Here is the second in my Postcard Scrapbook collection. Apologies that this post too is a little late (I may as well just have this message as a permanent disclaimer for every post by now!), but time flies when you’re busy Spaining around so I’ve only just found time to catch up on this one! For anyone interested in heading to Málaga give this a read- enjoy!
So 3 weeks ago I decided to make the short trip down the Málaga, to visit one of my friends who I made through the University of Southampton SalsaSoc last year- he’s a Málaga local so I figured who better to show me around! My flatmate and I arrived on the ‘Costa del Sol’ to find it rainy and grey- qué lastima. My first impression of the city was that it had a much ‘younger’, ‘edgier’ vibe than that of the historic Córdoba that I had visited a lot in the weeks before; of course there was still a lot of history and culture there to see, but you could tell straight away that it also had a slightly more modern and diverse edge to it.
Our guía Guille helped us find our Airbnb for the weekend, which was a private room in a ‘guest house’ type listing, run by a local artist. All I’ll say is that it was by no means a guest house and not quite as lovely as the pictures… but it was all fine and it served it’s purpose as a place to crash for the night anyway! (I would recommend Airbnb to anyone travelling on a budget, it’s a really great way to find nice, cheap places to stay for a weekend away. I personally prefer the option of renting an entire flat/ studio, for privacy and security reasons, but the cheaper option of renting a private room in a property is also fine, as all of the hosts are certified and reviewed so you can check everything out before you book.)
We then went for a walk along the docks and towards the beach. Although the weather was pretty grey and miserable, it was still a really beautiful area (the beach was completely empty, as noone heads out if it’s not sunny!). Here are some pics of us collecting shells on the beach, zipwiring and looking like fools on the Malagueta sign…
Afterwards we decided to walk through the botanical gardens on the way to see the Alcazaba and the teatro romano. The Alcazaba is an 11th Century “palatial fortress” and is supposedly the best preserved in Spain. Like many other ancient buildings in the south of Spain, this one, although predominantly Moorish in architecture, also shows evidence of Roman-era materials that were reused by the Moors in their construction of the fortress. The building was so beautiful and detailed with intricate stonework, like others I’ve seen in the south since arriving here, but each has its own unique charm. I would definitely recommend seeing it if you’re in the area- there are loads of pretty gardens, etc. inside, as well as plenty of little pathways to explore, and the views of the city and the docks from up on the hill are pretty amazing. The teatro romano, which dates back to the 1st century BC, is also right next to the fortress, and is the oldest monument in Málaga, so definitely worth checking out.
We then found a lovely little Italian restaurant for lunch and I had my fav gnocchi alla sorrentina (sorry it wasn’t authentic Spanish everyone but I’m up to my eyeballs in tapas here)!
Afterwards we wandered the streets and saw some pretty amazing street performers; the vibe of this city is pretty great. Here is a vid of my favourite band that we found (and actually bumped into both days we were there), doing a petty awesome cover of Guajira, which I now love more than the original! (Although I ran out of storage space so it cuts out halfway through! 😦 )
Other highlights of the day included visiting the Picasso museum and seeing the Catedral de la Encarnación, which is known as the “La Manquita” (“the one-armed lady”), because the construction of one of its towers was never completed.
In the evening I decided to meet up with two of my friends from uni who are doing the same programme as me in the south of Spain and also happened to be visiting Málaga that weekend! We met up for dinner at a Mexican/ Indian/ Greek restaurant (is that even legit?) and I had a pretty nice vegetarian burrito, until I discovered there was chicken in it #vegetarianlifeinSpain .
We then met back up with Guille to go out for drinks with some of his friends, and I even met Johnny Depp in one of the bars (ok so it was just a guy in a Captain Jack outfit, but I fangirled all the same). I’m also proud to say that this was when we finally managed our first entire day on Spanish time! (Lunch at 3:30, dinner at 10:30 and coming home from our night out at 5:30am… we’re practically locals now)
It was a little sunnier the next day, so after breakfast we went back to the beach to chill out and kill some time. I suddenly decided to have a spontaneous swim as my bikini was in my bag (it should be illegal to go to the beach and not go in the sea anyway), and had a lovely moment of appreciating life as I was floating in the sea under the spanish sunshine! But then reality hit and it started pouring with rain so we legged it to Costa to shelter from the storm and enjoy some free wifi while we waited for our Bla Bla Car home.
It may not have been the sunniest of weekends, but I would recommend Málaga to anyone who fancies a bit of culture mixed with a pretty good nightlife, with a beach thrown in for good measure! Just don’t go in the summer holidays or you’ll be swimming in tourists…
Look out for my next post where I’ll be shedding some light on daily life as an auxiliar (GIF style…)