Farewell my beloved...

Malaga Travel Blog

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Calle Larios
We left Granada early today, again by bus. I felt a bit sad when we drove away and left the mountains and this great city behind. Especially because I knew where we were going: Malaga. I've written it before, in my other Spain blog, and I'll repeat it. I don't like Malaga. I can't help it. I tried to love it, but I don't. It is dirty, it is crowded, it is soooo touristy, noisy, busy, expensive,...

As we walked from the bus station to our hotel in the center, I just couldn't help noticing how ugly I find it. It was even worse than I remembered, and the streets were sticky with whatever it was that laid on the tiles, just as they were some years ago. After leaving our belongings in the hotel, again small but neat, we went to look for a sweet park to picnic in.
Alcazaba
We didn't find one. Or, that is to say, we didn't find a neat one. We did picnic in some park in the end. A small, dirty park close to a busy road. After cruising the city for a while (without finding too many really nice squares or places) we went to check out the beach. After all, that is why we came for. My parents, actually my mother, wanted to end the holiday with some sunning in the sand, and Malaga has great plane connections to Brussels, so it wasn't a waste neither.

Ok, so we found a beach. It was tiny, bordered to a busy road full of cars and noise, and had a view over the industrial harbor were huge container ships passed by all the time. Yet it was a beach. There was the hot sand, the topless chocolate tanned girls walking around, the shells at the shore, the vendors selling cheap stuff, and the Mediterranean blue water.
Alcazaba
I loved the water, and the first thing I did was going for a swim. The coastline is steep here, so after about three of four steps, the water is shoulder high. Not an issue really, just something added to the list of 'non-perfect things' to find in Malaga. My mother started to complain instantly about the heat. She couldn't stay down on the sand, as this beamed the warmth back up. I haven't got too many problems with high temperatures, but she had to keep standing at her towel to catch some wind. There hardly was any though. We left after nearly two hours, and except for the swimming, it hadn't been fun.

Meanwhile my father had walked around the center some more. He hates beaches so scheduled to do something else. The aim was to find a nice place to have dinner, but when he came to report he had to admit that not even one place was great.
Alcazaba
So we left for what he called "the best deal". This was a little square somewhere close to the shopping street Calle Marqués de Larios. This is probably the only pleasant street in Malaga: fanciness all over, bling bling stones on the street (no stickiness here), shops all around.

The restaurant were we sat down is called Ajo Blanco. It is a tapasbar where you can have dinner in the evening. We arrived early, and had to wait until the kitchen opened, so we had drinks first. The waiter was a funny person, completely hyperactive and extremely happy, with thick heavy glasses. He made me think of that professor from "Honey, I shrunk the kids".  Yet he made our day because he was so helpful to answer all our questions and show us which fish could be ordered etc.
View from the Alcazaba


So at last, we made an order. This was the deal: I would go for a cheese salad (as I always go for salads), my father wanted squid, and my mother grilled fish. Yet she only wanted the fish if it was fillet, no head and tales and stuff. The thing about fillet was that the waiter didn't understand what we meant. It took us ages to explain, and when he finally got the point, he came to fillet the fish at our table, which wasn't exactly what we had in mind. Yet, it was friendly. Then, my parents ordered one mixed salad for both of them, since hardly any vegetables are served with plates in Spain, and they wanted some with it. Again, the waiter looked at us like if we were mad, but helpfully as he was he wrote it down. That's when the trouble started.

Ajo Blanco has a strange way of dealing with plates.
Harbor
We saw them all come from he kitchen, and then a cook would hand it to one of the four or five waiters. But those waiters never seemed to know who ordered the dish, so they went to ask or look at the notes, and then put it down on a table. I guessed that when three tables ordered the same dish, the waiter just choose one by luck, no matter which one ordered first. It turned out that this was exactly the case. I got my salad, yet then we had to wait about five or ten minutes before my father got his squid, with no salad. My mothers fish didn't came at all, so we had to ask. The waiter that turned up to write down the 'complaint' wasn't the same funny guy that took our first order. We told the new one that we still needed some grilled fish, with some salad. "Fish" he muttered, "and salad?", then he left.
View from the Alcazaba
Some minutes later he came with the fish and a little bit of lettuce next to it. The mixed salad we asked for had vanished. But because of all the trouble, we decided just to leave it that way. We were starving by that time too, and were just glad to all have received a plate. But then the bill came, and the mixed salad was charged 5 euros.

Again, we called for a waiter, and told him we had ordered the mixed salad indeed, but never received it. Instead, we said, we got some leaves of lettuce, but sure these wouldn't have cost 5 euro? The waiter apologized and disappeared with the bill ánd 50 euro's we used to pay. We only needed to pay 36 euro's though. Through the door we saw four waiters talking, surely about the salad. They were clearly blaming each other.
The Cathedral
Then the funny guy came over to apologize again. He said he had seen the mixed salad in the kitchen and had no idea were it had gone. When he left too, we heard the table behind us complain because they had received one salad they didn't order (my God!).

So there we were. The problem with the salad was solved, the price deleted from the bill. Yet now everyone seemed to ignore us. More even, they seemed to wonder why we weren't leaving, as we had payed and hadn't ordered anything new. We waited. And waited. Yet no one came to bring us our 14 euro change. If they'd mistaken that for a tip, they must have been greedy! 14 euro's is not a tip, it is worth a bloody bottle of Cava! So again, we called for a waiter.

The guy turned up at our table a bit unsure.
Plaza de Torros
"We gave 50 euro's" we said. The waiter nodded enthusiastically, as if he was glad he understood the sentence. "Yes!" he answered. Then there was a few seconds silence. He didn't get the point.
"We need change" I continued. "Change" he replied, and then, as if we had ordered a bit of extra bread or something, added "no problem" and rushed of. We looked at each other surprised, but were happy to receive the correct amount of money ánd the correctly adjusted bill some minutes later. Thank God that was over with!

Lesson: NEVER ask for anything complicated when going to a Spanish restaurant. It will most certainly go wrong!
jenn79 says:
Gosh! I'm so glad I read this! I was going to do a timeshare exchange in Malaga - thanks for sharing your experience here - one just never knows!
Posted on: Jan 15, 2008
anjok says:
http://www.travbuddy.com/travel-blogs/9297/Malaga-Antequera-El-Torcal-Malaga-5

funny. i had the same feeling about Malaga. even though I didn't spend a lot of time there.
Posted on: Aug 10, 2007
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Calle Larios
Calle Larios
Alcazaba
Alcazaba
Alcazaba
Alcazaba
Alcazaba
Alcazaba
View from the Alcazaba
View from the Alcazaba
Harbor
Harbor
View from the Alcazaba
View from the Alcazaba
The Cathedral
The Cathedral
Plaza de Torros
Plaza de Torros
Malaga Hotels & Accommodations review
We've stayed in better hotels during our time in Spain, yet it wasn't bad. It just is really simple. The room was the smallest we had, yet the bath… read entire review
Malaga Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Ajo Blanco is a tapas bar in the center of Malaga, near Calle Larios. It isn't a bad place, especially the tapas and the salads are worth a try. The o… read entire review
2,026 km (1,259 miles) traveled
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photo by: missmzungu