Spring is always the best time of year for me. The long, cool evenings stretch out into an abundance of colours as the sky dances alive with auburn reds, oranges and creams merging together at sunset. The cool calm days, becoming ever warmer, are crisp and fresh as the sunlight beams through and illuminates the ground. Life opens up all around and the smells of damp grass, farmyards and trees seep and infiltrate, bequeathing the air with their richness.
Wednesday, 19 March 2014
This was a little weekend trip I made to visit some of my very good Canadian friends I made on exchange a couple of years ago. To be honest, Malaga doesn’t have the best reputation as a tourist spot compared to other Spanish cities so I was unsure about what to expect of this southern city in Andalusia.
I was amazed.
The old city is a winding maze of stunning traditional Spanish architecture and gleaming cobbled streets, a melange of contemporary and historical with modern art peppered throughout the squares and landmarks. Wholly pedestrianised so you can meander and marvel through the windy streets till dusk and after. Night time is a great time of day to see the city when the old school street lamps fill the air with a soft glow and the lively streets are packed with the hub of bustling restaurateurs and revellers. Dawn is also an amazing time to see the sights before the world quite wakes up.
Here are some of my highlights;
40c beer – this bar claims to sell the cheapest beer in Spain, and on the street right outside our hostel! (Plaza del Siglo). Queues out the door constantly, but what else can you expect! Perfect for morning, afternoon and evening refreshments. Be rude not to really…
Ciao Italia (Calle Granada) – hands down my favourite restaurant, fresh and delicious and a nice break from paella after the third day. Make sure to opt for a pasta dish though as the sauce is incredible!
Castle (make sure to find the ACTUAL castle, and not get lured in by the faux, lower down one like we did – believe me it is easy to do)!! There are two castles, the higher of the two not observable from the lower one. The ancient myth states that this was for fear of invasion, the lower castle would act as a ruse, allowing intruders to believe they had conquered the castle and city, whilst the premier castle remained safely intact. Follow the hill UP THE WHOLE WAY and you’ll know you’re there once you get asked for a 60c entry. Nevertheless, the feign castle is a pleasant afternoon spent wandering through the gardens and still gives an amazing view of the port, beach, city and bullring (La Malagueta).
Picasso museum – Picasso was born in Malaga but left at the tender age of 19, and rose to prominence in Barcelona and Paris so the claim Malaga can have on him is dubitable. Although it is free entry between 6-8pm on Sundays so worth checking out. Unfortunately no pictures are allowed inside but you can imagine the deal. I can’t say I am a fan but a fun way to work around is to cover the names of the paintings and get everyone else to guess each title.
Glass museum (Museo del Vidrio y Cristal)– SO worth it! Funny, sarcastic and very knowledgeable guide on a personal tour teaching us the history of Europe through its glassware, interior fashions and colourations. Oh, and the difference between glass and crystal is how much it chimes when it is flicked. Crystal creates a resounding chime whereas glass is a duller thud. Interesting!
Amongst these, there are many more activities to indulge in; the botanical gardens just outside of the city, the park and portside promenade, the hundreds of Arabic cafes and shisha bar alongside beautiful southern Spanish cuisine. An amazing trip and a place well worth a visit.