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Published: March 24th 2015
It's definitely warmer here! No gloves needed, and scarves are optional. Sometimes the wind blows, but it's not freezing, like up north. At night, however, it gets chilly in the room since there's no heating. And this hotel is so much better for me than the previous one.
This is not my first time in Spain, but it is
my first time in the south. I can say that I was not particularly pleased with my choice during the flight to Malaga yesterday. I was surrounded by a group of maybe 30 barely-pubescent Spaniards in the back half of the plane. They were loud, always standing in the aisle, and acted like they didn't realize other people were on the plane. I felt like this is how it might be if we were all on a bus back from some school trip. Their adults did not do much to curb their activities, either. Some of you might say, "Typical teenagers," but I've worked with teens that do not act like that. Needless to say, it didn't whet my appetite for Spain.
Once I got to my room, though, things changed for the better. I'm staying at a place called
Pension Juanita, and some places list it as a hostel, others as a hotel. I have my own room, with a double bed, sink, and TV. I don't call that a hostel. I do have to share a shower and 2 toilets with the other 4 rooms on the floor, but I'm ok with that. After all, I had to leave my room and walk down the hall for my toilet in the hotel on the Isle of Man. So far, I haven't had any competition for the facilities - maybe I've just been lucky.
I've walked around the touristy things in town already, so I'm going to take the rest of the day and rest my feet while grading some papers. The next 4 days are all day trips, and I can imagine that there will be plenty of going and walking involved. I didn't really come to Malaga except as a base of operations. Plus the hotel was cheap - $30/night, right in the middle of the pedestrian part of town. This place is more for holiday-makers and retirees from England and Germany, I think.
The concierge fellow did give me a map of the city
with a suggested walking tour, so I did that after I went by the supermercado. That was an experience. I got some flan, after an elderly woman told me which brand I should get (all in Spanish, mind you). I mainly got some stuff to snack on during those bus rides across the south of Spain over the next 4 days. I bought a few apples, but I didn't see any bags to put them in like back home, so I just put them on the conveyor belt - the cashier realized I was not from these parts, so she went and got a coworker to print out the necessary labels. Nice to know that I'm not alone here.
There's going to be a big whoop-dee-doo on Sunday for Palm Sunday, and several of the squares around my part of town have been set up with portable arena-style seating. I'm excited to see what that's gonna be like. I walked all over the touristy area this afternoon. The highlights were the Cathedral, which was spectacular; the Roman Forum, which is in ruins (of course) at the base of the Alcazaba; and then the Alcazaba itself, a Moorish castle dating
from the 11th century. None of these sites tells you how much admission is, until you get in and go to the desk. The castle was 60 cents for students, so I jumped on that! I got to meander around most of the castle ruins, see some orange trees and other nicely-done gardens, and then take in multiple views of the town and harbor from various towers. There wasn't nearly as much an attempt to make it kid- or family-friendly, like the other castles I've seen recently. I appreciated that, although the leaflet that we got upon entering was about as much information as we did get.
I'm in Spain until next Monday, so that makes it a whole week before another flight. From here out, I think the only expenses I'll have in Spain are food and any souvenirs I get - mainly postcards and stamps for other people. I can definitely get used to that!
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