We flew from Ibiza to Málaga with RyanAir, because hello it was like 20 bucks, but most people recommended visiting Granada to the north instead, and we began to worry that we were about to visit a boring town. Instead, we were pleasantly surprised by the coastal city! We arrived on Friday to a warm evening with bustling crowds in every square. After we dropped off our things at the AirBnB, we decided to grab some drinks before dinner, walk around, and enjoy the city. The cathedral looked beautiful in the golden light, and I loved the atmosphere in the streets. Of course we had to stop and have dinner at a place called Los Gatos, because duh, it’s called “the cats.” The food was delicious – I even enjoyed the anchovy and olive tapas, which is wildly surprising because I don’t like either of those things on their own. Post-massive-dinner we still had room for gelato so we finished the night walking the small streets with our delicious ice cream.
Our breakfast the next morning was a fairly cheap affair with a beautiful view of the cathedral. We then went to the Central de Atarazanas, a beautiful market selling all sorts of fresh fish, fruits and vegetables, and meats. I got a great, fresh fruit smoothie as we walked through the aisles. Piles of fruits were listed for mere euros a kilo, everything was so inexpensive!
Finally, full of delicious food, it was time to start our sightseeing in earnest. We began at the Alcazaba, an ancient fortress built in the early 1000’s, and wandered through the Roman theater, walked beneath the plentiful orange trees, and looked out over the city from the walls. Brian and I stopped for a pitcher of sangria at the top, since it was a little toasty and we deserved it. Then we braved the steep walk up to Castillo de Gibralfaro, a castle even further up the hill. After many months of cold weather in Hamburg, it was wonderful to work up a bit of a sweat under the hot sun, but I really should have known better to not wear black jeans that day. We enjoyed a tasty pizza at the top and looked out over the city, where we could see the massive ships that go back and forth between Europe and Africa, as well as the bullfighting ring and the beaches nearby. That evening, after a siesta and tapas for dinner (really embracing that Spanish lifestyle), we had drinks at the Alcazaba Premium Hostel rooftop bar, which was absolutely packed but we lucked out and got seats right near the view of the Roman theater. It was a gorgeous night with perfect weather, and we just enjoyed the evening!
The next day, I had some food-related missions to accomplish. First, for breakfast, we indulged in churros and hot chocolate at Café Central, and I must say that dipping carbs straight into melted chocolate is the only way to start your day. Leisurely we walked to the port, where there were many stalls and vendors selling their wares to the cruise ship crowd, and we headed to the Malagueta beach. The weather was perfect and even though the water was cold, we put our toes in for a bit as we walked. The beach spans over a kilometer, so we strolled and strolled. At one point, Brian had found a recommendation for a paella restaurant that was supposed to be very local and delicious. We decided to check it out! It turns out the Restaurante María was much fancier than we had anticipated, and we walked through the door in our swim suits, shorts and sandals past the Michelin Guide stickers to find white tablecloths and nice decor, but it was still early so we were the first to eat lunch. However, by the time we left, much better dressed patrons had arrived to enjoy the food, and I wouldn’t let Brian take off his warm sweater inside because underneath he had a tie dye tank top. We stood out like sore thumbs. Typical Americans, can’t take us anywhere. The food was delicious, so totally worth it in the end! Brian and I lounged on the beach post-lunch, letting our food comas take over and we soaked up the sun. I was absolutely so pleased to just sit outside and enjoy the warmth. We also braved a quick dip in the ocean. Brian and I took turns, so that our valuables wouldn’t be stolen off the towel, but the water was pretty cold so it was a quick dip for both of us. A first for both of us – swimming in the Mediterranean! Slowly, we packed up our towels and belongings, sun-drunk and sated. At our friend’s recommendation, we stopped at El Pimpi, a really awesome restaurant, for a drink, before enjoying some sushi and bibimbap for dinner (Korean food is too expensive in Hamburg so I had to get it in Spain when the restaurant was mere feet from our AirBnB!).
What I’ll remember most about Málaga is the feeling of the warm sun as we walked along the beach, our toes in the sand, and the endless joy and contentment of being by the waves.