Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Málaga, Spain

Having spent almost three months studying abroad in Málaga, I've fallen in love with the people, the food (with a few exceptions), and the Mediterranean sunsets.  If you're visiting Málaga, or just dreaming about it, here are a few tips and photos.

La Comida- The Food
Roasted potatoes (Patatas Asadas) are very traditional around Christmas, but head out to Las Papa's in El Centro to feast on them year-round.  Essentially, these baked potatoes are served with almost more toppings than potato itself.  The toppings- ranging from meats to veggies to homemade sauces- sound a little weird, but almost every combination is delicious.  

What would Spain be without paella?  This local dish is a rice/vegetables/meat mixture that has a million variations.  Beware that serving sizes are almost always double (or triple) what most people could ever eat.  

Another Spanish favorite is churros and chocolate.  Whether these fried (but not sweetened) pastries are served giant and fluffy or small and dense depends on the café, but rest assured that both variates are delicious.  They're best served with a cup of chocolate that seems to be somewhat of a hybrid between hot chocolate and Hershey's Syrup.  If you're craving an actual hot chocolate, order a Cola Cao

If you're in Málaga, stop by Casa Aranda in El Centro for big, fluffy churros and great people watching.  There's also a great little cafe next door to the Plaza de Toros (Bullring) that serves up the crunchier variety. 

Places to See

Plaza de la Constitución is located at the foot of the giant shopping street Calle Larios, and is a perfect location for meeting up with some friends before wandering the tiny pedestrian streets of El Centro.  This is also the popular place for concerts, festivals, and large group gatherings. 

Málaga's town hall is gorgeous, and a perfect time to visit is when the lobby is transformed into a Bethlehem scene during the Christmas season.  Instead of Christmas trees, most Spaniards decorate with elaborate cityscapes that include everything from the Angel Gabriel to ancient marketplaces.   

If you're feeling a bit historical, visit the preserved Roman Amphitheater and adjoining Spanish fortress,  the Alcazaba.  With perhaps some of the most gorgeous views of the city, the Alcazaba was built by Muslims in the mid-11th century and was at once point used by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella!  

Craving some beach time?  Malagueta, the local beach, is lined with food vendors grilling espetos (sardines) and other fresh catches, people sunbathing, and kids playing in the sand.  Unfortunately, Malagueta isn't the greatest (or cleanest) beach around.  If you're looking for a gorgeous shoreline and crystal clear waters, hop on a bus and head an hour east to Nerja, Spain.

Local Excursions 


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