Sunday, April 19, 2015

Malaga, Spain

First things first, since I can't rewind 2 years and start this blog when I first got to Germany, I figured I would start with our most recent trip. Southern Spain. 

I can't read German but I guessed it was the equivalent to
"Share a Coke with your Soulmate."
I got a week off from work for Spring Break, and luckily Drew got to take some time off as well. :) Ryanair, I cannot keep quiet about how great it is, not the actual flying with them part--baggage restrictions, early/late flights, constantly trying to charge you for anything and everything they can--but the fact that they are incredibly cheap! I found RT tickets from Nuremberg to Malaga, Spain for $200 TOTAL. You really can't beat that.

Upon landing in Malaga on a Tuesday, we shed our layers from the 45 degree temperature we left back in Germany, first thing was to get our rental car. We usually book with Sixt but they wanted 300 euros for the week. No thank you. Luckily after scouring the Internet I found Malaga Care Hire. For a week they only wanted 56 Euros! I was skeptical at first, but turns out they were legit. The only difference between them and every other rental car company is that they only give you half a tank of gas (which you pay for. For us, it was 25 EUR), and you return it with an empty a tank of gas. Weird I know, but it saved us over 240 euros. I didn't have to put down a credit card to book a car so I figured worst case scenario we would have to find another place to rent a car from.

It wasn't cold, but the wind sure made it feel cold!
If you've ever been to South Florida, you'll understand the feeling of déjà vu that hit me. The smell of the Ocean, palm trees everywhere. It was like being home again. Minus the humidity. 

After what felt like forever, we had some GPS issues, I still stand by the fact that buying a GPS was the best decision we've made, we got to our Hotel.
Palm Trees!
We stayed at El Manantial, for the night, I booked it through for 35€ a night. Since its still considered off season I got most of our hotels for a steal! I would recommend this place. It's family run, it looks like it started off as a restaurant but the owners got smart and decided to rent out rooms. The bed is uncomfortable, and the shower was tiny, but it was clean and close to town! It is about 6km from town there is a bus line that can take you directly into town but we didn't want to be on someone else's time schedule. We did have dinner at the hotels restaurant, we've always had such great experiences at the hotels that we figured why not. And we were right as well. We got authentic Spanish food, a fired appetizer of eggplant, and prosciutto and a potato salad, 2 meals and a 1L pitcher of Sangria for 20€! If you don't stay here I would suggest eating at the restaurant. Worth it.

After checking into our hotel, I found the Tourist Information (TI) in Malaga. On the plane I had realized I had forgotten my Rick Steves books at home. :( The 3 hour plane ride was when I had planned on doing my planning for the trip. I usually make a list of things to see before hand but I figured I'd try something new this time. Never again. But it all worked out. We found the TI and the handful of things to do in Malaga. 

 The first thing we found was the Cathedral de la Encarnacion de Malaga. We didn't go in but it was incredibly beautiful to look at. But we were on a mission to get to the Alacazaba.

The Alcazaba of Málaga is built on a hill in the center of the city, overlooking the port, and comprises two walled enclosures. It was formerly connected to the city ramparts, which formed a third defensive wall but only two inner walls remain. The Alcazaba is a palatial fortification in Málaga, Spain. It was built by the Hammudid dynasty in the early 11th century. It was a hike to get to the top, but the views were worth it!
Alacazaba from the ground.
Sidles Family in the Alacazaba. April 2015
The View of Malaga from the Alacazaba!

I'm even bigger than this door! :)
They even had my size doors! Before we knew it we had spend the day away in the Alacazaba. After a 3 hour flight then the trouble we had finding the hotel all we both wanted to do was shower and find some Wifi (Apparently the rest of the world doesn't pronounce WiFi,[Why-fi], they call it "Wee-fee" fun fact we learned).  But we couldn't leave without finding some souvenirs.We weren't sure if we would have time once we got back to Malaga that following Sunday.  So we were on another mission. I guess things just have a way of working out because some how on the way back to where the car was parked we ended up walking through the shopping district. Drew says it's because I can smell a mall anywhere. Ha.

Since we landed on a Tuesday and everything closes at 6pm we didn't have much time to explore more of Malaga, Luckily 5 days later we came full circle and had an extra half a day to explore more!

Up Next: Gibraltar, U.K.