It would be lovely to be able to jet off to Mexico City for short breaks on a regular basis. Alas, it’s too far and fares too expensive for that to be feasible. The next best thing? For those of us who call Bournemouth home, it’s Andalucia. Specifically, Malaga. A place Picasso once called home. With return flights between Bournemouth and Malaga that can sometimes cost less that the fee for leaving your car in the airport carpark, it’s as cheap as a foreign holiday gets. It would almost be silly not to go. We’re not silly. So we went.
The winding cobbled streets, adventurous use of the colour palette by exterior designers, high ceilings, inner courtyards and generous use of wooden beams all bring back memories of Mexico. The food does too, although obviously meals are put together very differently than in Mexico. I enjoyed tender pork cheeks in a white wine sauce on day one and an oxtail stew on day two. Both absolutely delicious. There’s that Spanish chatter filling your ears too. But most of all, the deep blue skies and the warm sun that massages your face and arms with its rays – that’s a feeling that reminds me instantly of Mexico.
It would also be lovely to visit the Middle East. To see the wonders of ancient Syria, Iraq and Iran. Easier said than done these days, sad to say. But Andalucia comes up trumps again, with its Moorish heritage still evident in architecture and culture. Having enjoyed our solar massage by day, we ventured into a hammam for a more literal massage in the evening. Ninety minutes of hot baths, saunas and hot stone rooms all by candlight with a fifteen minute back and leg massage by a skilled senorita to complete the ‘water journey’. It’s the perfect end to a day.
We also enjoyed a Flamenco show. I don’t know much about music if truth be told, and I know even less about dance. But I know a good show when I see one, and this was that. Flamenco is an awfully angry thing. Some might call it passionate, but I’d say it is just plain old angry. I’m pretty sure the story involved a woman being cheated on, then taking revenge by gathering three generations of males from the offending family, tying them to the floor and then…well, there’s a lot of vicious stamping going on.
We really liked Malaga, if only for a few days. And we’ll be going back. Malaga is the gateway to Andalucia for us. Sevilla, Cordoba, Cadiz, Granada all beckon. For a few photos of our trip, click here.