Costa Del Sol, Spain, September 26, 2007

Trip Start Sep 19, 2007
Trip End Jan 05, 2008

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

From Granada it was a short drive to the Mediterranean coast through spectacular mountain country of Spain's small but highest mainland range, the Sierra Nevada.  Although the motorway was mostly in valleys and canyons, some of Andalusia's dazzling white villages were perched precariously high on steep mountainsides within view. 
The fast drive along Spain southern coast, the so-called Costa Del Sol, was nothing short of spectacular.  It began as mountainous hairpin turns far above the sea alternating with historic seaside castle and resort towns like Motril and Almunecar and then became a Southern California like expressway through Malaga and past posh resorts like Torremolinos, Marbella, Fuengirola, and Esteponas.  The region is often disparagingly characterized as the "Costa Concreta" for its overdevelopment, but it's easy to see why the spectacular landscape between high mountains and warm sea has so much appeal to Northern European vacationers and retirees.  From the incredible amount of new home, resort, and golf course construction taking place along the coast, though, it looks like the Brits and Germans and Scandinavians are still flocking there in droves no matter what it gets called nowadays.  The Costa Del Sol's combination of warm, sunny Mediterranean climate and sea views from mountainside home sites may have similarities to other spots in Mediterranean Europe but is one that has few equivalents in America, probably only a couple spots in Southern California like Laguna Beach and Santa Barbara that are populated by similar well-heeled "beautiful people". 
We drove the length of the Costa del Sol from Motril to Algeciras, the town where we spent the night at a fairly nice nearby campground that had a pleasant bar for a few after-dinner drinks.  It would be another pre-dawn start to catch an early ferry across the Strait of Gibraltar.
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