Updated: Jul 25, 2020
You're looking at three Spanish citizens to-be!
Rachel (23), Adela (20) and I had an awesome time exploring our country to-be together. For my sisters, this was their first time in Spain (I have visited a few times before, read about those here). They started their applications for citizenship before ever traveling to see the country. Bold move, but they absolutely loved it.
Adela is actually studying in Sevilla this year, currently she is a Junior at Colorado State University. Rachel just took a job with the CDC, and will move to Alaska in October, but took a month off to explore Spain and visit me in Denmark. Yes, we are an independent trio, our mama raised us that way! The details of our trip are below.
We flew into Málaga, because that is where our notary was; also my Aunt Ana, Uncle Robert, and Cousin Emilia live there. We stayed in an adorable AirBnB, which I have to recommend if you want to stay in downtown/central Málaga for $70 a night. It had two beds, one of which was lofted. This location was perfect for us because it was a 15 minute walk to the train and close to everything in the city.
Málaga is a fun city. I love the colors. The shopping is fabulous, and the food is even better! The city power washes the streets each night, so the walkways are sparkling clean. We found a wonderful rooftop bar, La Terraza de Valeria, which is a great place for a night one to get the bird's eye view.
Check out these beautiful concrete floors below, and of course the church. It is these floors that make downtown Málaga so charming for me. Note the adorable little boy kicking around a soccer ball.
The food in Spain has to be one of my favorite things about it. I like the eating schedule with a siesta. And truly, tapas are the perfect size meal. People really should eat more smaller meals through the day. I feel great in Spain! See some of the food we found below. We had lots of paella, pimientos, and jámon.
And whatever you do, in all caps, DO NOT MISS THE MÁLAGA MARKET. You can see more photos of it in my post here, but seriously. This is one of the most memorable food experiences I've ever had. They've got fresh fish, fruit, and tapas galore. I would say it is comparable to a state fair, but just for food, and open every day.
Tastes of Málaga August 2019
The shopping in the downtown area is really cheap (at least in comparison to Denmark) and I love the leather. I am seriously obsessed. I am headed back this winter, just for shoe shopping! Shoes are the main export of Spain, and they hand make many of their shoes. I have a pair of leather walking shoes from last winter, and the craftsmanship is just to die for! The hand stitching is super strong. I have images of some of the handmade leather purses below.
The Alcazaba in downtown Málaga is a palace that was built in the 11th century. It is the best preserved Alcazaba in Spain. The ruins are so well kept and beautiful, it seems like it could have been built in the 1600s! It is amazing that the Alcazaba is right in the center of all the city happenings.
This is the second time I've seen this mural. My aunt Ana thought it looked like me the first time, and then so did my sisters! What do you think?
After we signed with the notary in Málaga we travelled north a couple hours to Córdoba. This city is super picturesque. I love the white paint. The white paint seems to be strategic. The city is super hot in August, and the white walls reflect heat. Even during 90 degree weather, the walls were cool to the touch. We were wondering if that is why there are so many white cities around Spain.
We spent two days in Córdoba, and we loved the feel. With a population of 300,000 the city had a small town vibe. There were no lines anywhere. We had lots of meals in front of tiny restaurants in the street. Also, flamenco dancing is native to this area, and we got to hear and see some of its magic!
The city itself is clean and the people are slow paced and friendly. We got another awesome AirBnb that was uber cheap, I would recommend it, good location as well.
A few city sights
This city is known for La Mezquita, or its mosque dating from 784 AD. You can see tons of Moorish architecture here, as well as Christian influence. The church is thought to have originally been Christian. It has changed hands so many times that both Christian and Muslim architecture remain, and the difference is stark. This is a theme throughout many churches in this region. You must see this if you are in Córdoba.
By recommendation of some friends we found some super cool places where young people in the area hangout. Plaza de la Corredera and Plaza de las Tendillas, are great places to see some night life and get a drink on the patio into the early morning hours. We also found it interesting that families with children would stay out until 1 or 2 AM, seems odd, but the culture is just different.
The Alcázar gardens are located in the historic center of Córdoba, next to the Guadalquivir River and near the Mezquita. It is a fortress that served as one of the primary residences of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon. The gardens are popular today for water fountain light shows at night.
The Roman Bridge (below) is an icon of Córdoba. Everything in this city seemed to be within 15 minutes walking: the Mezquita, bridge, gardens etc.
My friend Josh Lujan, who lived in Córdoba for a bit, recommended Bar Santos to us, which is famous for its Spanish Tortilla. Spanish Tortilla is a bit like quiche or an omelette, but it has a lot more potato in it. That is the tortilla below. They are the size of basketballs! I love this dish, it is so light and fluffy; if I lived in Spain I would probably eat it everyday.
Until Next Time,
It won't be long until we are Spanish, for real! Spain was so good to us. And I am thankful that my sisters and I are getting to spend some time in our early twenties traveling the world together and exploring. I absolutely adore the two of them. Rachel and Adela inspire me to be the best I can be. I love you girls!