Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Vacation from our vacation

We took a vacation from our vacation.  Nothing is wrong with that!  The beach on the Mediterranean Sea is a must on a visit to Spain.  This weekend I got to check this off my list of "Things to do in Spain".  And a lot of other firsts too.  It took a lot of planning to accomplish a weekend trip to a city a few hours away where they don't speak your first language. I am proud that we were able to accomplish this with few problems.  Our trip to Malaga, Spain.


The first step was setting dates and determining how long our vacation could be.  We decided to leave Friday and return on Sunday.   


Brooke and I at the train station
 The transportation options were either the train (Ave) or the bus.  The train is about twice as expensive as the bus, but takes half the time.  We wanted to try the train but since we are poor travelers we also wanted to save money.  We chose to do one way train and the other bus.  The train was 25.20 Euros one way and the bus was only 13.  The bus was even cheaper (about 10 Euros each way) if a round trip was purchased.  The train ride took 1 hour and the bus took almost 2 1/2.  The train ride was fast, comfortable, and exciting, but it was more difficult to see the scenery out of the windows.  On the bus there was a little less space, kind of bumpy, and a better chance of motion sickness, but there was so much more to look at out the windows.  Overall, I am glad that we had the opportunity to try both but in the future I will probably stick with the bus for money's sake. 


 Next, we had to find somewhere to stay.  Malaga is a tourist hot spot and therefore hotels are pricey.  We decided to stay in a hostel, which are numerous in European cities.  We stayed at Feel Malaga Hostel.  The woman who we made the reservations with and who was at the front desk for most of our visit was very helpful and even spoke English.It is best to make reservations early in order to ensure that everyone is in the same room.  We lucked out.  There were only 4 in my group and we were lucky that we all got to be in the same room.  We had a key lock and shared bathroom.  There was a sink, microwave, washer, and even A/C in our room and two bunk beds.  The room cost 37 Euros each for 2 nights.


Meggie and I Saturday morning on Malagueta Beach


The beach was only about a 15 minute walk from our hostel.   The beach was called "Malagueta".  It was a pretty big beach, although very crowded, especially on Sunday.  We got there early both days, about 10:30 a.m. and staked out some good spots.  We took snacks and lots of water so that we could stay on the beach all day.  The sun is extremely hot and the water is extremely cold.  We had to apply sunscreen every hour and cool off in the water. 


Grilled Hake
Try the seafood!  It doesn't get any fresher than here. On Friday night we ate at a delicious seafood restaurant.  I tried the fried calamari, which was actually very good, but the plates are big so sharing was a good idea.  Saturday night we went to another restaurant near  Taco Bell and I tried the grilled hake.  The prices were very good here.  Sunday for lunch we ordered "bocadillos" for only 2.5 Euros and they were delicious!  Mine was just tuna and it tasted so good!  We bought food at the supermarket for snacks on the beach.  Fruit and crackers were great, but water is a necessity.  Brooke's host mom warned us not to drink the tap water in Malaga.

What we learned

This trip was a wonderful experience.  We learned a lot about what to do and what not to do when traveling.  We had some good laughs and saw lots of beautiful sights.   There are a few things that stick out from our travels. 
The main street of Malaga on Saturday night
  • Consider bringing an extra towel for the showers, depending on your hostile.  Our hostile rented towels and we were much to poor to pay for one.  So we got creative....
  • Get to the beach early.
  • Get a map.
  • Plan ahead, but be flexible.
  • Go out at night.  Everything looks more beautiful.
  • Follow your ears.  If you hear live music, check it out.  We stumbled upon a free dancing and singing performance that was very exciting.
  • Check out all the ice cream shops before buying.  We should have seen all our options (there are a lot) before ordering.
  • As tempting as it may be, do not eat at McDonalds, Taco Bell, or Burger King.  Try the seafood!
  • Talk to other residents in your hostile.
  •  Bring sunscreen and reapply more than you think you need to.
  • If you burn and need aloe vera, make sure it's not actually hand sanitizer WITH aloe vera (Meggie)
  • Take lots of pictures
  • Visit Picasso's house and the cathedral
There is a lot to do in Malaga and so many sites to see.  It is a perfect weekend getaway. 

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