The interior of the media distancia train from Malaga to Seville is stark, white and blogsand. It has a futuristic simplicity to it that's a far cry from the colorful array or ornate history that makes up Spain. While it's certainly no TGV or ICE train, it nonetheless gives the benefits of train travel: rapid and affordable with a great countryside view. The city of Malaga was as different from the train taking me away from it as possible. It is a beautiful city with a range of old buildings, churches, and castles reflecting Spains various inhabitants over history. There's few modern buildings and very little steel and glass.
Everyone asked, why Malaga? It's a small city that most people have never heard of and is forgotten due to its Andalucían neighbors. After a semester of London, Barcelona, Amsterdam, and Paris however, it felt good to get a bit off the beaten path. Theres more discovery when your friends have never been somewhere first. They can't tell you what to see, where to party. So why Malaga? Three words: beach, Sun and Picasso.
I met my friend George there after six months apart. He's been in Granada this semester, so his Spanish came in handy. I studied it for three years, and its incredible how much came back in a place where I was surrounded by it. We had wine and dinner and caught up plenty, sleeping until the incredible Sun beckoned us to hit the town and explore.
We started out up the hill, wandering towards the 11th century castle. On the way wewent through the richest neighborhood in the city, beautiful large Spanish modern architecture overlooking the Mediterranean and the city. Had we planned thoroughly and closely followed the map, we would have never stumbled upon it. We quickly realized our similar travel outlooks. Know what you want to do, but welcome what comes your way.
The hill led us to the castle, which brought us to a band at the docks where we found casita de la patata. It was a restaurant specializing in baked potatos Spanish style. they were the size of babies and were packed with sauce, meat and more. Best enjoyed on the sunny beach with tinto verano, a cheap sangria and followed by the Picasso museum.
Malaga is Picasso's birthplace and home to a great collection of his works. The museum was a great example of how the space can really accentuate the viewing of art, as the pieces were well spaced in a gorgeous villa with ornate wood ceilings. The walls were adorned simply with the occasional quote; often indicating Picasso's desire toescape from the conventional beauty the history of art promoted. He wanted to shock viewers and change the way they look at things.
We ended the day with Tapas and beer, completely exhausted as a sign of a day well spent. We wandered for a while the next day looking for the contemporary art center. We finally found it and weren't disappointed. The one big room was a huge open exhibition space with paintings, huge sculptures and all sorts of other thought provoking goodies. Without any descriptions, it had a clearly aesthetic emphasis (a quality I find necessary in art), but it would have been cool to know more about some of the artist's processes and intentions. I wrote down some names to try to figure it out. We were also treated to a good display of local works.
We ate lunch at a delicious place with the locals and finished it off with mind blowing fresh flan. Then of course, it was siesta time.
After our nap, we decided to go back to the castle to do some night photography.We walked all around the ramparts of the castle, taking in the city view, the sound of children's Christmas fireworks and pondering the future. The castle has been rooted there for nearly a millennium, but our lives are less sure, and certainly less consistent. Living a life so different from what you're used to truly helps shape desires for the future. What we lack currently is specificity. It's only a start to know you want to be happy, want to be able to travel and get outdoors. It's hard to think about a career when you do something completely different every weekend, but the rationale is to see and experience as much as possible and be open to letting it have an effect on you. "let the world change you and you can change the world."
it's cliche but we start out blank and our experiences, big and small, enrich and socialize us. It's important to have this deeper level to our adventures. Fun and