Last summer I felt that some time by myself was an urgent necessity: somewhere sunny where I could rest, read my book, swim, and go for some exploration walks. That’s exactly what I did. I flew to Malaga, on the southern coast of Spain, where I rested, read, swam, and explored. I find it vital to just stop from time to time, and set the contemplation mode on. You know, just be. Although I quite often go on dates with myself in the city (for coffee, movies, or even eating out), I must say that I don’t travel alone as often as I sometimes think I should. But I love it, and when I do it, I feel like I reborn.
Although I spent daytime sola, I was not really alone, as I was hosted by a super couple. You know the expression “couple goals”? It’s them. They were Spanish friends who had lived in Amsterdam for a few years and were now back to their sunny homeland. When I wrote them something like: “Didn’t you say you had moved to Málaga?”, they were like, “Yeah, when are you arriving?”. And, in this fashion, I was offered their guest room for a few days. I never cease to be amazed by people’s kindness, really. It’s not that I haven’t been hosted by friends before. I have actually been hosted by a good number of strangers as well, through couchsurfing. But every time I’m standing in front of an open door in which a smiley friend welcomes me in, I feel in awe. And this is, by the way, the terrace of the super couple’s house.
Nature around was vibrant green, and there was a lot of COLOUR everywhere, two ingredients which obviously stole my heart. There are trees in every corner of the city, as well as buildings dressed in all shadows of the rainbow. Extra points to the subtropical Mediterranean climate of the area. Málaga is one of the oldest cities in Europe, where the combination of different types of architecture and Historical influences make for a stunning and unique Mediterranean mix.
I found Málaga to be the perfect escapade for me because there I was able to both rejuvenate on the beach and keep my brains active with cultural activities. It was the best of both worlds. The largest city in the province of Andalucia dates back to 770 BC. It was under the rule of the Phoenicians, then the Ancient Carthaginians, then the Roman Empire, then the Arab Muslims, and finally the Christians. It is fascinating how culturally rich this city is.
Other points of interest include the Picasso Birthplace Museum, the Museo de Artes y Costumbres Populares (Museum of Arts and Popular Traditions), the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga (Center for Contemporary Art), the Museo Carmen Thyssen (sister museum to the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection in Madrid), and the Museo de Málaga (Fine Arts and Archeological Museum). And, of course, the Castel of Gibralfaro, which is connected to the Alcazaba, the fortress, and royal residence. This last two are a must if you want to have a spectacular overview of the entire city. The climbing is totally worth-it.
And then the food: we’re on the coast so there’s fresh fish obviously. If you eat fish you should try the espetos: a series of fish-on-a-stick, usually sardines, cooked over a fire, on the beach. And then the TAPAS: bread, tortilla de patatas, and pipirrana on the left. Gambas in piri-piri, fried eggplant with honey, olives, and bread on the right.
From Málaga, I took a blablacar to Sevilla and from there a bus to Tavira, Portugal. But that will be the subject of another story. Would I go back to Málaga? OH YES. I need to, actually. Because the super couple who hosted me just became super parents as well (babies everywhere around me!), and I have to meet the result of their awesomeness. Dear Málaga: we’ve got a date for next year.