When I went to New Zealand, to Myanmar and Thailand, to Finland, … my parents brought me to the airport when I left and picked me up when I came back.
This time it was the other way around.
How strange it felt to wait on the airport to pick up my parents, yet also nice to give them a big hug in my city after not having seen them for three months.
The idea was that I came to the airport and drive back to the centre – where the AirBnB apartment was located – in their rented car, because “I know my way around in Málaga”. That’s true, I surely do, but on my bike and not in a car. The reason why I don’t drive in Málaga is that 50% of the streets are one way streets, 25% are broken down and the rest is super small and full of crazy parked cars. With my lovely bike I am allowed to drive wherever I want to drive and therefore able to quickly go from one place to another, with a car you are not. So yes, in the end it took us about an hour instead of 30 minutes to get to the apartment. Yeah, it didn’t help much that I was in the car, haha.
After two days of sightseeing in Málaga we packed the car and started our 6 day roundtrip with the first overnight in Sevilla, however, first stop in Gibraltar – my first time in England! – I always thought Gibraltar was just a little island with a large rock with some monkey on top from where you can see a tiny bit of Africa when you are lucky … but that is surely not the case! It is not a large island, but you still need more time than you think to get around, also is it full of monkeys who are just wondering around, steeling food and drinks from tourists and Africa is so close by! The landscape before Gibraltar is pretty flat which makes the rock of Gibraltar absolutely stand out. Also the view from the top of the mountain is just stunning! The wooded rock, the strait of Gibraltar with large boats and in the back the mountains of Africa, picturesque! After a far longer time than planned, we moved on to Sevilla. Already soon we left the mountains behind us and the landscape started to look like the Netherlands – flat meadows – great, I did not come to Spain for this.
it is full of monkeys who are just wondering around, steeling food and drinks from tourists
The next day we finally got reunited with BJ, a friend from America who lives in Sevilla for already five years. How lucky we were that she wanted to show us around. In one day we saw almost all highlights from Sevilla, like speed-dating the attractions. The Cathedral – third largest of the world – Plaza de Torros, the riverside, Fabrica Real de Tabaccos (University), Plaza de España, … Just the ‘Real Alcázar de Sevilla’ (the royal palace) took us ages … but how incredible stunning that building is!! When you think it can’t be more pretty than what you have just seen you walk into the next room, you go from the one surprise to the next! The Real Alcázar de Sevilla was constructed in the 10th century by Moorish Muslim kings and a good example of Mudéjar architecture. Their eye for detail is just amazing. The walls are decorated with colourful tiling patterns, the ceilings and floors designed in ‘Girih’ style – geometric lines that form an interlaced strapwork, most often in the form or stars and polygons – and arched doorways embellished with complicated and very detailed plaster carvings. Hard to explain how beautiful it looked, so have a look in the gallery of Sevilla ? !
After a full day of walking we treated ourselves with ice-cream and a tasty – crazy cheap – dinner. I love eating tapas in southern Spain!
From our two bedroom apartment with big kitchen, living room, terrace and two bathrooms in Sevilla we drove to Monachil where we were confronted with our next AirBnB apartment … Yeah … let’s say, it was not really what we expected … A one room hut made out of cow poo in the middle of nowhere. Okay, it looked romantic – like it said on the website – yet far too small for three people, too far from civilisation (not even signal on my phone) and even though it was so far from the next super small village, you were also not able to cook – an outdoor kitchen where the dogs and goats would steel your food in the middle of the night. The whole situation was just too strange to not be able to laugh about it, haha. What made the stay acceptable was that you had a beautiful view from the mini pool over the massive, green mountains.
With 27 degrees it was quite nice to cool down in the pool with a glass of wine – in a juice glass – nuts and some fresh goat cheese.
The next day – full of courage – we started the most popular hike of the area, “los Cahorros”, a walk along ‘river Monachil’ and so a very green route. Already after a short walk we had to cross the first swing bridge – me dancing and jumping to the other side, I just love them! Yet for my mom the first obstacle, she went over it little by little, very careful ^^ – I ensured her that this was the only one … but apparently it wasn’t … three more to go and one of them even 55 meters long – ups! – walking up and down, over and around rocks, enjoying the beautiful landscape, fascinated by the ‘acequias’ (irrigation canals) that date back to the Moorish times we walked for a little while till we came across a little more challenging/peculiar part … the trail changed from a nice natural path to a path of cement next to a rock wall. No more walking, but from now just stooping, crawling and swinging around the rocks. To make sure my parents would safely make it to the end of the track, I carried their backpack as well when we had to go around a rock, so ended up doing every obstacle three times ^^ Not a walk you will encounter every day and not suitable for everyone, but I surely liked it a lot!
Special, like I like it ?
The next day we drove all the way to the tops of the Sierra Nevada. After 45 minutes of winding roads and stunning views, we made it to one of the ski resorts, which looked more like a ghost village at the time. Most of the shops and restaurants closed, old hotels completely emptied or for sale and only some wandering tourists left. Besides this, there were no nice hiking routes which we hoped to find – for that reason it was probably deserted. Anyhow, I got to stand in what was left from the snow on the slopes – in just a shirt with 20 degrees! After about an hour we went ‘home’ quite disappointed cause we honestly expected a lot more from the Sierra Nevada, at least a few hiking tracks through the mountains, but no.
The last day of our trip we planned to drive back to Málaga along the coast and have a ‘beach day’. Of course the weather had other plans … we started the day with rain, around midday the rain stopped – as the forecast said – yet it was still extremely cloudy and not as warm as it had been the last weeks. While we enjoyed our fresh and specially for us prepared fish in a restaurant the sun came out, but obviously after we finished the fish, it disappeared, so we continued our journey to Nerja. Yoohoo, here the sky seemed to clear up! Waiting on the beach for 15 minutes, half an hour, an hour … but the sun did not come through …
As if we were cursed, once we stepped in the car the first rays of the sun touched our skin, how is that possible!
A week which seemed so far away, but ended so quickly! It was good to see my parents again, show them around in “my” city and together discover Andalucía. A week full of highlights and some downs – but mainly good times! – which I enjoyed to the fullest. Time flew by so fast! After exchanging some clothes and Dutch delicacies – stroopwafels!! – this Thursday it was already time to say goodbye. Not for long though, cause I only have seven weeks left in beautiful Málaga ? So no time to sit still, enough time to experience new adventures ?