Sunday, 9 May 2010

Spain Part 2 - Malaga

On my second day in Spain, I decided it was time to venture out into the big world by myself and take a trip to Malaga. This involved trying out pretty much all of the fifty or so words of Spanish that I had hurriedly crammed into my brain before I left, which was quite exciting for me, as I haven't very often been in countries where I don't speak the language. I survived buying a train ticket, but when I got on the train, somebody was sitting in my seat and I decided that my linguistic skills were not quite up to telling them that and went and sat somewhere else, which was fine until both the woman whose seat I was sitting in and the train conductor tried to find out why I was sitting there. I said something garbled that was probably mostly in Italian and probably made them think I was crazy and best left alone, we all smiled at each other and everyone was happy. This pattern continued all day and, even in the tourist mecca that is Malaga, nobody tried to speak to me in English, so I may have sounded like an idiot, but apparently not a British idiot.

The first thing I did when I got to Malaga was go to see the sea. The last time I had seen it was at the Cinque Terre last Easter and I had been missing it. The views along the coast were impressive, but although it was warm enough to swim, I somehow wasn't tempted and settled for walking on the sand in my bare feet instead.

I had paella for lunch in a beach front café and then set off under the full glare of the 30 degree sunshine to climb the hill to Malaga's castle fortress. There is a small museum, but apart from that, there isn't a whole lot to see at the actual castle. What you can do, though, is walk around the ramparts and admire the stunning views of the coast, the city and the hills beyond.

By the time I walked down the hill again I was running out of time, or I would have gone to visit the cathedral, which is large and imposing and stands among the myriad of small pedestrian streets that make up the old centre of the city. Malaga reminded me a lot of Nice and I would definitely go back there to see more of the city as well as to swim at the beaches of the Costa del Sol.

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