Of Dogs, Cute Boys, and Gorgeous Scenery: Long Weekend in Malaga, Spain (Part One)

Hello, internet people! A slightly more tan Amanda sitting at the keyboard today is ready to tell you more glorious tales of her travels. But first, a quick side note–the blog hit 3,000 views at some point while I was lazing about Spain, so another massive thank you to each and every one of you! If I could, I’d send you all some postcards or something as a thank you.

Anyway, back to Malaga. Or at least, back to the SUBJECT of Malaga. Apparently a lot of people use it as an airport city, staying one night and jetting off someplace else since it’s so cheap to fly there. But after spending four days there I think that is absolutely insane of them. Malaga is GORGEOUS. And there’s plenty to see and plenty to do, and failing all of that there’s a freaking beach. What more could you possibly want?!

To explain in more detail, I’ll start you at the beginning of the journey. We got in late Wednesday night and had a hurried, shameful meal of Taco Bell as our first “cultural experience” in Spain. We ordered in Spanish, though, so that has to count for something. After that we found our hostel, Feel Malaga, which was at the very least safe and clean, although occasionally lacking in toilet paper and restroom availability. And hot water. But what can you do? It’s a hostel, after all. We then had the very exciting experience of going to sleep.

Thursday morning we investigated breakfast at the hostel, which turned out to comprise a rather miserable amount of cereal and odd, boxed milk. We downed that, went outside to check the weather, and happily LEFT OUR JACKETS IN THE HOSTEL. That’s right, folks–we went outside WITHOUT JACKETS. Those of you back in the states having exceptional weather might not understand the excitement, but although it’s glorious, England is freaking COLD. The sun was a happy sight for us indeed.

I made a quick pit stop in a Farmacia because I had a raging headache, and thus began my first awkward language experience where I had to figure out a way to ask for pain meds. I stepped boldly (ish) up to the counter and said very calmly, “Necessito algun para duele en mi cabeza,” which means “I need something for pain in my head.” I did this while pointing at my head, because awkward gestures are clearly a necessary part of communicating in your second language. Still, I got my Ibuprofren and it helped my headache and I felt incredibly empowered by my first successful communication with a real Spanish speaker in Spain. So, on we went.

The hostel had advertised for a free walking tour, so we figured we’d give that a go. And it was a brilliant idea! Our tour guide was phenomenal–young and fun and incredibly knowledgeable about the city. She was from Canada, so it was refreshing hearing English so early on in our trip, when we hadn’t really gotten into the Spanish yet. We learned all sorts of wonderful things about the city and the structures in it–for instance, a memorial to some martyrs who died trying to liberate Spain, the various plaques indicating the life of Picasso, who was born in Malaga, and a ton of other facts that just really added to our overall experience for the next several days. We stopped in at the market and Emily and I bought some fresas (strawberries) and ate them while continuing on the walking tour. We learned that Antonio Banderez (actor who played Zorro) was ALSO born in Malaga and that he usually comes back for Semana Santa (Holy Week), which is coming up soon. We got very excited, but alas we did NOT run into him. I continue to hold out vague hopes that I will see a celebrity whilst abroad, since a friend of mine did casually pass Emma Watson in the streets. (Come on, Rupert. Be in London on Friday. You know you want to. I promise I won’t even be that creepy!)

The “One Armed Lady”

Anyway, after our walking tour we ducked into a Tapas bar for a quick bite before heading off to see the ruins of the Roman theater and the later additions of the castle and palace. It was absolutely GORGEOUS up there, even if we did have to climb forever on exceptionally smooth pathways (can you say slipping hazard) to get to the castle. If nothing else, it was well worth the view. The city was gorgeous from above, and had a lot of what you call “character” too, with the Cathedral looming proudly over her city, displaying her one tower. The locals, apparently, called her the “one armed lady” because the second tower was never built. There’s just an awkward little nub there, but it’s still a truly beautiful and impressive structure.

After our brave climb up and back down the mountain to see the castle, we explored a little bit more and encountered a chocolate cafe advertising for churros and chocolate. Well, if you know me at all you know I NEVER turn down chocolate, so naturally we decided to duck in and experience the Spanish glory that is churros and chocolate. Basically, it’s delicious fried pasty that you dip in a cup of melted chocolate. And once you finish the churros? You DRINK the rest of the chocolate. Straight up chocolate. This is something I definitely plan to incorporate into my life upon returning to America and my kitchen. Happy and full, we retired to our hostel to have a dinner of pan (bread) that we bought at a local bakery. We spent a little bit of time using the internet in the lounge and then headed to bed early to prepare for our next day, which we planned as a leisurely day to recover from all the stress of our upcoming British Studies papers.

I’m going to leave it here because this post is already massively long, but I will continue the tale tomorrow, so long as I don’t drown in the sea of tissues and textbooks that I’m currently swimming in thanks to a head cold and a large amount of due dates creeping up on me.

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