A weekend trip to Malaga was an awesome experience of Spanish culture. Emma and I went for business (a client’s anniversary party) but also had the chance to explore one of the best cities in Andalucia. It was such a good weekend – it’s definitely blog-worthy! So here are some of the highlights:
When it comes to Spanish food, tapas are the best way to go about it. Tapas are little portions of Spanish delicacies – lots of seafood, chorizo and ‘other things’. My favourite was gambas pil pil – prawns in chilli and garlic. With the spicy and with garlic kick, it was the closest thing to Mum’s cooking in two months, yum! The ‘other things’ included rabbit and (I quote) “two little birds”, which didn’t sound all that appetising to me and I couldn’t bring myself to try. Especially with the pigeons flying around (a reminder of England when I usually see seagulls all day) and little birds (oh god, now I really wouldn’t be able to eat it!)
Some advice: tapas places usually have people sitting around large barrels and these barrels are the standard decor – but don’t always go to the big places. The small places down a little side street have the most rica food.
Malaga is now promoting itself as ‘the city of museums’. As we walked around the cobbled streets of Malaga we did see that there were museums and other places rich in culture in every corner as we got lost in the city! We first ventured into the Carmen Thyssen Museum. Opened recently it holds a large collection of paintings from different periods and of different themes. The best thing about the collection was the images of traditional life in Andalucia. There were lots of paintings of women dancing flamenco, people wandering around in the narrow streets of the now ‘old towns’ and a general enjoyment of life. Though seeing the painting of Estepona ‘back in the day’, there didn’t seem to be much going on here, which didn’t surprise us!
As part of the business part of the trip, we also visited the Felix Revello del Toro museum. Revello del Toro is a Malaga-born painter who has a talent and appreciation for portraits and the female figure. The museum and the paintings were amazing, and it was brilliant to see the work of someone who can capture the essence of a person in a painting when the height of my artistic ability is drawing a stick man!
The 40th anniversary of a language school was the event that we attended for work, and they know how to celebrate in Spain. With another open bar, delicious canapés and all set in a pretty good-looking language school – it was a great celebration. And brilliant that I finally got to try a good mojito! Other than waiting in the queue for a good 30-45 minutes, there was just the right amount of crushed ice and sugar to make a perfect Mojito. If only I can pronounce it the proper Spanish way now!
Malaga not only is a city, but a university city! And with lots of young people come lots of bars. Since the Spanish night out doesn’t start until a ridiculous 3am, when we arrived in Malaga city centre, there were people milling around trying to attract us into the very empty bars. And the ‘attraction’ came in the form of a free drink per bar. Lovely! Unfortunately, I can’t add so many positive comments about the Spanish music. I find this quite odd because I’ve heard some good Spanish music, which seems to disappear in bars etc. and is instead replaced with a) not-so-great Spanish music b) retro 80s pop and rock or c) mainstream English/American music. However, an advantage of this was discovering that the Spanish do pronounce ‘Lady Gaga’ in the best way!
Just an hour and half bus ride from Estepona, the city of Malaga is beautiful, cool and full of culture and people. Even during the siesta there were people wandering around Malaga, which trust me, is a MASSIVE deal in Spain!
Now, I’m going to try to find some tips to make a good gambas pil pil before I try to make it myself– it’s the best way to eat prawns!
Remember The Global Party from when we pretended to be rich and famous? Well, see more info and better pictures of what I was talking about than it was possible to capture on my phone: http://www.andalucia.com/living/charities-global-party.htm