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I could really live here one day… The weather is perfect, well for me anyway, and the people are so full of heart. The sun shines pretty much all the time here in Costa del Sol, ergo the name I’m sure. Knowing first hand what winter does to people, that’s probably why the people are so happy.

Getting to Málaga was a bit intense, because the apartment I first booked was on a hill – driving manual transmission on hills used to make me nervous, but now, not so much 😉 It’s all about the e-break… I say ‘first booked’ because, well, while I only meant to come here once, I came here on three separate occasions… it’s just that great.

Málaga – Take one

The first night I decided to head to a restaurant, my usual first attempt at getting to know a neighbourhood is by food, especially in Spain. I was craving a salad, ideally a goat cheese salad, and came across this hotel close to the water that had good menu ratings. It was called La Chancla – La Chancla, I was told by an owner of another apartment I stayed at that la chancla meant flip flops – who knew!

I checked the weather before I left because there was a hint of rain in the air – it said light drizzle, no biggie right? Turns out I was wrong… As I left I thought: I should bring an umbrella (well, actually my poncho because I didn’t have an umbrella hehe ). The weather said that it was supposed to lightly rain from 9:30pm on, and I think I started my walk down to the restaurant at around 8. Well, by the time I walked down the hill (10 minutes) and got down to the main road by the water, it was raining – the one day it rains in Málaga hahaha. I powered through and got to La Chancla. I sat at the bar, which is in my opinion, the best place to be especially if you’re on your own.

I ordered a water and that goat cheese salad I wanted, they even added chicken at no extra cost. It was delicious – don’t believe me, check it out:

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I stayed there until the rain subsided, which was around 11 – enjoying the company of some local people. It was a great first night, and I think I would stay at La Chancla if I had the opportunity just in case you’re thinking of going one day 😉

My body was a bit tired from the travelling, so I took it a bit easy the next day. It’s good to listen to your body I have learned, both in terms of food and rest. I spent the following days relaxing and going for runs, and of course stretching to my heart’s content, on the beach boardwalk. I didn’t take full advantage of the lake boardwalk in Toronto, and I wasn’t about to let another opportunity go by.

I went into to town one day and saw the Plaza de la Merced, the Picasso Museum, and the Cathedral, among other sites. There is really a lot of history here, and the time of year that it was (mid-October), it wasn’t super crowded. One evening I went into town and went to El Pimpi, an authentic bar in the center that had great tapas and a special sweet Málaga wine. I have to thank a great friend that I made there for showing me around 🙂

Málaga – Take two

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So, I was planning on going to Córdoba en route to Valencia to meet my sis for a weekend, but as the stars had it, my plans changed. In Tarifa, where I went to after my first Málaga adventure, I met a wonderful Norwegian woman windsurfing. She shared her story of how she ended up with a holiday home in Málaga and I just felt it calling back to me to go check it out. This time, I stayed in the center of town off of Calle Victoria, which is close to the Cathedral. I was a good hour walk in to town in the first place, so I wanted to soak in more of the city life. I went and explored the centre, recognizing places but also discovering new ones. I even went and explored a different beach, because, well why not? haha Now I know what people mean when the say ‘life by the sea is the life for me’…

 

 

 

 

Málaga – Take three

After Valencia, I drove back to Málaga, crazy I know. It was a long drive, but I made a plan to see more of Costa del Sol – Torremolinos, Fuengirola for example. Remember that Norwegian friend I made? She introduced me to someone that would take me along the area and get to know the areas a bit more intimately. It was a great experience, and now I know where to go to when I’m back in Spain 🙂

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I also had the privilege of working with some amazing people that brought food and their hearts to those in need. Good people that had lost their jobs, their families, and their homes due to the financial crisis. It was a truly moving experience and I gained a greater appreciation for not only all that I have – a loving family, a roof over my head, a great education – but also for the power of love, compassion, and a helping hand. In an instance you can change someone’s life, including your own, with even just a smile. It’s so easy to lose sight of what really matters, to let negativity consume you, but the power of positivity is stronger than you realize – it is a small gift that you can give that has more of an impact than you could ever imagine… People that I have met here would give the shirt off of their back to help their neighbour or even a stranger that is down on their luck. I’ve volunteered before, but never anything like this. To David, Ana, and Jorge, may your passion never fade and your hearts be an inspiration to us all …

Lessons learned:

  • The more you give, the happier you are
  • It’s the little things in life that mean the most
  • Like they say in the airplane, put your own oxygen mask on first (your health and wellness) so that you can help others

 


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Natalia Edelmann

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