Malaga Travel Blog› entry 4 of 4 › view all entries
January 27th, 2008 – by: kimakje
My bus ride is almost over, I just saw a sign saying it's 93 miles to Malaga. So before I finish yesterday I should fill in the last hours of Friday into Saturday morning.
I woke up at 9 on Saturday. I was tired, but the night before the front desk had asked that I change rooms for my last night and i had to have my stuff ready by 11. I also had to meet Valerie at 11:30 at the Puerta del Sol, so I went and ate my breakfast. After my cafe con leche and croissant (original right?) I headed upstairs to move my things. I'd like to thank the front desk for only making me lug my heavy bag next door. It was also helpful to have all my things packed a day early as I did not have very much time yesterday at the hostel.
I headed to the Puerta del Sol early.
Valerie came at 11:30 as planned. We caught up as we walked towards La Plaza Mayor. The plaza was cool (definitely more impressive than what I thought it was my first day there), but there wasn't much to see. We walked off down one of the streets leading out of the plaza.
Neither of us really had a plan of what we wanted to do. I wanted to see the Palacio Real (The Royal Palace) and the Reina Sofia was free that night, so I was hoping to get there anytime after 2:30. After our little mid-morning snack we wandered off in search of adventure. We ended up in Plaza de Toledo and saw a band playing outside a mall. Then we meandered down toward a cathedral we saw. There was no way to get inside, and what looked like a pretty garden turned out to be a work in progress. We walked around the back of the church to try and find another way in, but found ourselves in a sad little dried up park with grafitti littering the walls that enclosed it.
Before I finish our day I would like to take a moment to share some of the observations I made about Madrid. As a city it is very old and beautiful, however graffiti is everywhere and people drop cigarette butts and dogs poop all over the sidewalks. The city hires street sweepers to help control this problem, but in the less touristic areas the sidewalks are littered with trash. I commend New York on the job they have done keeping graffiti out, since it really does ruin the beauty of the city.
Back to the story. After the disappointing Cathedral, there was another even more beautiful church which was open to the public. At about this time my camera battery died and I was glad that Valerie was there so there was someone to document the rest of the day. (And for you mom, we took some pictures of one another and both of us together so you will get to see my smiling face.) We looked at teh cathedral, which was huge and quite pretty and then moved on to El Palacio Real which was next door. It was 8 euro to get in, and not worth it for that price. I forgot to have my student card with me because it would have been 3. The palace was nice, but it wasn't anything too special.
Now, at this time we were starving. It was about 2 or 3 in the afternoon and we decided to try and find food. We walked through La Plaza Espana and looked at cafeterias in the area. They were all pretty expensive, so we decided to walk back toward my hostel. Here's where we get lost. I can't even remember where we got to, but it was not where we wanted to be. We tried to find our way on a map and both agreed on a direction to walk. It was the wrong one, so finally we hopped on the metro and rode back up to sol to see if the vegetarian place (Valerie is a vegetarian) was open. No luck. I thought I knew how to get back to my hostel from there, but I was completely turned around and we ended up back very far away.
After luch we were recharged. We tried again to get to the hostel, but ended up getting more lost. We did end up near La Sofie Reina so we decided to go in. We looked at the paintings, which were a lot cooler than El Prado. The museum holds many Dali and Picasso paintings, including The Guernica. It was huge, and I could have stared at it for hours trying to decide what went on in Picasso's mind. It was coold because they also had a series of photographs documenting the progression of the painting. It was like playing "What's different in the pictures" with a real work of art.
We left the museum soon after viewing The Guenica.
After churros we walked back to the Sol metro station and parted ways. I went back to the hostel and went downstairs to use the computer to double check bus schedules and see who was around. It was very crowded and I didn't recognize anyone so I left. The vibe of the whoe hostel was very different last night. Less like a community and more like a club as people were leaving or went out, and outside patrons visited the bar.
I was sad to leave this morning, but it is a beautiful day and a nice bus ride through the country. The mountains are a little scary when the bus takes the turns ,but they make for a beautiful skyline and the quaint little houses and the large spread of trees and farms is beautiful. We stopped about an hour ago to get food and go to the bathroom and soon my ride will be over and it is on to the next adventure, finding my way from the station to the apartment.
So I'm in Malaga. This city is absolutely ugly. I thought it would only be in the more commercial area near the bus, but it seems to be just as ugly here. However, maybe I will find it charming in the end. The girl in my room, who's name escapes me now, has managed to last one and a half months here. She is from Japan and speaks very good Spanish. It is good because then I will be forced to stop speaking in English. It worries me that she has other friends here and I don't know if we will be able to become friends, but I will not let that deter me from trying.
There are very many beautiful buildings around here for such an ugly town. When I got in I tried to figure out the bus to my part of town, but it was too confusing and I gave in to a taxi. The taxi driver took a minute to find the right number, but the people there knew what I wanted so I didn't have to struggle through words I didn't know in Spanish. A man helped me with directions and they were very good so I was able to find the place no problem, however it took forever to get in. Finally, my roomate helped me out. She just went out with a friend, but I'm glad that I get a little time to myself. I thought I would have a lot in Madrid and I had barely any. Anyway I severely need a shower.
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