This past weekend, Tara and I met up with an old friend (Marty) on southern coast of Spain. Marty was making his way from Portugal to Africa on his annual Eurotrip so we decided to meet him in Malaga, Spain for the weekend.
We got really lucky with the weather because Spain was in the middle of a heat wave. We had sunny skies and highs of around 80 F. It was a welcome change from Derby, which has been very cold, windy, and cloudy for the past month.
Since this trip was my idea, Tara pretty much gave me the travel planning reigns and let me plan it all out…. which meant there was very little planning. We booked flights and a 4 person hostel room in the center of Malaga, but that was it. This trip was sandwiched in between a long weekend in Paris and 10 days in California (for work) so I really hadn’t done any research at all. All I really knew was that we were meeting Marty (and his lovely travel partner Leslie) at the Hostel at 9 pm on Friday night.
So we managed to find our way from the airport to the center of pedestrian-only Malaga right on time. We had planned on taking a bus, but we ended up missing/not finding the bus so we found the train station and it ended up taking us to within a 10 minute walk to our hostel.
Once we got there, we figured out that Marty had already paid for the room and had done a fair amount of research on the local wine offerings of Malaga. He had researched an entire bottle of local wine by the time we arrived. Thanks Marty! Next on the agenda, Tapas!
Normally, I do not like Tapas. For one, I feel like you do not get enough food for the price. For two, I’m not good with sharing. But we ended up eating Tapas all weekend and I really enjoyed it. The prices were reasonable and the accompanying beverages did not disappoint. The sangria in Spain was a lot better than its Indiana counterpart.
Here we are enjoying some paella and tapas at a local establishment.
Afterwards, we wandered the streets of Malaga and had some drinks at a few different bars. The city was really happening. There were tons of people out and about everywhere you looked. They spilled out of bars and filled up entire squares. And English speakers were few and far between. We stumbled up on to Bar Indiana, so of course we had to take a picture.
Later that evening, we found out that our hostel has a pretty happening rooftop bar.
The next morning, we crawled out of our bunk beds (yes, bunk beds) and set out to do some touristy type activities. We set our sights for the local castles. As it turns out, there are 2 castles in Malaga. One of them is somewhat high off the ground and has a nice elevator that you can take to do the tour. The 2nd is a 30 minute walk up the side of a mountain. The walk paid off because we got a really good view of the city. Here are some castle pics….
Tara felt like she was back in Texas on the trek up to the higher castle with all the cactus….
After we got our fill of castles, we walked down and had some more tapas at a local square. We sat outside but we had to make sure we were in the shade because we were already getting burned. Apparently, living in the UK makes you very susceptible to sunburn.
Next up was the Picasso Museum. Malaga is the birthplace of Picasso and although he never came back after he left at the age of 19, it is definitely one of Malaga’s biggest claim to fame.
The museum mostly contained his less famous work. It was stuff that he painted for private parties or stuff that he never actually finished. It seemed like it was thrown together with whatever Picasso stuff they could get their hands on.… So that may be a reason for my lock of appreciationfor Picasso’s work.
I am probably the last person who should be critiquing art, but I had a really hard timeunderstanding the appeal of Picasso’s art. Maybe it was too modern for me, but it seemed like most of his stuff could be reproduced by a 3rd grader with a big brush and an eye for boobs. All his paintings in the museum had consistently distorted features, but managed to maintain the breasts. So my Picasso formula would be; find a large paintbrush and a naked woman, distort her face or limbs, keep the boobs, add some color or squiggly lines, and sell for lots of money.
That being said, I did enjoy the museum. We weren’t allowed to take pictures, so you’ll have to go for yourself to disprove my Picasso blasting.
After all of our touristy activity, we embraced another Spanish tradition: Siestas. We went back tour hostel and took a nap.
At about 8 or 9, we found a hole in the wall tapas bar where we spent the majority of the evening. The evening wasn’t as wild as the previous night, but I think it was a more authentic Spanish experience. We ate dinner and had drinks at a very leisurely pace and spent a few hours telling stories and catching up.
As the weekend wore on, more and more of my high school Spanish came back to me and I was speaking pretty good Spanish…. or at least enough to get by without speaking English, which is just one more thing that made me really enjoy the Spanish culture. I really want to go back and do a longer tour of Spain. Maybe over Christmas.
The next day, we woke up early, checked out of our hostel, and headed for the beach. The particular beach we went to was nothing special; the sand wasn’t great, the water was cold, and our view included the port, but it was the hottest weather we’d experienced all year (around 82 F) so were still pretty pleased. We lounged in the sun and had a few cervasas and it ended up being a great day. I am sunburned as I am writing this and I do not even mind.
Later that afternoon, Marty and Leslie caught a ferry to Africa and Tara and I caught a train to the airport and fly home.
All in all, this Trip to Malaga was pretty awesome. I can’t wait to go back to Spain. It was probably a fluke that the complete lack of planning resulted in a perfect weekend, but it ended up workingout great.
Hasta luego amigos.