Last summer, as it often happens, we had no vacations plans whatsoever. After a lot of brainstorming, we decided that for late September Spain would be a good option.
Our first option was Portugal, but since we wanted to travel in September and had our hearts set on the seaside we knew bathing in the ocean was out of the question. Mallorca was another option, but it was quite expensive and then we found out that in Malaga it was supposed to be hotter. Hotter means warmer water too, right? After a bit of research, we decided that the smaller town Nerja is better for us: better beaches, beautiful water and not that crowded. So there we went!
What I loved about Spain
I have mixed feelings when it comes to Spain, after this trip. There a lot of things I really loved and made an impression on me. I also love the language, I find it romantic and sexy and it helps that I can speak a little Spanish 🙂 However, there are things that will keep me from coming back soon, but more on that later.
I think I must have photographed every door in Nerja! And every white wall dressed in colorful tiles. And I don’t think I saw a house I didn’t like. I loved the Spanish architecture so much, with neat white houses decorated with tile in blue, yellow or green.
But I think what I loved most were the strong wooden doors, simple yet fascinating. I also fell in love with their interior gardens, lush and green with high banana trees and heaps of flowers and greenery.
As I was saying above, I adored the lush, green vegetation in Spain. It didn’t resemble much of what I usually saw in Greece, and it felt more tropical than Mediterranean.
It was the first time I actually saw bananas in the trees and frangipani flowers, but also a lot of other plants and flowers, so luxurious and so beautiful!
Spanish food is not exactly my favorite, but their desserts are so delicious! I was especially in love with one of them: two meringues stuck together by a thick layer of caramel.
They also had a lot of varieties of ice cream, sold on the streets and hard to ignore. I liked one with cinnamon and my boyfriend was addicted to another one with chocolate and sour cherries.
And what I didn’t like about it
All in all, it was a beautiful vacation. We had good weather and such a great company that it was hard not to enjoy it. Still, I must touch on the reasons why I wouldn’t hurry back soon for a vacation in Malaga.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: when I’m on vacation I love to dive into the local culture and food is an important aspect of it. Well, Spanish cuisine didn’t quite do it for me. The dishes are too heavy and greasy for my taste. And by the end of our stay there, we were almost afraid to order something off the menu after one too many failed attempts at having something good.
If you want to be safe, I would order paella, fried calamari, fish, and rabbit. But I would steer away from hamburgers, salads and anything resembling a stew – way too oily if you ask me.
Of course, I’ve only photographed the dishes I liked, and you might think that with what seems plenty of good options, why would I complain about the food? But the truth is that most of the meals were not great, so these were just exceptions in a 2-week stay.
Don’t get me wrong, the sea is gorgeous! Blue and crystal clear, it looks divine. But we were “fortunate” enough to arrive right after an oceanic current had entered the sea, making it almost impossible to swim. There were a few brave swimmers, boyfriend included of course, but I took a quick dip and that was it for me for the rest of the vacation.
I am not sure if that’s always the case, but being so close to the ocean I feel like the sea is usually colder than I think it’s comfortable for me.
Hospitality is not their strongest suit
I’ve been so many times to Greece, that I’ve become accustomed to the warm welcomes and friendly faces you see there in every hotel or restaurant.
Spain was not like that. I can’t say how many times we found bored or straight up rude waiters and we are not by far fussy or the type to complain. But when you ask for the bill and wait for 30 minutes, during which waiters place bets on a game and wait to see the results, I find that a bit irritating. I also was left disappointed when I ordered fresh octopus and got something canned and drenched in oil. Add to that that it was half hot and half cold from the microwave so I had to send it back. I usually don’t send food back, but if it’s expensive and bad, I’m not going to pay for something else that I ordered. The waiter called us “bad persons” for doing that and we never returned to that restaurant.
I’ve heard a lot of people saying the Spanish are warm and fun, that was not my experience, but I keep an open mind and will give it another try for sure because I have my heart set on a city break in Barcelona. Plus I still regret not seeing the Picasso museums in Malaga and visiting Alhambra so maybe I will come back after all 🙂
What was your experience with Spain and especially Malaga? Let us know in the comments sections below!