Leaving Sevilla was much easier than getting there (meaning I only got lost and turned around twice, and didn’t end up in any scary narrow alleys). In short order I was on the road to Malaga.
One of the benefits of driving instead of taking a train or a plane is that you can stop at places that look interesting. And so it was that I ended up stopping in a town that bursted with odd parallels for me. I initially stopped to try to get a picture of the massive fields of olive trees that march from horizon to horizon across the rolling hills here. I ended up just taking pictures of the town.
So, the odd parallels: turns out the town’s name is Estepa, which reminded me of my friends Note and Arta Estapa (note: first names changed ’cause, well, internet).
So, I travel steeply up tiny, winding alley-like roads (it’s Spain, you come to accept this), and I eventually get near the top only to discover there is a place here called Church of Carmen. Having just come from Playa Del Carmen, that rings a bell for me.
Not only that, it’s on top of “San Cristobal Hill”. You may recall I was in San Cristobal, Mexico not so long ago. Spooky.
I didn’t stay too long, both for fear of uncovering even more parallels, then turning a corner and running into my future self who would divulge the exact day and time that I would die. I’ve seen the movies, this is how these things go.
So, after bailing out of there, the next stop was Malaga.
Now, nobody told me about Malaga. I mean, other than to say: “oh, hey, while you are in Spain, you should see these 47 cities” (of which Malaga was one). So, I arrive with expectations that this will be a sleepy little coast town and give me my first glimpse of the Mediterranean.
My expectations were a bit too low:
So it turns out to be a major vacation town with a fantastic tourist center.
Downtown all the streets are wide and clean, with marble sidewalks and palm trees.
The beach, however pretty, doesn’t really hold a candle to the Maya Riviera in Mexico. The sand is more like dirt, and there’s crazy winds that blow up huge clouds of dust. Also: water was a bit chilly and there are no waves to be seen.
However! The town itself is stellar. I started by discovering stairs that slope and zigzag up the side of a hill:
These steps lead you to the base of Castle Gibralfaro, which is a massive castle that affords you amazing views of the entire town since it is perched at the top of the highest hill smack in the center of the city.
So, once you come down off the hill and the castle, you’ve got a huge city to walk around and see. I didn’t take nearly as much time as one could to explore this place, mostly ’cause I had no idea what I was in for and had already reserved a hostel in Granada for the night. A few more things I was able to fit in:
Apparently some famous artist was born and grew up here:
So yeah; there’s museums (one devoted to Picasso), a massive cathedral, and a bunch more about this town, not to mention all the restaurants, a huge shopping walk along the pier, and more. One could (and probably should) spend many days here. But I was off to Granada.
I rolled into Granada about 7:30, and experienced a new level of confusion: the hostel I was to stay in was on an alley so narrow and small it didn’t show up on maps. So that’s fun. Turns out to be a fantastic hostel though. In the previous hostel I was surprised to be the youngest one there. This one turned out to be a real “youth” hostel, but the kids took the old man in regardless and we went out for tapas on the town. Good finish for the day.
Next up: Granada and the journey to Valencia.