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Malaga - October 2010
In October 2010 we spent five days in Malaga, Spain, a city that many people recommended to us for a short break. Most people only know Malaga as the starting point for a beach holiday but this city has so much more and is well worth a visit.
View the Picture Gallery of our Malaga and the surrounding areas trip by clicking here.
Thursday 14th October
We had been staying with Anne's niece Janet and husband David in their lovely former dairy in Redbourn, Hertfordshire, which is just a few minute's drive from Luton Airport (were you truly wafted here from paradise - Nah Luton Airport).
We were at the airport at the rather insane hour of 4.30 a.m. The flight left at 6 a.m and took two and a half hours - so time for a sleep and a read. The man next to me appeared to be drunk, despite the time of day. He spent most of the flight snoring and lolling around and dropping his passport and other items on the floor. Despite this cabin crew continued to call him "sir." I had a few other more appropriate words for him. The plane itself was claustrophobic and quite uncomfortable.
From Malaga Airport we took a taxi to our Hotel and booked into a very pleasant room on the 12th floor with views over the harbour. We had no balcony but a decent view. Went for a long walk around a picturesque park area and then had one of those "I don't believe it moments." We had been told to seek out the English Cemetery which was both historic and interesting. Got chatting to the English lady in the gift shop and it turned out that she came from Dereham and was currently trying to sell a flat in Norwich. So there we were standing in Malaga and talking about homes in Norwich!!!!
Had a sandwich lunch at one of the many cafes and then joined out friends Kathryn and Terry and Chris and Ian for a drink. This trip was part of the annual hook up between the six of us.
We met up with them again later in the day for an evening meal in one of our Guide Books' recommended restaurant. The meal was average, expensive and there just wasn't enough food. At the end had a general walk around town before going back to the hotel for some much needed sleep.
Friday 15th October
Found a small and quite charming cafe for breakfast and then spent the day having a really good look round Malaga, including the castle/fortress area. It was similar in many ways to the Alhambra in Grenada. Very interesting and it gave some good views of the town. The fortifications were split into two with no direct link between them and so this necessitated a steep climb which necessitated an ice cream halfway up and olives and a sandwich lunch at the top. Received a phone call from England to say it was cold and wet. We were enjoying 70 degrees and sunshine.
Returned to our hotel where the minibar was free and so had some much needed drink. Our evening meal was at one of the outside restaurants. Once again the food was average and rather expensive. It was pretentious and after the meal I still felt hungry - oh for a good old steak and chips. Basically I had a spoonful of vegetables to accompany a small piece of fish. It may be art but it's scarcely food!! The meal also cost £80 for the two of us, although that did include quite a bit of wine. The sherry bar we went into before the meal was much more authentic and enjoyable.
Saturday 16th October
You want to find local life, then get away from the tourist areas into the back streets where we found a market and a tiny breakfast place that seemed only to sell coffee and sweet dough strips. The only decision was how many dough strips to have!
Looked round some local churches and then paid to go into the cathedral, followed by a visit to the Picasso Museum. Salvador Dali yes, Pablo Picasso no. I have never seen the attraction and quite frankly the museum was disappointing as some of the exhibit rooms were shut. Waht was on display was mostly drawings - some I swear could have been done by a five year old. Still Picasso is a genius and who am I to argue with that and he does come from Malaga.
One thing we noticed is the lack of English speaking people in Malaga. It is still very Spanish and that is worth saluting when it is so reachable from British airports.. The Picasso museum also had an exhibition of avant garde toys which were mainly made of wood and looked sub standard compared with toys from any old toy shop. So just where does art stop and mass production start. There was a child's wardrobe that I swear would not be out of place on a household dump. But we know this was art because it was in an art museum.
After our morning of culture we went to the beach and ate at an outdoor cafe where at least the food wasn't pretentious and the salad was good. Norwich had an excellent 0-0 draw at Queen's Park Rangers and also missed a penalty. Hethersett won 1-0 and are up to third place in the league. So a good day on the football front. Went for a walk in a new direction and found a department store (glory glory).
Met up with our friends and had a drink in a bar. Food was slightly improved tonight but my meal consisted mainly of a slab of steak and little else to go with it. Come on guys, where are the fresh vegetables?
Sunday 17th October
Thought finding breakfast on a Sunday might be a bit difficult, but no we found a back street cafe and had coffee and a sandwich and then we decided to find a local bus to see where it would take us. The answer was a very nice and inexpensive trip along the coast to Fuengerola and what a culture shock that was. If Malaga is Spanish Fuengewhatsit is Great Yarmouth gone wrong. Row upon row of cheap English eateries. So what did we do - well we went to a cafe and had chips, coffee and apple crumble.
We got the train back to Malaga - a little bit more expensive but still good value despite the fact it stopped about every mile..
After the usual pre food drinks in the evening we at last found an outside cafe where we had the best value meal of the holiday - traditional Spanish Tapas and plenty of it and half the price of previous evenings.
Monday 18th October
The hotel bill was rather a shock - coming to over 400 Euros. The hotel was comfortable but nothing exceptional and there were no breakfasts. One night cost us the equivalent of £150. So we decided to economise by getting the service bus back to the airport and it cost about one quarter of the price of a taxi and didn't take anywhere near as long as we feared.
Easyjet like to make you feel that you are getting a good deal. Actually at times you aren't. The old first come first served idea where the earlier you turn up the better seats you get has gone out of the window thanks to a new idea where people can pay for choice of seats. So the policy of everyone is equal has soon gone when it comes to raising additional money. At least this time we didn't get to sit next to a drunk. We were back home in Norfolk by 4 p.m at the end of another trip.