After no more than 2 hours sleep I am brought to my senses at 245 by the shrieking of my mobile phone alarm. Groggy I slunk out of bed to get ready for the weary trudge from flat to bus station to embark on a journey to Stansted to fly to Malaga for a few days either side of a trip to Seville to watch my favourite football team play a European Final. Malaga I hear some discontent at the back. Yes the cultured traveller I have become renowned for has chosen to head to the location of such gripping shows as “Boozed Up Brits Abroad” and “Bargain Loving Brits in the Sun.” There has never been a overwhelming urge to visit this Andalusian paradise which serves as one of the last bastions of British society complete with cafes selling “Full English” to soak up yesterday’s over indulgence to Spanish favourite such as Steak and Kidney Pie or Fish and Chips. Of course I will be sampling more local fare like Tapas to keep you all salivating. So come Malaga let’s be having you. No expectations other than perceived negativity so I am prepared to be wowed.
Faux snobbery from first paragraph aside this is a very different trip. Not only is it the lead up to the anniversary of Fiona’s death but it’s a football trip and I’ll be meeting some of boys from home that share the love of Rangers Football Club.
The bus leaves bang on 4am and an endearing efficiency which is unusual in the UK. Maybe this coupled with the surprise showing at Eurovision is a shot in the arm for the post Brexit landscape that we now find ourselves in. Bus pulls into Stansted at 445am. Just the 3 hrs 25 minutes to keep myself entertained then. Thank goodness for music. Track of the day below.
On arriving at the terminal building at the airport it is awash with people. 100s perhaps 1000s of people heading on a well earned trip or returning home from spending time in the London/Essex area. I make it through security and now take in some caffeinated indulgence and people watching ahead of being called to board.
Lauda Air is the bird of choice today bizarrely but if it gets me to Malaga then there’s no issue just perhaps the first of a few surprises over the coming days. There’s more than a few Rangers fans on the flight. Again up and away bang on the departure time. 30 minutes there’s some commotion at the back of the plane and stewardesses and steward rush back. Don’t know what transpired but lots of shouting and it’s led to the captain threatening to divert the plane. Divert the plane! What? Mr Aggressive can pipe down. Thankfully it seemed to blow over but as a result tensions are high and more than a few are now quite highly strung. I keep my head down and continue to immerse myself in music. Before I know it, aided by a quick much needed 40 winks it’s “Cabin Crew prepare for landing” over the tannoy.
My apartment is 20 minutes from the airport so arrange an Uber for the journey and I’m on my way. The outskirts of a city are never too salubrious and Malaga is no exception. Some of the buildings wouldn’t look out of place in Baghdad but I won’t let it curb my enthusiasm. I arrive at Plaza Merced a square covered in a mysterious purply blue tree and discover a craft beer bar a stones throw from the apartment. Result!
First stop after dumping my bag is for lunch. Tapas being the order of the day. Restaurant just along from the apartment has an offer. 4 tapas for €12 so think that’ll be the choice today and explore more tomorrow.
Wowsers wasn’t expecting so much but I’m here to sample local delicious food so I will struggle through haha! On show here meatballs, chicken skewer up top and iberico pork toastado and chorizo salsa completing the line up
First impressions of Malaga are good. Bustling for a Monday probably fuelled by the copious amount of football fans milling the streets. Lots of pavement restaurants makes me feel I’m actually on holiday. My only previous experience of Spain was Seville where I am off to on Wednesday and this wasn’t too dissimilar. So pass marks so far. There’s a Castle too so bonus points there too. It’s warm very warm but plenty shady spots to enjoy a shady Sangria or Cerveza.
Being in the south of Spain you won’t ever be too far from the water and the front at Malaga offers little disappointment. Tree lined promenades are a must for this intrepid traveller to offer protection from the fierce rays of mother sun. So after long day and early start I make my way back to the apartment before heading out to dinner.
So head out and it’s close to 9pm before I find somewhere that sits between too snacky and fine dining. The big lunch made me seek something that was not too ostentatious but equally satisfying. Corboda pork won. It’s pork cooked in cider stuffed with bacon and deep fried. Could be straight out the West of Scotland cookbook. It was tasty enough with a certain acidity to the meat perhaps from the cider. So after that I head back to have a sleep as was pretty exhausted. Stay tuned for day 2.