Fuengirola Business Trip

Fuengirola Business Trip

Fuengirola, Spain – January 28, 2011

This visit to Fuengirola was a business trip to check on the Consular Agency.  Fuengirola is a beautiful, small town just south and west of Malaga.  The AVE or bullet train was very fast transport from Madrid earlier that morning.

Attendants on the AVE, served breakfast.  It included a plain omelet with ratatouille, bacon, Edam cheese, a roll, butter, honey, chocolate, coffee, and yogurt.  Not bad and quite tasty!   Just like when I travel to Barcelona on the AVE, it moves fast; as much as 300 km/hour (186 mph).  On the way this morning, the train stopped at the following towns: Ciudad Real, Puertollano, and Cordoba to allow passengers on and off.  Each stop lasts only about five minutes, so people must get on and off quickly.

The Preferente Lounge at the Atocha train Station in Madrid, Spain.
Coach 2, at 09:58, is traveling at 271 km/h (168 mph) in 6C (43F) weather.
The view at 271 km/h!

I am staying at the Confortel, a four-star hotel located at Paseo Maritimo Rey de Espana, 87. My room is on the 14th floor in a junior suite, room 1415.  My hotel room has a spectacular view of the seashore from both terraces.

Before I left home this morning, Leslie told me how lucky I was to be able to travel to places like this.  Boy was she ever right about that!  This really is a beautiful location.

It took me a while to get out of my room and begin exploring my surroundings because my camera battery is charging.  Once the battery finally charged, and I left the hotel.  It was around 16:30. I wanted to go to the 10th century Castillo Sohail (Sohail Castle), but no one could tell me if it was even open, so I decided to walk around instead.  I walked along the beach quite far.

On the beach, I ended up talking to two Spanish anglers.  They had a total of four rods in use.  I asked them, in Spanish, if they had caught any fish.  They had not.  The poles they were using were very large.  That prompted me to ask how they knew if there was a fish on the line.  They told me the pole would bend significantly.  If they fish at night, which they often do, they attach a small light to the tip of the pole so they can see when a fish is on.  I left them to their fishing.  They were nice men and they seemed to like the fact that I stopped and engaged them in conversation.

The view from my balcony at the Confortel Hotel.
The view toward the northeast with a calm Mediterranian Sea.
Palm trees.
A volleyball game on the beach.
Fishing and checking his poles.
This woman was casting into the sea.
Castillejo Hill in the distance.

After I left the anglers, I just wandered around the town, taking photos.  I ended up at a sidewalk café on Avenida de los Boliches.  It was about 100 meters east of Calle Lopez de Vega.  I sat there, had some red wine, and photographed the world going by.

A man walking past The Blue Anchor bar.
A police car drives by my table at a sidewalk café.
My afternoon snack, complete with grape juice!
Many types of model cars for sale.

When I finished, I decided it was time for dinner.  Walking around aimlessly, I found El Restaurante El Entrecote.  Roughly translated, it is the Steak Restaurant.  It is at the corner of Avenida de los Boliches and Calle Lopez de Vega.  To start, they served a warm roll with butter (it is very unusual in Spain for butter to be served without asking).  That came with some fresh cut carrot spears and some pitted olives (also very unusual for Spain).  I was able to order my steak medium.  This is the first steak I have had in Spain that was cooked to my standards.  The steak came with some potatoes with bacon, carrots, and zucchini.  It was all very good.  With dinner, I had a half-bottle of red wine (375 ml).  I did not like the wine all that much.  For dessert, I had a small strawberry ice cream with some white cream.

In Spain, if one has dinner before 20:00, one sits alone…
Trying to lure one in for a meal.

On the way back to the hotel I took several night photos.  That is when I really like my camera.  In low-light situations, I can play with several settings on the camera that allow me to take a reasonably good photo, even though there is very little light available.

Remember, do not drink and scoot!
A couple walking a dog along the beach.
Many small boats on the beach, no doubt waiting for warmer weather.
Mr. Google says this is a tourist monument.
The monument to the peseta.
The Confortel Hotel at night.
A mosaic pattern on many of the sidewalks near the hotel.
A fountain near the hotel.
A Chinese restaurant.
A part of the beach at night.

When I got back to my room, I sat there with one of the sliding terrace doors open.  Hearing the surf lightly crash on the beach in the distance is very, very relaxing.  Before dinner, I was able to buy a new refrigerator magnet from here for Leslie’s collection. On my next trip down here, if there is a trip, I want to bring Leslie and Tyler so they can experience it too.

On the next morning, the day I was to leave, my alarm went off at 05:00; however, since my train is not due to leave until about 14:00, I continued to doze until 07:00.  At 07:00 I got up and got ready.  By about 07:30 I was down in the hotel restaurant for my free breakfast.  It was a fairly good breakfast. I had a couple of eggs over medium, some bacon, coffee, and orange juice.

Following breakfast, I went back to my room to watch the sunrise.  It was not very much to see.  There were too many clouds.  Regardless, it was enjoyable to be on the terrace overlooking the sea.  At one point I counted 16 fishing boats plying their trade just offshore.

Pre-dawn in Fuengirola.
A cloudy horizon in the morning.
Just prior to sunrise.
Many fishing boats out early.

I packed my bag and went downstairs to check out.  I left my bags at the front desk so I could go out and walk around.  My outfit for the day was a coat and tie.  I made the mistake of leaving my raincoat and umbrella with my bags.  I got about a kilometer (0.6 miles) away from the hotel and it began to rain lightly.  I was on the sidewalk by the beach.  I waited under an awning for quite a while, hoping I would see a taxi.  I did not.  So, finally, I began the trek back.  I got a little wet, but not bad.  I made it back to the hotel and retrieved my raincoat and umbrella.

Now with the proper attire, I continued to walk around in the rain, taking photos.  After a while, I gave up and took a taxi to the Estacion de Cercania (train station).  That is sort of a light-rail operated by Renfe.  The train runs near the coast most of the way, so it was a scenic ride.  It took about 45-minutes to get to the AVE train station, Malaga-Maria Zambrano.

My terrace near the top on the right, as seen from the street below.
I love Spain!
The tourist monument in the morning.
A lone jogger early in the morning.
A statue of Mary and Jesus near the beach.
The sunrise, such as it was that morning.
The Parroquia Virgen del Carmen y Santa Fe.
A depiction of Mary and Jesus inside the church.
The view toward the altar.
Statues of Mary and Jesus.
Detail of the water fountain in front of the church.

Once at the AVE station, I sat at La Tinos for a cup of coffee.  The station is very large.  While waiting for my train, I ended up on the second floor in the Preferente Lounge.  That provides a commanding view of all the platforms.

At the appointed time, I boarded my train for the journey back to Madrid.

Bullet trains at the AVE station in Malaga, Spain.
The view of the train platforms from the Preferente Lounge in Malaga.
Two workers leaving the trains behind.

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