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Andalucia -The Journey and the Villa

Discussion in 'Non Disney Trips and Travels' started by Deb, May 6, 2009.

  1. Deb
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    Deb Serious Forum Regular

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    Please feel free to skip this written bit and just look at the pretty pictures as it describes nothing but our trip to the villa...it was just good to get it all out!!! :D

    We left home at 5:00am for the hour’s drive to the airport…hurrah!! :happydance:After a flight that actually took off on time and landed on time (miracles can happen folks) :eek3: we land at <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Malaga</st1:place></st1:City> totally excited as we should be at our villa and by the pool in less than 2 hours with a glass of something sparky and alcoholic in our hands. Our cases actually arrive too which has me dancing around with glee :tralala: as on my last trip abroad to Geneva my luggage was lost and I spent all week wearing someone else’s clothes. But that’s a whole other story. :embarassed:So now, with all of the signs and portents pointing to a perfect day, we go to get our hire car. We can actually see the car hire desk from the baggage reclaim, exactly as promised on the website!! But, when we get there, it’s all shuttered up, and the poster helpfully telling us where to find them at an alternative location has been ripped away from the wall. Hmmm. So we have no alternative but to leave through customs to search for the other desk. Wherever it may be :unsure:

    We find another couple who have the same problem and we all spend an actual hour trying to find said car hire desk. Four different official looking people give us four different official sounding directions to it. Of course, none were correct, but we had a lovely tour of Mlaga Airport and it's environs. At one point we inadvertently tried to reenter the arrivals side of the hall without passing through security (because that was where a security guard had told us to go) which was fun. Not. They carry guns and don't speak English :sorry: <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Turns out the very helpful Car Hire company had relocated their desk to different part of the “Arrivals” side of the airport to give a more streamlined service to their clients. How wonderful. And helpful. Except they forgot to tell anyone. After having to go back through all the security checks to get back into the airport that we had been desperately trying to leave we eventually get our keys :excited:
    <o:p></o:p>
    We are told we have been given a free upgrade. Wonderful :drool3: Except our free upgrade is from a 1.2 Fiesta to a…wait for…it…1.2 Corsa :unimpressed: We struggle with this concept of an upgrade and decide life is too short to query the logic of this. We go towards level -1 (as directed by the scary lady who gave us the keys) to meet The Mighty Corsa so that we can travel to the villa to get in at least a little of our ever dwindling time by the pool. After 25 minutes of wheeling our cases round level -1 we meet the same couple we’d spent the scintillating “Hunt the Car Hire Desk” happy hour with not so very long ago. Between us we manage to decipher that level -1 was just said just to fool us and actually level -2 was where we should be. I think the Spaniards have even more of a dry sense of humour than us Brits. Ha ha. But at least we hadn’t left the airport, walked across the motorway bridge, alongside the motorway, and then had to walk back again before finding this out. The other couple had.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Having greeted the Mighty Corsa with open arms we happily get out the quaint friendly hand drawn photocopied map that we were given by this wonderful helpful company, and set off all excited to drive to Frigiliana, our home for the week :drivecar: All is well with the world and the sun is shining. However, after half an hour I realise that something is not quite right and the map only works if turned upside down. OH assures me this is just the way with women and maps and I shouldn't worry, but we pull over anyway and peruse the other less detailed map that we have in our “Guide to Andalucia”. I deduce that we have been driving in completely the wrong direction and that the very helpful quaint hand drawn map that was provided by the very helpful Car Hire company who are so helpful that they relocated their desk to be more customer focussed yet forgot to tell their customers and don’t know their level-1 from their level – 2 was in fact drawn with the two main cities written in the wrong place. We take a deep breath, remind ourselves we are on holiday and are obliged to remain happy at all times, and drive all the way back again. So, in effect, 2 and a half hours after landing we begin the drive from the airport to the villa. Wonderful :sigh:<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    We ring Chas, the agent for the villa, and say we’ll be a teensy bit late. He is fine with that and seems to be used to people disappearing into another dimension in the airport. OH and I are very pleased as we have managed to not shout at each other during the whole experience, and used only 8 swear words between us. Very good :thumbsup:
    <o:p></o:p>
    We stop at the Eroski Hypermarket (I know the name isn’t important but I wanted to include it because I like it) to get basic supplies for the week. Beer, wine, steaks and lovely salads, Cava, fruit, lovely local tomatoes, local cheese, and local ham, the obligatory huge bags of crisps, big box of Magnum ice creams, beer, wine, Cava, beer, wine, Cava. Then OH calls Chas to say we are almost at the end of the 50 kilometer expedition from the airport, and Chas replies that he will meet us in the village to take us to our villa :lipwobble:

    Now every guide book I read before arrival said in big letters, just like this, <st1:Street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on"></st1:address></st1:Street>
    <st1:Street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on"></st1:address></st1:Street>
    <st1:Street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">DO NOT DRIVE</st1:address></st1:Street> INTO THE VILLAGE!!!!! WE REPEAT, <st1:Street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">DO NOT DRIVE</st1:address></st1:Street> INTO THE VILLAGE!!!!

    Not, I hasten to add because the people are evil and weird, or that it is in the Twilight Zone, but because the traffic situation is very bad due to very narrow steep streets and lots of numpties parking everywhere and blocking the traffic. We have already found the villa on Google Earth; heck, we could even drive to it even if it were to be wrongly marked on a quaint upside down hand drawn map by the very not-so-helpful Hire Car company. However Chas would hear none of this and insisted we would get lost without him and to meet him in the village “at the second car park”. Hmmm. I asked OH whether he asked where the second car park was and of course he hadn’t, not wanting to look stoopid. He figured (possibly with some logic) that the second car park must be blindingly obvious. Maybe it was even called “The Second Car Park” and would be labelled thus :yes:
    <o:p></o:p>
    So, we get to Frigiliana without further mishap (honestly) and drive into the village, me half expecting that the warnings were like the ones from Doctor Who and we’d self combust the minute we crossed the line and go the Planet of the Oood. However, we didn’t (don’t think so anyway, unless this is now all a dream and Bobby Ewing will be in my shower this morning). But we did drive around the village 4 times without seeing “The Second Car Park”. OH was eventually persuaded (I used that grumpy face thing that I do so well) to call Chas for further instructions (once I’d reminded him that we were only in Spain for a week and it would be pleasant to get to the villa at some point, and this was no time to allow the shame of being a man yet not be able to find somewhere get in the way of a good holiday).

    Chas reliably informed us we were by the Third Car Park as he could see us (how?? HOW???). but to stay there as he was just finishing off his coffee. I think for coffe we were meant to read "beer". Ten minutes later when we were just about to eat all the Magnums in case they’d melt, the famous Chas appeared at our window on a snazzy motorbike. “Follow me” he says. “Stay close as it’s tricky to find”. Off he went :bike1:and we merrily followed him at the 20mph he was going through the village (due to the steep narrow roads and the numpties parking anywhere as correctly described in all the guide books (but to be fair it was probably because they couldn’t find the second car park come to think of it, and had to park wherever they could). As the road started it’s steep and scenic ascent from the edge of the village through the hills Chas took off on his bike at 600 mph. The Mighty 1.2 Corsa did it’s best but at the very most it could only chugga chugga along at about 25mph. We could kinda see some sort of cloud of dust aways up the hill which we figured may be Chas, and so carried on along the route we knew off by heart and got to the villa safely and easily…as we could have done if we’d just gone there ourselves. Which really we had. Could've saved us another half an hour :rolleyes3:

    Chas meanwhile was sitting there waiting, checking politely that he hadn’t gone too fast for us, that he hoped he hadn’t lost us, but of course he couldn’t have done, he said, because if he had we’d NEVER have found our way. I idly considered asking Chas whether he worked for the ever so helpful Car Hire company but decided it wasn’t worth it as the answer was bound to be yes and things could get even more complicated :slap:
    <o:p></o:p>
    He left without telling us anything useful, but he at least remembered to leave us the key. We ripped open a suitcase, grabbed a swimsuit and towel each, put the beer and wine and Cava in the fridge, Magnums in the freezer, grabbed the bottle of Cava that was thoughtfully already chilling in the fridge and raced outside to the pool where it was still amazingly daylight and about 24 degrees C! Hurrah! :happydance:
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    So,we were there. The villa was modern inside, and comfortable rather than luxurious. The kitchen was really well equipped and there was a gas barbecue outside on the terrace. The outdoor space was what made it really brilliant though. We have realised we didn’t take many photos of the actual villa, but there are plenty of the outside and the views. I'll post the view first...


    The first two are from the side of the pool; the white village nestled under the hill on the left is Frigiliana, the white town on the coast is Nerja - more of them later. The ocean is of course the Med.The 3rd shows the road going to the East of the villa, and the fourth is the view from the bedroom.
    <o:p></o:p>
     

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    Last edited: May 6, 2009
  2. Deb
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    Deb Serious Forum Regular

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    The pool was lovely! It was heated and all ours!!

    You can see to the right of the villa that there are some very tall pine trees...when you sat on the upper terrace it felt like you were in some sort of treehouse! The archways had a dining set and a sofa and armchairs underneath, so that even if it was raining a little you could sit out and gaze at the view.

    The last one...in the pool, with a view, reading a good book, and drinking a good glass of wine.....not a bad life!!!! :D
     

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  3. Dizneyblonde
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    Dizneyblonde Secret's Birthday Fairy!

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    Fantastic report Deb!

    Had me chuckling over my branflakes!

    Fab pics too.I wanna go.We went to Spain to visit my Uncle Feb 2008 and it rained all week.Perhaps we need to go back in the summer!
     
  4. Skywatcher
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    Skywatcher Chief Astronomer

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    Wow! that looks gorgeous!!

    love the last one :D THAT is the way to read a book :D
     
  5. Deb
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    Deb Serious Forum Regular

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    The villa was surrounded by gorgeous pines and other trees, that grew from the deep gorge that the villa was perched on. There was loads of wild rosemary, and gorgeous wild flowers everywhere. The ledge between the villa fence and the edge of the ravine was a riot of wild flowers mixed with some others that the owners had planted. The smell of the trees and flowers was just gorgeous. There was also a lovely little garden area with a grassy area and sunshades, and I've shown the archway that goes to there.
     

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  6. Deb
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    Deb Serious Forum Regular

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    Mr Grasshopper was 4 inches long!
     

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  7. Skywatcher
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    Skywatcher Chief Astronomer

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    THAT is some grasshopper!!

    Oh and awesome use of smileys mate :D
     
  8. Deb
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    Deb Serious Forum Regular

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    Thank you! :D

    Will I be having to use this one? :Skywatcher:

    DB, I didn't expect the weather to be as good as it was, I just wanted it to be better than here. It rained the first day, which we'd expected from a forecast, but cleared up later, but apart from a couple of cloudy evenings it was between 23 and 27 degrees the rest of the time. Too hot some days which we didn't expect!!
     
  9. mumof2
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    mumof2 Serious Forum Regular

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    What a fabulous report Deb, soooo funny! And gorgeous, gorgeous pictures.....it looks so beautiful there. :yes:
     
  10. Dizneyblonde
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    Dizneyblonde Secret's Birthday Fairy!

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    It certainly looks a stunning place hun.

    I could really switch off and relax there.

    When are we all going? :lol:
     
  11. Deb
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    Deb Serious Forum Regular

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    Villa sleeps 8 - long weekend??? :D
     
  12. uscwest
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    uscwest Senior Cast Member

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    Great start to the trip report Deb. Andalusia looks like a great place to visit.
     
  13. Dawn
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    Dawn carpe diem-ing Forum Host

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    I use more than 8 swear words just getting off of the plane. :unsure:

    Lovely villa and awesome views.
     
  14. Isafari
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    Wow, the pool looks amazing! Fantastic photos Deb.
     
  15. foreverducky
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    foreverducky Addicted to Mickey

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    Wow! What a view and that pool looked so inviting, along with that great terrace!

    And :holysheep: that's one big grasshopper
     
  16. Disneybumble
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    Disneybumble The Secret is in the Sauce.

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    Great report Deb. We have stayed in Nerja in 2000. I loved it and we have been back to various parts of Andalucia for the past 5 years. LOVE the villa and pics.
     
  17. Watchinherskip
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    Watchinherskip Better known as "That Guy"

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    Excellent trip report and fanatastic pictures! Looks like a wonderful place to visit Deb. Reminds me of the California coast. Then again with all the television shows and movies being shot there (NCIS comes to mind - it is amazing how much Virginia where it is set looks like California..oh and Scranton too in the office, never knew that NE Pennsylvania looked just like Southern Cal..and I grew up in Scranton:yes: Who Knew?)

    What a view from the pool though, just stunning.:thumbsup:
     

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