And finally, we went to Málaga.
A beach city known for its tourism in the summer months, Málaga is a coveted destination in southern Spain with clubs, beaches, and seaside restaurants galore. One can arrive by air, bus, or train with the central station being a pleasant trek away from the touristic, old town center.
Nina and I arrived (surprisingly) during Carnaval, which we thought we were going to miss. For this reason, the city, usually quieter during the winter, was quite crowded and active in the night. Hordes of costumed singers roamed the streets in the evening, all attempting to win the city’s annual song tournament.
Despite the craziness, Nina and I found our amazing hostel: Alcazaba Premium Hostel. Located next to the Alcazaba, an old Moorish fortification later reclaimed by Spain, this hostel was cheaper as a result of the season as well and boasts a rooftop patio/bar that offers a superb view of the aforementioned structure.
To tour the Alcazaba during the day, it is best to go in the afternoon Sunday (after 2PM) – it is free! Also, allot enough time depending how much you want to trek, it is a big compound!
During the night, we recommend bar hopping then maybe a little clubbing in this pseudo-tropical paradise. The cheapest places to drink are in the Plaza de la Merced, north of the Alcazaba. Restaurants with cheap drinks and patio space are common, and the somewhat seedy club promoters will give you an indication of where one might choose to go later in the evening. We spent much time here talking with our new hostel friend from the Azores. Biking from Lisbon to Greece (I know, what!?), he was taking a bit of a rest stop before heading north up the coast of Spain. Marvellous fellow!
During the day, beaches, even in February, are a nice option. It may be a little too cold to swim, but sun bathing is still an option and biking the coast is recommended. Just watch out for the pedestrians! Tourists and locals will flock to the seaside when the sun comes out. Go where the locals go — stroll on the boardwalk. Additionally, enjoy the diverse amount of tasty meals available. Quick Spanish fast food, decadent tapas, fresh seafood, and shawarma are at your reach!
Another quick excursion is the Picasso Museum, which offers free admission towards the end of the day Sundays. Inside past the courtyards, the museum houses an array of Piscasso’s ceramic and painted works and besides an odd video, which also reveals a moment when Picasso is in ‘red face’ … it is a beautiful gallery. I was particularly happy with the amount of Lump (his famed and beloved dachshund) that the museum showcases. Cool people own wiener dogs. More people should know this!
Sadly, Málaga was our saying goodbye point as well. Not having seen Nina in person for more than a year was tough, and traveling together was as usual easy and lovely. But, all good things must come to an end. She left before me, and the following morning, I flew to Paris and then back to cold ass Canada …
We did it! Classes are over (finally), which has allowed me to finish our backpacking recaps from Spain. It feels like so long ago (oy); I apologize once again for the delay. But, stay tuned! At the end of the month, we are headed down to Mexico for a wedding, and I am pumped. Unfortunately, I still have exams and papers beforehand … Nevertheless, get psyched for some summer fun: Mexico and Canada (maybe Korea too)!