Two weekends ago I went on my first (somewhat) planned trip outside of Sevilla/CIEE excursions. Two friends and I took the train to Málaga, which is on the southern coast of Spain. Here is a map to see where we were:
I’ve never been on a train before, so it was a new experience! Although a little bit pricier than the bus would have been, the two-and-a-half-hour ride was super easy. Spain, like usual, was also gorgeous to ride through. Here’s a picture from the train:
We finally arrived in Málaga at 3:30 on Saturday afternoon. It was a unique experience because after we got off the train, we walked out of the station and had zero set plans to do anything (besides finding our hostel). So, we walked for an hour or so and came upon the new port there:
After wandering for a while, we grabbed a taxi to our hostel. The lady at the hostel told us which buses to take, and we went back to el centro where we saw the enormous catedral, the Pablo Picasso museum and Picasso’s casa natal (house where he was born).
Like most cathedrals in Spain, the one in Málaga is huge with a lot of intricate decoration. It was built soon after the Spanish king and queen reached Málaga in 1487, as it was previously ruled by the Moorish people since 711.
Here are some pictures of the cathedral:
Whenever I walk into a cathedral here, the enormity, coolness of the building, and height of the ceilings take my breath away. It’s amazing that churches are a materialized way of seeing how passionate people were about their religion; today, this type of affection for something is difficult to find.
Not only does Europe offer incredible architecture, but it also has amazing art that I can’t find in the United States. In Málaga, I was lucky enough to go see some of Pablo Picasso’s art, since Picasso was originally from this port city. Since my friends and I are European students, we got to tour the museum for half the normal admission and we were offered a headset that told us the history of some of his works. We were also able to tour his first home for free, which was a somewhat large apartment for the time he was born, right off a main town square. Picasso only lived here until he was 19; after that, he never came back.
Later that night, we decided to explore el centro. Here are some pictures of downtown:
We also stopped at an Italian restaurant for dinner; Málaga, a huge tourist town, is known for its hospitality, and the waiter was incredibly nice. He gave us free chupitos (shots of wine) that are well-known in Málaga: one vial was filled with a sweet, sugary wine while the other one had more of a bite to it. Unfortunately, I had a pretty severe migraine, but the waiter noticed and brought me water. He even offered me some of his own Advil (I declined because I had some already), so that really goes to show how considerate they are there.
The next day the three of us visited the Islamic palace that overlooks the city. Here are some beautiful vistas:
Overall it was a beautiful weekend, and I’m happy I was fortunate enough to see the La Costa del Sol (the Coast of the Sun)!