Sunday, April 26, 2015

Marbella, Spain & Malaga Round 2

I'm not sure why I've slacked on finishing up our Southern Spain trip, maybe like when we were on our trip I didn't want it to end. No, seriously, on our last day in Spain, while we were soaking up the sun laying on the beach looking out on the Mediterranean, I got mad because it was our last day on vacation. Usually I don't get mad when we have to go back to the real world, but maybe it was the fact that this would be our last vacation for a while. Or maybe because it was just such a great vacation. (IDK if anyone really noticed how "luckily" was the word I used the most in writing the Southern Spain posts, but everything worked out on it's own.)

After leaving Ronda, we headed down to Marabella, a little town in the heart of the Costa De Sol. We headed down to Marbella for the soul purpose of going to the Hard Rock Cafe. I'm not sure why, but Drew loves the Hard Rock Cafe. Every big city we go to usually has a Hard Rock, and we find it so he can get his picture in front of the sign that says Hard Rock.

The drive down from Ronda to Marbella, is an interesting one. All down hill, since Ronda is in the mountains. I found a video on youtube that shows the windy turns around the mountain. Drew loved it. He says he just wishes we were in our SUV because it handles way better than the little Toyota rental car.

This isn't my video, I got it off of youtube, just to give you an idea of what the road was like.

It was an easy 50 minute drive down to Marbella, I knew there was parking literally right across the street from the Hard Rock Cafe. We had planned to have lunch at the Hard Rock. When we were at the Hard Rock in Dublin in Mach, I got a survey code that would give us a free appetizer if filled out. We don't go to the Hard Rock enough, but I am apart of their rewards program. Drew likes to get a drink at the Hard Rock and get a souvenir glass, since Spain doesn't have any Steins for him to collect. He was particularly excited about the Marbella HRC souvenir glass because it was the first time we saw the Hard Rock Cafe Margarita glasses. So of course, that's what he got.
At the time we didn't know that the Hard Rock was actually located in Puerto Banus, a marina located in the area of Nueva Andalucía, to the southwest of Marbella, Spain on the Costa del Sol. Developed around a coastal village in the Mediterranean architectural style, Puerto Banús contains expensive shopping malls, restaurants and bars around the marina. It is also scene to many exotic cars that are owned by international celebrities and wealthy owners that also own large yachts. Luxury cars like Rolls Royce's and high end sports cars like Ferrari's, Lamborghini's and Mercedes Benz are a common sight in the summer months around Marbella and Puerto Banus.

Marbella is such a clean and beautiful city.

Look at all the boats!!

We walked along the port looking at all the boats and fancy cars, getting hounded by guys on the side of the street asking if we wanted to buy any of their MK purses, or Ray Ban sun glasses, or Chanel and D&G things. You can always tell how posh a place is by the quality of knock-off products the street vendors  sell.
This beauty was among a line of high end cars including Rolls Royce, Jaguar, Bentley, Maserati, and Ferrari!

It never fails, I can't take him any where!

When we finally found the beach, the wind had picked up and the clouds had moved in. It looked like it was about to rain and after our mishap in Ronda the day before I did not want to be caught in another rain storm, so we headed back to the car and headed off to Malaga.

This time I was prepared for all the tolls and set our GPS to avoid tolls. It took us on a highway literally right along the coast! We saw the ocean our whole ride back to Malaga, it reminded me of being in Hawaii!

After a 45 min drive along the Costa De Sol, we made it back to Malaga and checked into our final hotel, the Posadas de España Malaga I booked it through for 78 Euros for 2 nights. Like I said before, maybe it was because season hadn't started yet, but I got all of our hotels at a steal! The Posadas de España is 12 km from Málaga Airport and 13 km from central Málaga. I planned it out so we were right in the middle of both the city center and airport, since our flight left at 6:15am a couple days later.
We had made it full circle on our trip!

From our hotel we headed off back into Malaga. There was one more place we didn't get to check out when we were in Malaga the Tuesday before. The Castillo de Gibralfaro. The magnificent Castillo de Gibralfaro sits on a high hill overlooking Malaga city and port, and dates back to the 10th century. The image of Gibralfaro is well known: you can see it in both Malaga city and province's seal and flag. From the Gibralfaro you can look down to see the whole town of Malaga. The castle is famous for its three-month siege by the Catholic monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella, which ended only when hunger forced the Malagueños to surrender. Afterwards Ferdinand occupied the site, while his queen took up residence in the town. Interesting historic fact: this was the first conflict in which gunpowder was used by both sides.
There is a small fee of 2 euros to get into the Gibralfaro, but on Sundays after 2pm it's free for all visitors (it's only open until 6pm)! But parking is hard to come by, so if you are heading up by car, go early or later in the afternoon. The Hop on Hop off bus has a stop up there as well.

The Sidles' on the top of Malga! April 2015

From the Gibralfaro we headed down to the port of Malaga. From the top of the Gibralfaro we could see the heard of people along the boardwalk and decided to check it out.
I'm not sure if it was because there were 3 cruise ships in port or if they do it every sunday, but this Sunday they had little stands set up, selling clothing, jewelry, food etc. on the board walk. Drew likes to call me a "lookie-loo" because I like to stop and look at everything, which I did.
We ended up getting dinner on the board walk at "The Good Burger" and let me tell you it was good. Being in Europe, I knew we wouldn't be getting any burgers, so when I saw this place had burger literally in their name, I knew we had to try it. Plus it was the cheapest and quickest place to get some food. We devoured our burgers in minutes then decided to head back to the hotel. 
We had picked a parking garage next to the Malaga Toro and snapped a few quick pictures before heading back to the hotel for the night. 

View of the Toro from the Gibralfaro.

Our next and final day in Malaga was spent at the beach. I knew we had to have at least 1 day of relaxation before heading back to Germany. We ended up going to the playa de Malagueta beach which had a stone (sand looking color) statue? of Malagaueta. We were there early enough that we got pictures on it without worrying about people being in our pictures. 


That's what I call Paradise

We stayed out relaxing on the beach all day, it got to the point where Drew got bored and wanted to go for a walk, I told him no and just lay down and relax. We didn't need to go anywhere. There were people on the beach selling water, beer, and soda. There was even someone offering 30 minute full back massages for 10 euros. I know what you're thinking beach massages? I did wait and watch to see if anyone would do it and see how they felt after words. I watched 4 people get massages before deciding that I would get one as well. She did a pretty good job. Drew even got one, of course he waited until after I said it was good before deciding to get one for himself.

All in all it was a good vacation. We got to see 3 countries on this trip, explore Southern Spain, Gibraltar and even a small portion of Africa. I knew I wanted to go to Africa, but not the part where Ebola was. Haha. Since this will be our last big vacation for the year we had to go all out, but smartly about it. After all the school year is almost over and I won't be working for 3 months!