|It's amazing to see the first five weeks of my blog calendar filled up! I remember on June 2 wondering what the calendar would look like as days started to get filled in, and I have to say, it's unreal to look back at each blog entry calendar picture and remember what I did that day. It quickly reminds me of everything that I've done here, which allows me to relive some of those moments in my head again. The earlier days seem like they were forever ago, like maybe they were a past vacation, but no. It's all been one long string of events, and I'm in awe that I've been here this long. On the flip side, I see the remaining light gray days that are yet to be filled with a blog icon, and there are only a few left. The end is near...
The first thing I noticed when I stepped of the train in Málaga was the humidity. I was evident, but it didn't attack me like I've felt humidity in Indiana or in Veracruz, Mexico (WORST humidity ever!!), so it's definitely bearable. The Málaga María Zambrano train station is the most impressive one I've seen yet. I hardly felt like I was in a train station because it's more set up like a mall, as there are stores everywhere and also a really big food court in the center. It's a very modern train station, and I really enjoyed the feel of it, especially when I spied a TACO BELL from a far—might be making a lunch stop there on Wednesday...
The apartment here is really nice. It's a studio, but has all the amenities that I've come to enjoy. The location of it can't be beat as far as being in the heart of social activities. The cathedral is extremely close by, the Thyssen Museum is literally right in front of the apartment, and the port is about a 15 minute walk. I was relieved at how easy it was to find the apartment. My taxi dropped me off at the end of Calle de la Compañía and told me to start walking down it and I'd find the place I was looking for. Much to my surprise, the establishment where I was to pick up my keys was literally right in front of me as I started walking, and then from there the apartment was another three minutes. Very easy!
I rested up for about an hour and a half before heading out to check out the scene here in Málaga. It's funny how I never know what to expect when I get to a new place, and all these questions run through my head: Will it be clean? Will I get lost? Where am I going to eat? Where is my contact case? My first thought of Málaga as I started walking through the pedestrian streets was Oh, now this is what I've been waiting for!! Málaga is beautiful!! I immediately knew this was the right choice for my last little getaway trip, and my senses were constantly stimulated by the gorgeous paved streets, by the old charm in the buildings, by the giant plants and palm trees lining the park, by the incredibly social atmosphere of Muelle Uno, and by the sound of the crashing waves against the shore. It just felt like my kind of place, and I knew early on that it would vie for possibly one of my favorite destination spots during this entire trip. It's only day one here, so it's still early, but man this place is gorgeous!
The beach was really what I was excited to see. I saw the Mediterranean Sea when I first arrived in Barcelona, but I didn't get to actually go into the water. I made sure that changed today. I walked down the concrete pier to see how far I could head out into the Mediterranean, which turned out to be not that far. So I did a U-turn and decided to go sit on the beach for a while. It was dusk, so most of the families and groups of people were heading home which meant it was very much not crowded. I took my flip flops off, and felt my toes dig deep into the gray sand. I sat about twenty feet away from the shore, which gave me a good vantage point of the people and the water. I happened to follow a woman out to the shore, and while I was sitting in the sand for a long while just taking it all in, she was standing in front of me in the water. And she just stood there and stared out into the ocean. I started inventing scenarios as to what she was doing, but of course I'll never know. To me, it was just cool that she was able to enjoy the ocean for as long as she did. I think people should try to enjoy those moments for as long as they can instead of taking them for granted, and that's definitely how I try to live each moment here in Spain.
After washing my feet in one of the beach showers, I headed back to Muelle Uno to grab some dinner. Muelle Uno is the popular dock here in Málaga where there are tons of places to eat and also some places to do some good shopping. It was neat to walk by all restaurants earlier when I first arrived to Muelle Uno, which was at about 8:30. There were hardly any people eating at any of the restaurants at that time, but when I came back around 9:30, the places were packed. It's very true here that dinner is enjoyed late in the evening, and it's really hard for me to adjust to this time difference. So I grabbed a quick dinner and watched the sun set behind the giant ferry, and afterward I grabbed some Snickers gelato which basically rocked my world. I started to head back towards where I'm staying, and I wanted to make sure I got some great pictures in while it was dark out.
For a Sunday evening, Málaga was packed with people out and about having dinner, drinks, ice cream, and simply enjoying each other's company. In case you haven't caught on through my blogs, this is the Spanish way of living. It seems different to us Americans because we tend to give ourselves a curfew, but the Spanish don't really understand that concept. They're out late all days of the week, and that's just the norm. And it's everyone who's out in the streets: teenagers, adults, kids, senior citizens. It's just how it's done. And it's pretty cool!
I eventually neared my apartment, but still wanted to check out the surrounding streets, so I started winding through the labyrinth of pedestrian streets to discover what was around. It seemed to be endless restaurants and ice cream shops (!!!), and I loved the atmosphere of this area. As you look at the night pictures below, be sure to look at the streets in the pictures to see how they're paved—I'm in love with these streets!
After a great evening of exploring a new city and feeling excited for the next few days, I called it a night. Four full days left in Spain. I'm sure it's going to go by rather quickly.