03.07.2013 - 05.07.2013
So one of the things I had researched & planned to visit while in Málaga, was a popular farmer's market & it just happened to be located downtown, near the shopping area Marques de Larios. Atarazanas market had a beautiful exterior & was bustling with different fruits, vegetables, breads, olives & nuts. Andy bought some delicious dates & Corrie had fun buying cherries & fresh goodies. I got to try some almonds & dates that were offered by vendors. It was originally built by the Moors as a ship builder's yard, which is what the name loosely translates to in Arabic.
The Malagueta beach is where we found lots of people soaking up the sun & water. They had a zipline & other fun contraptions for the kids. The water is clear & blue, while the sand was like a dirt which turned into river rocks near the water. It was a place to chat with friends, get a tan- I mean tanner, go for a swim, smoke a Hookah, show off your speedos, practice your soccer moves or get a full out massage...Also some cool looking cafes along the beach with fun looking tables on the sand.
I also noticed a man on an interesting device but wasn't sure what it was, turned out to be exercise equipment! A good appearance is an obvious priority here. And I don't mean being attractive, there's a put together look to everybody from the young to old. Its not all trendy clothes though, nice clothes are normal to see amongst the people, not just the women. No one looks like they rolled out of bed, threw random clothes on & went out. I would say the men would be called metro-sexuals or presumed homosexuals in the U.S. They wear a fair amount of tank tops & form fitting shirts & capris or work out shorts. I didn't think this was so odd, until I realized this is not so in the United States. I think I counted a handful of obese people & I don't mean everyone else was fit or thin---just not obese. People are healthy looking no matter what their size. They do A LOT of walking, bike riding & I've seen a few rollerbladers! When's the last time you saw someone rollerblading in the United States? The people don't seem to eat fried foods at restaurants. I bought a sandwich that was supposed to have bacon on it & turned out to be ham. Lots of fresh foods, lean meats & produce are the norm here. Don't get me wrong, there are quite a FEW shops for pastries & sweet/fattening goodies, but these are mostly consumed during breakfast or lunch. This is good because if they're consumed in the early hours, those extra calories are more likely to be burned off by the end of the day. Bread is a delicious staple here, my sandwich came on a fantastic baguette even though it was a fast food sandwich chain. Mmmm bread...oops back to reality.
So I made the painful decision to not continue to drive anymore. It would be one thing to drive on the streets in the city, but driving up & down the mountain to the house, I just couldn't do :-( not something I felt comfortable with & was truly scared about. Yes, I'm a scaredy cat. I would now more than ever have to figure out the public transportation system. That's okay because anything is better than being scared everyday. HUGE SHOUT-OUT to Andy, the master negotiator & Corrie for helping any way they could during my rental car return dilemma. ¡THANK YOU! And also thank you to Mandy at the rental car place!! By this time, we had everyone's bag, but mine :-( We had been thinking Atlanta was the obvious issue, but in reality, it was the bad reputation having Paris that was the problem. This sorta of thing happens all the time, we were told by more than one person. One of the kind men from AirEuropa, said that when he first started there were 60 bags that had been misplaced by the airline/airport terminal, now it was 4. Sadly, mine wasn't part of the 4 that day :-( Thankfully, I had packed some clothes in my carry-on & Corrie kindly lent me some items as well, to hold me off. I did get my bag the next day ! YAY! When they brought it out to me, i checked my name twice on the luggage tag- I just couldn't believe it :-) Fresh clean clothes for tomorrow the 4th of July! Happy Birthday America!
After some fun swimming at the cottage with the Joe & Carolina, the kids had a sleepover in my casita & fell asleep watching the Lord of the Rings & no it wasn't in Spanish Sleepy sweet cuties :-)
On to the 4th of July...
The Picasso Museum was one of the next finds, which was SO VERY COOL! So Pablo Picasso was born in Málaga & his family helped honor his wish to have his work there. Very interesting to see some his lesser known & un-finished pieces, was great! I learned he also named multiple works with the same title/name. For example, I must have seen a few works of his titled "Woman". How'd he keep track of them? "Hey, Picasso I really like your piece "Woman" but not the "Woman"?! He named things very simply, something like woman with green scarf, but was very focused on being extremely different in his work. In regards to people finding his work odd, he asked about why eyes had to be in the same place as we would expect them to be? So glad we got to see this! Sorry no pics allowed inside. There were people dressed in all black in every hallway ensuring no one touched the art or used their phone...
Feeling clean & happy, we went to Xebar for our 4th of July dinner to have paella. For those that are not familiar, it is a rice & meat dish prepared in a huge skillet. So lots of rice, seasoning & chicken drumsticks & pieces of boneless chicken too gave this dish so much flavor. Their are many variations of paella. Note; table next to us had fantastic music playing while we all had dinner. What kind of fantastic music you ask? Let's see; She's Like the Wind by Patrick Swayze & Hungry Eyes- hot off the Dirty Dancing soundtrack, Take My Breath Away from Top Gun soundtrack, then last but not least, Barry White's You're My First, My Last, My Everything. I feel blessed to have celebrated the 4th with great family, good food in a beautiful place. We then took a little walk to a nearby park for the kids but also found an area with outdoor exercise equipment. There were about 10 different machines that looked like a kids playground, since they were bright yellow & red. There was something to do lat pull downs, an elliptical type machine, a bicycle, something to work your shoulder joints & more. Obviously the ones I saw at the beach were used more.
I walked to find the bus station from Marques de Larios shopping area. Interesting walk filled with city life, double-decker bus tours, beautiful parks, construction & little businesses everywhere. Someone tried to sell me some pens to make a buck on the street, this was interesting because I understood that & then he went on rambling which I didn't make out--- he was speaking Portuguese... It is similar to Spanish so I told him I didn't understand. His girlfriend did compliment my tattoo which I did understand. Kinda funny because it was offputting to mostly hear Spanish everywhere instead of English, so when I heard Portuguese--- woah! The bus station was hopping & more different types of people here. You could catch the bus to neighboring cities & villages in Spain or more far off places like Morocco. Corrie, Caroline & I were dropped off at a nearby mall to kill time & then to get to the bus station. Our goal was to experience the bus from Malaga to the village, Villanueva de la Concepcion & then Andy would pick us up from there. We hopped on the bus & entertained ourselves with music, movies & watching the locals on the bus. There was eventually a full bus & it was fun to see all the happy TGIF crowd. I ended up talking to the very nice local lady named Guadalupe that sat next to me.
We all had fun watching a Flamenco show from a company called Kelipe, I found out about months ago when researching Malaga & Corrie planned for us. It was FANTASTIC! So moving to hear them sing loudly with extreme passion for the words. The female of the group was singer & dancer extraordinaire. The male singer would sing & when she felt the music & the words, then she would dance it seemed! There is a rhythmic foot stomping similar to tap dance but louder/ harder, add the adorning hands, colorful frilly dress AND passionate attitude --you've got a captivating show! Here's a link to them, so you can enjoy for yourself hopefully :-) http://www.kelipe.net/inicio.html. Now of course I had to have a picture taken with her! What a great night with everyone & what a way to end the week with a BANG! ¡OLE! ¡GRACIAS!
That's it for now :-) By the way, I am loading pics up with every entry/post, so don't forget to look at those before, during or after my post so you can have a visual of some things I mention. And FYI the first photo in this entry was a test & I am unable to add more pics in the entries at this time.