnival started it’s tour. On Sunday, around the same time, it is the end of the Carnival and the locals call it “The Death of the Sardine”. This time, it is just a small tour around downtown, of people mourning……….hilarious…………No words necessary, just pictures…………..
On the 2nd of February 2015, I left Portugal and drove to Nerja in Andalusia, Spain. I rented a two bedroom apartment on walking distance to the center of Nerja, to have the opportunity to go to a restaurant or cafe in the evening and mingle with some people. Nerja was not my first choice, as it is not really centrally located in Andalusia, but people warned me for the cold in the mountainous area of Andalusia, especially in the evening and Nerja is situated along the sea and just a bit warmer.
It was quite an easy drive. I passed Seville and most of the signs were clearly posted, although I nearly missed the sign Malaga after one roundabout on the outskirts of Seville, so you do have to pay attention. After Seville, the landscape was for a while very boring and I had a quick coffee stop at a cafeteria along the highway. After half an hour driving or so, the landscape started to become more interesting and I could see the mountains in the far distance. Once you reach Antequera, the view becomes impressive and the road starts climbing over the mountains with lots of tunnels. At a certain point you can choose if you want to take the toll way or the old highway to Malaga. I took the old highway, as I saw the signs too late, but the road was easy to drive, just going down and down with again a lot of tunnels and then suddenly there is Malaga in front of you, with the sea at the background.
From Malaga to Nerja it is an easy drive over the highway and halfway I made a stop to inform the landlady that I was on my way. Once in Nerja I got completely lost, but a nice person quickly googled the address on his phone and it turned out that I was already around the corner! The apartment was clean and everything I needed was there, but the building was old and you could hear the neighbors on the phone and the other neighbor snored so loud, that I had to move to the guest bedroom, as it was as if he was sleeping right beside me!!! Thank G. I brought excellent earplugs……….
From my apartment I had a wonderful view over the impressive Sierra. Once a week, on Tuesday mornings, there is a colorful market with a lot of South American vendors. From Nerja, you can easily visit Malaga, Ronda and Granada, but Cadiz is quite a drive away and also Cordoba and Jaen are not very close. I had to make choices and my first visit was to Ronda, one of the most beautiful towns of Spain. I decided not to take the car, but the public transportation, as the road to Ronda becomes small and very curvy from what I heard and I am not good with heights!
So I tried to get some information via Tripadvisor regarding trains and buses and also visited the bus station in Nerja, which is on the main road, to get a time schedule.
I decided to take the 8.30 a.m. bus to Malaga and get the train of 10.05 from Malaga to Ronda. The central busstation is beside the train station, so an easy walk.
That evening I packed lots of extra batteries for my camera, made a big sandwich for the train drive of two hours and tried to have an early night (impossible in that apartment!).