It was a happy coincidence that our friends the Duncans (Craig, Debbie, Alex and Kieran) were docking in Malaga on their super swish Royal Caribbean Med cruise when we were in the area. Plans to catch up with them over a Rioja or two close to Malaga cathedral were hatched. The last time we saw them was at Butlins Skegness in October which was a slightly different colder coastal setting. Surely there was a lot less chance of the kids asking for 2p for the arcade machines?
Calahonda to Malaga
Up, dressed and showered we set off to Malaga at 8am.
Already in the Spanish holiday timezone of staying up very late and sleeping in even later this was a little bit of a struggle already. This was only Day 3! From our base camp in Calahonda the journey was scheduled to take 40 minutes, popping in a public car park in Malaga into google maps. This was the second time on the trip we had seen Malaga as a wrong turn from the airport had lead us here the wrong way up the coast. Alan had had a few days of Spanish driving under his belt and felt slightly more confident of tackling the city roads.
Breakfast in Malaga
Parking in the main shopping centre was actually pretty stress free, just next to the popular El Corte Ingles department store which seem to be everywhere in Spain. The next mission was coffee and a pastry which was easily located. Imogen asked for a hot chocolate which was as far from the Cadbury’s highlights she is used to. The hot chocolate was an authentic Spanish hot choc which was essentially melted chocolate in a small cup.
Delicious but quite rich. We all enjoyed sampling this and the accompanying sugar rush!
Mercado Central Atarazanas
Just opposite the coffee shop on the way to the cathedral was the Mercado Central Atarazanas, which was just fascinating. An old fashioned covered in market selling the most amazing fish, fruit, meat and cheese.
What a brilliant place and a true taste of Spain. On the outside of the market there were lots of tapas bar which were really popular. You had to squash past to get along the pavement!
Soaking in the Malaga atmosphere
We still had an hour or so before meeting the Duncans so we just pottered around the city. A small planted area outside of the cathedral was a good chill out people watching spot.
Imogen waited patiently for the perfect posing spot at the pond.
Malaga is really pretty with lots of shops, some you would recognise from back home like Mango, KIKO and Mayoral kids. A new favourite shop of the girls was ALE-HOP a cross between Tiger and Smiggle, made distinctive with it’s full size cow outside. The girls spent ages in here picking up some tat they didn’t really need! Just like a Saturday in the Metro Centre!
Time to meet the Duncans
Over a leisurely few drinks we caught up with our friends and were pretty jealous of their Royal Caribbean Med cruise.
Their teens Alex and Kieran were loving the teen club and had lots of Snap Chat numbers from new friends. No pen pals like in the olden days. Cruising is definitely shaking off it’s older reputation and their kids were loving experiencing new places along the Med with great food and entertainment. If anyone is wondering what Darren Day is up to these days..the answer is singing on cruise ships! Something to consider for us in the future for sure as Alan loves a bit of organised fun.
It was soon time to say bye as they wanted to look around Malaga before heading back on their boat. Until next time Duncans!
Our last bit of energy was taken up by climbing up the steep path around the Roman Theatre to get some good views of the city. The girls were not too chuffed about this and moaned all the way up (and down!).
The views were definitely worth it though and we saw the Duncan’s cruise ship in port. The city is vast and it was great to see the Costa Del Sol coastline stretching in the background. Bribed with ice creams we were back on the flat city streets heading back to Calahonda. An awesome day was had in Malaga, would love to return to soak in more of the Spanish atmosphere for longer.