The anticipation of a great adventure is often better than the experience, but this is not the case as my sandals took me to Spain. Well to be more exact it was Air France that brought us from Canada to our first stop in Spain, the port city of Malaga.
We were able to spend 23 days in Spain, the first nine of which we used Malaga as our base to explore the Costa del Sol and the Andalucia region. We soon discovered that Malaga had more to offer than even the web-based tour sites indicated. From its bustling Historic Centre, the museums, the beaches, and it is a Foodies delight. Malaga like Spain has much to offer.
Where to begin? It started on our trip to Costa Rica where we decided if we could stay longer in one place, use our feet and public transport rather than renting a car we would get to experience our destination in a very different way. For this trip it was clear right from the beginning, our sandals were going to get a work out.
We had booked the first leg of our trip staying at the Suites del Pintor.
Suites Del Pintor is just steps away from Malaga’s cultural centre, the beach and easy access to the train.
It is important to note that if you choose to stay downtown a car will not be needed and would be an inconvenience. The Suites del Pintor is part of the Hotel Pintor where you check-in and is just a short five-minute walk away. Don’t worry, you won’t be the only traveller pulling your suitcase or carrying your backpack down the street. Remember to pack light. We only used carry-on luggage and found we had more than enough room for all we needed and it sure helps as you make your way in and out of the airport.
We spent much of our time in Malaga getting used to the Spanish way of life. In Canada we get up early and I am usually at work before seven in the morning, eat lunch by noon and dinner by five. Lived by the adage that early to bed, early to rise makes you healthy, wealthy and wise. This is not the way of life in Spain.
Malaga despite being a large city is very peaceful in the mornings. It is difficult to find a place for coffee before nine. Lunch isn’t until two and often many restaurants close their kitchens after serving late afternoon Tapas as dinner isn’t until after nine and closer to ten. From midday on Malaga is alive with people. It is a place filled with positive energy. It is a place to socialize and relax on the numerous patios that make up the city centre. We had planned to cook most of our own food but soon discovered we would not experience Spain by doing our own cooking, well at least that is what we told ourselves. Besides food and drink is very reasonable especially compared to Canada. Our friends warned us how expensive Europe is but Spain is an exception. From items in the restaurant to food in the stores we found everything very reasonable.
The patios and food of Malaga must be experienced. We made it our mission to never eat at the same place twice. That was not hard to do as the choice is endless. More on this in my next post.
I can’t say enough about the hospitality her and her husband showed us. Helping us get to experience Malaga and the Costa del Sol and making us feel part of their family. People may live what seems like a world apart but upon our first meeting we felt a special connection as if we had always been a part of their lives. Our first taste of Malaga was with them for lunch in the historic centre and coffee at Castillo de Gibralfaro. A couple of days later we had the opportunity to take the train to meet them in their home town and experience some of the must try foods on the beach just a five-minute walk from their home. We met their two wonderful children who took the time to spend a day on the beach with a couple of Canadians. They showed us that one of Spain’s most endearing qualities remains the importance and closeness of family. My hope is they do find their way to Canada in the future so we can show them the warmth of Canadian hospitality.
That was the start of our Spanish adventure. It was just a taste of what was yet to come. Great food, beautiful sites and the friendliness of the Spanish people.