European Adventure IV: Malaga – Arrival

After we checked out of our hotel in Amsterdam, we went to the train station and caught the train to Brussels. It was a 2.5-3 hour train ride and I’d love to say that I took beautiful pictures of the passing scenery. We went through Rotterdam and several other cities in the Netherlands before crossing into Belgium. Unfortunately, I was so zonked out I slept most of the way. So…suffice it to say we took the train from Amsterdam to Brussels, and from there we caught a plane to Malaga, Spain.

Malaga is a southern coastal city on the Straits of Gibraltar. We were to spend a night in Malaga before journeying on to Jaen (about a 3-hour drive north east). We had decided to splurge and stay at the Parador de Malaga Gibralfaro for the night. The Paradores is a chain of hotels established by the Spanish government and the sites of each Parador is a historic place (a Moorish fortress, castle, monastery, etc.). The Parador de Malaga Gibralfaro is on the hill overlooking Malaga, above the Alcazaba and by the ruins of the Castillo de Gibralfaro. It was a beautiful hotel with a fantastic birds-eye view of Malaga.

Since it was on a hill, we couldn’t get a great angle to show the hotel’s facade. Here’s the front of the hotel, and on the upper floor is a fabulous restaurant that features regional Andalucian cuisine.

[[image:eur64.jpg:Parador de Malaga Gibralfaro:center:0]]

[[image:eur65.jpg:Architecture that tries to match the Castillo de Gibralfaro:center:0]]

Our room had a balcony and here are some pictures taken from it and on it.

[[image:eur54.jpg:View from the balcony:center:0]]

[[image:eur55.jpg:Vin on the balcony:center:0]]

The room was quite spacious. I can see Vin relaxing on the balcony from inside:

[[image:eur56.jpg:View of the balcony:center:0]]

We had a sitting area with sofas and coffee tables, and a TV that included porn channels. Really! I felt like such a hick when I shrieked in glee when I found the porn channel while I was channel surfing. teehee! Sadly, porn was just about all I could understand as everything else was in Spanish. Even movies and TV shows that were filmed in English have been dubbed into Spanish. No hablo espanol!

So no TV for Sila. It really reinforced to me that I was in another country, and that I did not speak that country’s language. In Amsterdam, everybody we spoke to spoke fluent English, but not so in Spain. Luckily for me, Vin speaks fluent Spanish and so I just had to stand there and let him do all the talking, to translate for me later. Especially on the first day, it was hard to acclimate and switch languages, but my comprehension of Spanish, luckily, improved by leaps and bounds in the next few days (out of necessity).

Now, in our extremely spacious, rather expensive room, you would think we would have a fabulous bed to sleep on. Not so much. Look what we had!?!

[[image:eur57.jpg:Single beds?? WTF??:center:0]]

We had traditional (I suppose) single beds that were BOLTED to the wall so we couldn’t even move the beds close together! Single beds! There was not even a question of us trying to fit on one bed. Vin is 6′ 7″ and I’m certainly not a small person. So we had to resign ourselves to sleeping in separate beds for the night. What was the deal with that??

Luckily, I’m easily amused so when I went to the bathroom, next to the toilet there was another thingamabob that looked sort of like the toilet bowl. But it was not the toilet bowl. It was the bidet!! I thought this was a wonderful idea for those of us who don’t have a “wet” bathroom but prefer to cleanse with water. Of course I had to play with it.

Here’s the bidet turned on:

[[image:eur58.jpg:Water flowing:center:0]]

And look, you can change the angle of the water:

[[image:eur59.jpg:Wheeeeee:center:0]]

We ate a superb dinner at the hotel restaurant and we purposely selected menu options that had been highlighted as “regional cuisine”, which in Malaga meant a lot of seafood. Vin ate a platter of assorted fried fish and squid, while my main course was a paella-like seafood rice dish. I think this is the first time that I’ve had langostines, and I find I quite like them! Stronger taste than prawns, but a little sweet and a unique sea-like flavor. Vin’s starter soup was made with langostine broth too and it was quite yummy.

The next morning, after sleeping in our separate beds, we ate breakfast and then we realized that time had run away from us and we wouldn’t have time to go to the Alcazaba or the Castillo above us. We wanted to try to make it to Jaen before it got too late.

We walked around the hotel and took some pictures. Some cool pictures of Malaga around the bay.

[[image:eur60.jpg:Malaga:center:0]]

[[image:eur61.jpg:Another section of Malaga:center:0]]

[[image:eur66.jpg:The bullring at Malaga:center:0]]

[[image:eur63.jpg:A Cathedral?:center:0]]

We could also see the Alcazaba from where we were:

[[image:eur62.jpg:Alcazaba:center:0]]

Sad to say, we were only there one night and we did not have time to go to either the Castillo de Gibralfaro or the Alcazaba. Well, that’s a reason to go to Malaga again, right?

[[image:eur67.jpg:Thorn among the bougainvilleas?:center:0]]

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