Thursday, December 22, 2016

Hola from Malaga

Well here I am in Spain and the weather is divine.  Not hot but a lovely 16 or 17 C which suits me just fine.  My airbnb is simple but does the job and  Pilar my host is a doll.  My room has an ocean view.  The road in front is a bit noisy but I can live with that - that's why I always carry earplugs although I was so exhausted last night I didn't need them!!!  (Tylenol "night time cold" helps as well!)

I was worried about even getting here as the train disruptions continue in southern England.  Luckily the train I planned to take to East Croydon (where I would switch to the non-Southern rail train to Gatwick airport) was not canceled - the two after it were.  Once I got through the long security line I was able to grab a much needed coffee and a bacon and egg  butty (bun) although couldn't eat much.  Nerves?  The display told us to go to Gate 45A and after I was in line about five minutes we were told to go to Gate 557 which was across the departure lounge and way off.  Needless to say I hobbled over and was one of the last ones on the plane.  It didn't help that when we finally had our ID and boarding passes scanned we went down an escalator and actually boarded the flight at Gate 559.  Gate 557 was going to Bologna.  By then I was grumpy and the air was a bit blue (didn't get much sleep the night before due to stressing over the trains) as I hobbled onto the plane.  Easy Jet only allows one carry on but people tend to have heavier bags - I know for a fact one suitcase I saw should never have gone in cabin baggage.  Well as it turned out many had to sky check their bags.  I was allowed to take my backpack (which is basically a day pack) on but there was absolutely no room so it had to go at the back of the plane and I was sitting midway in a window seat. (you have to pay extra to choose your seats on Easy Jet - I prefer the aisle or I should say my bladder does and while you're at it my left knee prefers the right side aisle thank you very much)  I got the train to the main train station (after going to the wrong side of the tracks but luckily I noticed my error before getting on a train going the wrong way!).  I then got a taxi although he didn't seem to know the address or the area...anyway it all turned out well as Pilar was on the street waiting and waved him over.  

Here are a few pictures of my room and the killer view I have from my bedroom..somehow the view photo is a bit blurry so I've made it smaller.  Don't worry - I will get a better one eventually! 

The desk where I'm writing from right now!!!  I have loads of storage space.  

Once I had unpacked I headed over to the seaside restaurant with the killer view that Pilar told me about.  I had a glass...okay two...of white wine and some fried cod with some lettuce...I don't think it deserves to be called a salad!  

I forgot myself and ate the roll which 1)  I didn't need and 2) I had to pay extra for.  I guess that makes sense as nearby Portugal puts extra things on with your meal that you have to pay for if you consume. Now I know! (the olives were safe and untouched...yuck) 

You can see the building I am staying at from here..

View of the restaurant - I'll be back!  It's right across the road from where I am staying and it's quite a popular place. 

In the morning I had a cheese sandwich and cafe con leche at a nearby cafe and then took the bus downtown.  Pilar has given me her travel card so I was able to top it up and get cheaper fares this way so that was kind of her.  

First stop was Malaga Cathedral.  It was constructed between 1528 and 1782.  There were supposed to be two towers but they ran out of money which has earned it the nickname "the one armed lady". 

I then walked over to the Alcazaba of Malaga which was built by the Moors in the 8th century.  It is the best preserved Alcazaba in Spain.  Over the years it has been added to with the last restoration taking place about 100 years ago.

Unfortunately I couldn't climb to the top with my bad knee so I consoled myself with a coffee with condensed milk at the open air cafe. Next door was the ruins of the Teatro (theatre) Romano. (Roman).  This is the only Roman ruin found in Malaga.

I had good intentions of going to the Castillo de Gibralfaro but I ran out of energy!  So I walked by the beautiful City Hall...

and then across the street to the park.

I loved the pathways.  This was a narrow park with busy streets on each side but a lovely relaxing place to be - even heard and saw small parrots!

View of the Cathedral from the park

This is the colourful top exterior of the Pompidou Centre.  As I've said before I am not a big fan of art so can't see me visiting here but never say never.  While the weather is good I prefer to stay outside!

By this time I was pretty tired and hungry as I had only eaten a cheese sandwich for breakfast at 9:30 a.m. and it was now about 4.  It seems there is no in between with me - I either shove food in my gob all day long or barely eat.  So tapas it was: Spanish omelette, potato salad, a salad and paella. Of course I had to have a sangria as well! 

And I knew better than to eat the roll!!!

Back here to relax for the evening and catch the last of the sunset.

And that was my first full day in Andalucia!!!  

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