About Me

Hola!

My name is Marianne, I am a ‘recovering’ lawyer,  occasional EFL teacher,  amateur photographer, traveller, foodie, English woman, petrol-head and shameless arctophile (yeah, go ahead – look it up!).

For the past eight years I have been living in Andalucía, Spain.  More specifically, I live in the countryside (el campo), in a beautiful area east of Málaga, known as La Axarquía.

Published a couple of times a week, this website will be crammed with information that can help you save time and energy if you are thinking of visiting or moving to this part of the world, so you can focus on the important things in your life.  Whatever they may be.

Whether you are visiting the area to the east of Málaga, for a holiday, to buy or rent a holiday home or, as in my case, live here permanently, there is something here for you!

Do you want to find out about tapas?  Look at stunning photographs?  Follow some easy driving directions from Málaga airport?  Try out a new recipe?   Learn how to irrigate your garden plants?  Or discover places to visit?  If so, then you’re in the right place!

Not only will you learn about the many beautiful villages  and towns, you will also discover what it is really like to live here on a day-to-day basis.

I love to travel not only locally, but throughout Spain, so I will also include information, from time to time, about places I have visited.  Usually these places can either be driven to within a few hours of my home east of Málaga, or I will have flown there from Málaga (AGP) airport.

By no means is this website meant to be a definitive guide to everything you ever wanted to know about the Axarquía- nor is it a “What´s On” guide.   Instead of just hitting you with facts and figures, I’m trying to really give you a feel for the area, and what it is really like to live East of Málaga.

Everywhere I have visited, photographed and described around the Axarquía is my own personal opinion.  You may not agree, but hey, that’s life!

Whilst you’re here, if you add your email address to the request box at the top of the right-hand sidebar, I´ll send you any new updates as soon as they are published – ABSOLUTELY FREE!

Follow me on my Facebook Page 

Twitter @eastofmalaga – (Kevin Rudd, the former Australian Prime Minister does!)  

or Google +  

Hasta luego!

Marianne

195 thoughts on “About Me

    • Very kind of you to say :) I’ve just been over to look at your blog, too, and have very fond memories of our trip to Vancouver, Vancourver Island and British Columbia (along with Alberta) several years ago. It’s a lovely part of the world :)

  1. Hi Marianne,
    Your blog is just so beautiful. It brings out my deep desire to travel and explore the world.
    I have heard about travel blogs and people being employed to do reviews via travelling and experiencing – is this what you do? It interests me very much.

    • Hi Chantelle

      Thanks for getting in touch. I hope you achieve your desire to travel and explore the world. I’ve visited around 60 countries, many of them VERY different from each other. The world is a beautiful place – and, in the main, so are the people.

      I am not employed to do reviews. My blog consists of entirely my own thoughts – because I think them. No advertising, no outside pressure. It’s the way I operate.

      Marianne

  2. Hi Marianne, I just watched Grand Designs about a couple who built a house in Málaga a few years ago, Gil and Hilary Briffa. It was funny that, after asking you why the houses are all white, I saw them having trouble convincing the mayor that coloured walls were a good idea. Do you know the house? It was good to see so much of Málaga – it looks like an ideal place to live. Trish

    • No, I’m afraid I don’t know the house, Trish – there is Malaga the city, but also Malaga province, which is quite a bit bigger.

      It’s a lovely place to live, albeit a bit hot right now :)

  3. Hi!!! I loooooooooved this blog!!!! WOW!!! I’m a lawyer too :/ and my blog is early born :D please come visit us on duecuorieunaciccions.wordpress.com I hope we can find you travelling around the world, I think we’ll visit spain next year, it’s one of me dreams <3 bye!! :)

  4. Hello, your blog made me a little bit homesick for Spain (Salou, near Tarragona, Catalunya, to be precise). My father has lived there since 1984, and for twenty or more years I went there several times a year. Now that he’s 91 and getting frail, he’s losing his once very fluent Spanish and needs looking after, so has returned to England to live with my brother. But we all have the best memories…

    • Hey, at least you have the memories! So many people dream of moving abroad and for one reason or another keep putting it off. You, your Dad and me have all enriched our lives by actually doing it. That’s a HUGE victory in my book :)

      Happy memories indeed.

  5. ¡Hola Marianne! I’ve just stumbled across your blog. Lots of great info here. I’ll be spending some time going through it! My partner and I are going on holiday in late September for 7ish weeks (we’re from Australia, so making the most of the trip by taking a big chunk of time). We’ll be hitting Italy first and then Spain, driving from Barcelona down the coast to Cadiz and then up through the Extremadura and hook right to Madrid before flying out to Paris. We’ve got a ton of sights on our list, particularly in Andalusia. I love ancient ruins and the Moorish influence on southern Spain as well as just seeing general stuff, the culture and people, oh and the food! My partner is also a photo fanatic, so there’s going to be a ton of material for her lens for sure.

    I’m doing a lot of research on Spain and learning the language. It’s a lot of fun and some of it is actually sinking in! Depending on our experiences in Spain, I’m having half a mind to retire there from Melbourne. It’s a long term plan (10 years+ maybe). The winters here are becoming more and more depressing (dark, cold, wet). I must be getting old. Southern Spain might be a nice place to live after full time work is finally done with! Europe is so close too!

    Love your blog.
    ¡Chao!

    • Hi Chris. What fun you’ll have! So much to see – call in at Valencia on the way down – then you might enjoy the classical Andalucian cities of Cordoba, Granada and Seville. Give Ronda a look, too. Don’t miss my part of the world, east of Malaga. Cadiz is a lovely city – you might also enjoy nearby Vejer de la Frontera (there’s a fantastic cooking school there Annie B’s Spanish kitchen) or Jerez de la Frontera.

      Funnily enough, me and my hubby often head to Australia for our winters – we go housesitting often for 3-4 months!
      Getting more expensive with every trip though :(

      Spain is a great place to retire to.

      Have fun!

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  7. Fantastic website so informative and helpful Marianne. Just found it now on the Trip Advisor Forum which is a brilliant tool. We are visiting Nerja for the first time in Sept and I have so much info now that I will need a month!!
    Keep up the excellent work

  8. Hey Marianne, I’m visiting the Andalucia region later this month. I only have 3 nights (don’t ask… visa restrictions!) and would love your thoughts on where to visit. I am leaning towards cramping in nights in Sevilla, Granada and Marbella, while driving through the region during the day. Too much? What do you think?

    • 3 nights? Well, by doing what you have planned you will at least get a flavour of Andalucia to whet your appetite for a return. You can only scratch the surface, but at least you ill have been :)

      Have fun!

  9. Hi , I love that you found my blog, as I get to find yours too, and it looks great, I like the taking a trip every month post, I think its so important to get out and do something , even if its just once a month .. great idea to share it, and I am definitely wanting to make your fudge , it looks YUM !

    • You know, I found your blog via Julie Dawn Fox completing my CBBH monthly photo challenge, which asks for two links to other blogs to be shared. I’ve been introduced to some great blogs that way.

      Thanks for popping along and leaving a comment and good luck with the fudge :)

  10. My first new follower of the New Year. In other words, me thanking you for your recent decision to follow Learning from Dogs. Hope you enjoy the blog; in not tell me why! Or offer a guest post! Best wishes, Paul

  11. My wife and I are looking to relocate once family obligations are fulfilled. Spain is on our list of possible homes though no specific area has been selected yet. I will probably become an avid reader of your site.

  12. Hello, I am new in this forum and looking forward to learn everything I can about Spain, especifically Estepona where we just came back from. We fell in love with the place and plan to retire there in another couple of years. when my youngest son will graduate from college. In the meantime, I appreciate all the information (cost of living, pros and cons, safety issues, etc)….Thank you for putting this together.
    Maria Ines Morcombe

    • Hi Ines

      Well, Estepona is one of the places we looked at before deciding to settle on the east side of Malaga city – but much of what I write about will still apply there too, I guess. Thanks for taking the trouble to write a comment. Much appreciated :)

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  14. Great to discover your blog, Marianne. We’ve just returned from Andalucía (Casares, Gaucín, Ronda, Mijas, etc.,) on a sketching holiday, our second in the area. Can’t wait to read more of your posts.

    • I’m sure you had a great time there, Susan. The light here is so good for painting and sketching. When we visited the Alcazar in Cordoba in October last year, there were a group of painters dotted throughout the grounds. How lovely! They were good, too :)

      Good to have you on board.

  15. Hi Marianne
    I found you through ‘blogexpat.com’ as I was looking for somewhere to start my own blog! I am so pleased I did. I have certainly been inspired by your lovely site with the fabulous photos! You are living in a fascinating part of Andalucía!
    I am also a hispanophile, living in Estepona not too far from you! I have wriiten a few articles on another site about flamenco and other things so will be looking for you for more inspiration!
    I can tell you are true professional…Any advice wil be much appreciated.
    Marie

    • Thanks for your kind words, Marie. When I first read what you had written, I clicked on your name to go through to your blog, but alas, not only is there no link, your gravatar profile also has no link through to your site. That’s the first thing you should do – so that people can find you.

      I’ve found that blogging is a very personal thing, but it’s best to stick to what you like and are interested in, instead of trying to force yourself to write posts about something don’t really enjoy.

      Another thing I would suggest (tied in with my first point) is to visit other people’s blogs, have a look around and leave a meaningful comment. You might also ask a few questions as people are often quite willing to help. They might also be prompted to click the link to your site and come over to have a look, too.

      Hope you get this message and good luck!

      Marianne

  16. Hi Marianne, Lovely to meet you! Thanks for liking my post, “Spain: Jamon, Jamon!” on whitetrinity.com. Your blog brings back so many memories of my time living in Spain. Look forward to reading more! Cheers, Mrs. J

  17. Hi Marianne, I received an email about your ‘postcards’ post which looks interesting but it’s not working. I’d love to read it – can you try again? Thanks.

    • AH yes, I was putting the finishing touches to that post yesterday afternoon and pressed “preview” when a little box popped up on my screen to say that it had successfully published!! Needless to say, I had to immediately cancel it as the post wasn’t finished. I’ve been having a few problems with WordPress since the updates the other day. First, I couldn’t get into my page for over 24 hours and now this :( Anyway, the good news is that you will see the post tomorrow ….hopefully. Thanks so much for letting me know, Trish.

    • Hi Harold

      That’s what I love so much about my CBBH Photo Challenge each month – my readers introduce me to some great blogs :)

      Thanks for signing up!

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  19. Hi Marianne, I think I’m finally getting my itinerary settled. I’ll be in Barcelona June 28-July 2, then hopefully to Toledo for July 2-5, then I have one night (not sure where on the 5th) and on the 6th, I’m doing a 7 day tour of Andalucia with Tour Andalucia, ending on July 12. I would love to meet you either on the 5th or after the 12th. By the 13th or 14th, I hope to be heading to Portugal. :-) I hope to be able to meet you, even if you can’t invite me as a guest. :-)

    • Hola,
      I was just in Andalucia, I love all the small old towns. I traveled all over for 2 weeks, I was in Cordoba for the festival of the patios, it was wonderful. Every festival in Andalucia is just beautiful. My husband and I were in Marbella the day of the starting the peregrination of la Virgen del Rocio. A very emotional procession around the Plaza de Los Naranjos.

      • Hola Angelita – Yes, the old towns are beautiful and the religious festivals are legendary. Glad you managed to see the Patios in Cordoba. We went a couple of years ago – it’s quite a spectacle, isn’t it?

  20. I’ve been trying to open your latest post, but just keep getting this message. :(

    Error 404 – Not Found

    Sorry, the page you were looking for was not found.

    Search for the page or look through the Archives.

  21. Like your blog! Wish I’d found you blog prior to my first visit to Andalucia (we stayed in Malaga). I’ll be following now since I fully intend to revisit the area ~ so much left to see and do.

    • Hi Susan,

      I’m pretty sure that sharing both comments and links with other blogs is the secret of success. Well, it seems to work for me :)

      I get a lot of comments from people who like my photographs and, of course, they have a general interest in Spain, too.

      Thanks for your kind comment and for taking the trouble to find me after reading Josh’s Spanish Inquisition: East of Málaga.

  22. If you’re good enough for Kevin Rudd, you’re good enough for me. I’m going to Spain this year for the first real time, so your blog has got my attention. Not to mention it’s well written. Well done, Marianne.

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  24. Hi there! This is just to let you know that because I enjoy your posts, I’ve nominated you for the Reality Blog Award. I hope you’ll consider this good news – but even if you aren’t interested in accepting, I hope you may see some increased traffic as a result! The acceptance rules are at: http://wp.me/p2ekZU-ZC. All the best!

  25. Pingback: Many Thanks for the Fun Stuff | The Retiring Sort

  26. I ‘ve been hanging around your blog for so long, and i haven’t told you how much i like it!!!!!!! :D You rock Marianne! Your colorful pictures make my day, I see a bit of my home town in your posts! :)

    • That´s so kind of you to take the time to say that, Ioanna :) It´s always lovely that people stop to say HELLO and make a kind comment. This is a part of blogging that I never expected to happen when I started. :)

      Thank you so much for your continuing support :)

    • Yes, exactly Sophie – goats are common throughout the Mediterranean region. Glad you liked my photo and thank you for your visit and comment :)

  27. Congratulations, I´ve nominated you for the “Family of Bloggers Award”, to see what is involved check out my blog. If you choose not to accept the award I will not be offended, I just wanted to show how much I enjoy reading your blog and also to say thank you for your support and encouragement! Have a great day,G :)

  28. Housesitting is a great way to travel around the world. In fact, we are heading out to Sydney later this year to do just that! I´m glad you enjoyed your time in Spain – it´s a great country to visit AND to live in. Lovely to have you on board, Jan :)

    • Good on you. Sydney is a wonderful city. The waterfront is gorgeous, as are the beaches and the Blue Mountains. Enjoy Australia!

  29. Hi Marianne, I am happy to have found your blog. We are Aussies and house-sat in Moclin in Andalucia in April/May this year and now we are hooked on Spain. I found your blog through Where’s my Backpack Travel Theme – Textures. I have been leaving a tweeting and pinning trail through your site, and have signed up for emails. lol. Jan

  30. Pingback: Super Sweet Blogger Award | My Sardinian Life | My Sardinian Life | La Mia Vita Sarda

  31. I’ve enjoyed browsing through your blog. It is fascinating. I will come back again and view other posts. I have signed up for your updates. It’s a pleasure to meet you. Thanks for stopping by my blog. It’s always a delight to get to know new bloggers.
    Isadora

  32. Thank you for visiting my blog and following me. You have a wonderful blog. I look forward to spending time looking at some of your past blogs. I visited Spain briefly a number of years ago. and would love to go back and spend more time.
    Maralee

  33. I am honoured to nominate you for the One Lovely Blog Award! Please pick up your award at http://travelswithtoby.wordpress.com/. Copy and Paste the Award to your blog and follow the rules of acceptance. I am very aware that some people do not wish to participate in Awards, and I completely respect that… no strings! But in any case, Congratulations, you have a Lovely Blog!

  34. Merhaba! As am admirer or your work, I have nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger award – pop on over to my page http://crazytraintotinkytown.com for details. Appreciate these awards involve some work, so please take your time or if you have received them before, my apologies but it’s still nice to know someone appreciates your blog. May your day be filled with sunshine

  35. Now a weird question for you…. How did you feel when you were watching (assuming that you were) Mr Bean tearing off his Teddy’s body, to stick its head in his little suitcase? :D I am sorry if I am cruel ;)

  36. Hola Marianne :) I’ve just started reading this page and had to stop myself to leave you a comment…. :D you managed to teach me (a linguist) a new word in your very first sentence! Now, how cool is that! I’d better go on reading now. Chau!

  37. Thank you for stopping by to like my latest post! Spain is on my list of places to visit also but I guess your blog will have to do for now. Lucky you to be living there!

  38. One of the main reasons (apart from the wonderful countryside) we decided to move from England to the Axarquía was the weather and the outdoor lifestyle that comes with it.

    The weather, year round is great, but in particular during the summer months, May to September, you can plan a BBQ a month in advance and KNOW it will be great weather!! Back in the north-west of England, we sometimes had to cook and eat our BBQs in the garage! LOL

    Where will you be visiting/staying in September, Lesley?

    • We are staying in Maro – found what looks like a really nice townhouse- and will have a car for the week as there are still some villages we have yet to visit.

      • I was in Maro only yesterday – taking photos of the old San Joaquín sugar mill on the coast road between Nerja and Maro. That post will be coming up next week sometime!

        We are in the countryside between Torrox pueblo and Cómpeta village. Would love to meet up with you in September if you have any questions about living here permanently.

        Hasta luego!

        • Hi Marianne, have just seen your photos of the sugar mill – they are fab! Thanks for the offer of a meet up – not sure what our plans for the week are yet but will let you know.

  39. Hi marianne, have just come across this website and think it is fab! Like Tobyo – all I think about is the days that we can come across to the Axarquia and live there permenantly (22 months and counting – hopefully!) Have loved the area since our first visit there 9 years ago. Looked in other parts of Spain for an area to live but just keep comparing it to Axarquia. We will be visiting again in Sept (can’t wait) so looking forward to sampling the life again. Keep up the good work – it will be wonderful to get a regular look at the place I love whilst its pouring down here in soggy England.

  40. Yes, the south coast of Spain and, in my opinion the eastern side of the Costa del Sol, is indeed a beautiful place at any time of year.

    Over the past few years we have made trips to Valencia, Madrid and the north of Spain (including Santander, San Sebastian and Bilbao), too. Spain is such a lovely country and I feel very fortunate to live here on a permanent basis.

    Thanks for your visit, Lynne.

  41. It all sounds so wonderful. When visiting Spain many (many) years ago I had hoped to visit the Malaga but, alas, got no further than Valencia and Madrid. Subsequent visits have focused on the north as well. But Costa del Sol – it sounds like a beautiful place to winter … and I still remember how to ask for that beer!

  42. Hmmm I remember being in that same position a few years ago – just dreaming of living in Spain!

    Spain is a great place to live! We chose to live east of the city Málaga because it is much more authentic than many places west of Málaga, which in many ways has been spoiled by mass tourism. Are you thinking to moving to live in the city itself or somewhere in the Provincia?

    • oh sorry! I haven’t seen this until today. We would love to live in the city itself. And the closer to the center of town, the better. I’m not sure I could handle NOT living in a city, having been a city girl my entire life. However, we also wonder about living east of Malaga thinking we might get more for our money? just a theory of mine, not sure if that is accurate.

      • I really can´t answer that question as I have no idea about the price of accommodation in Málaga city. I think the difference would probably be the amount of land, or if you want lots of terraces or a swimming pool – which would be hard to come by in the centre of the city.

        Oh … but the joy of being able to use Ataranzas market every day, living in the city. Wonderful!

  43. thanks for following my blog! and I just followed yours too. practically all I think about is when we move to Malaga in between living, working, saving and planning our next trip to Spain. so I look forward to checking out your blog about moving to my favorite part of the world.

I´d love to hear from you, and much appreciate your comments. Thank you.

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