Final days in Malaga

This Friday was the last day of my on-the-job learning period here in Malaga, and on Sunday I will fly back to Helsinki. Last Sunday I had to move into a different apartment, because the room I had rented in the center was only available until the end of September. Living in the center was great for getting to know the city and the principal sights, and I enjoyed my short walk to work past the Picasso Museum and the Cathedral.

However, living in the epicenter of the nightlife of Malaga above a bar can be a bit tiring, especially at weekends. But I learned to sleep with earplugs and survived. Also, now that I haven’t been living in the center, I’ve noticed that it’s easier to disconnect from work. When you work in tourism and live in the historical center a the city that’s full of tourists, you find it hard not to think about work even when you’re not working. Or at least this was my experience. If I come here again, I’ll try to choose my place to stay more carefully.

Eight weeks is a s…

Trips from Malaga: Ronda

Last weekend was my last free weekend during this on-the-job learning period, and wanted to finally visit Ronda. I have to admit that before coming to Malaga, I hadn't even heard about the town - something I now consider incredible. In Malaga, however, several people had told me that if I wanted to go somewhere outside Malaga, Ronda would be an excellent choice. 

I knew Ronda was situated in a mountainous area, and had seen pictures of its exceptionally beautiful landscape and of its perhaps most emblematic feature, the Puente Nuevo (New Bridge). So, when I got off the bus after an hour and 45 minutes' journey from Malaga, my expectations were high. And I was not disappointed.

I loved absolutely everything about Ronda: the people were friendly, the food was excellent, the air was fresh, and I could have stared at the landscape for hours. I even loved the hotel I stayed in (Berlanga), even though it was a bit far from the center, located in an industrial park type of area and had…

Malaga from a different perspective

My well-deserved weekend was spent half on the beach and half on the town exploring some of Malaga's main sights. I started my Sunday by having my very favourite breakfast at the terrace of El Pimpi, one of Malaga's most famous and most traditional restaurants. This breakfast consists of toast with tomato paste and olive oil, a café con leche and a glass of natural orange juice. I have to say that I've had better versions of the tostada con tomate elsewhere, but breakfast is probably not what El Pimpi specializes in. The coffee, however, was good and the location left little to be desired.

El Pimpi's terrace is located just opposite to the oldest historical monument in Malaga, the Roman Theater, built in the 1st century AD and discovered in 1951. For many years, the theater was half-buried under the Casa de Cultura (Cultural Center). In 1995, a decision was made to abolish the Casa de Cultura, and after the excavation works and many years of restoration, the theater was…

Pilates, beach, and a work marathon

Time flies, and there is only one month left of my on-the-job learning period here in Malaga. For me, the best part of working in the holiday apartment business is doing the check-ins and getting to meet people from many parts of the world and trying my best to make sure their holiday is Malaga starts of smoothly. In the process, I'm getting to know Malaga better myself day by day. The work is varied and rarely boring. It's also a bit stressful, because there's a ton of things to learn and you never know what problems you might encounter. As I'm still relatively new, there's a lot I don't know and need help with. Luckily a have very helpful collegues.

Starting from tomorrow, I will work nine days in row. To refuel my energies for the days ahead, I started my Wednesday off by finally signing up for a gym membership for the time I have left here. Going to a Pilates class after about a month's break was absolutely lovely - and a good 'refresher class' …

A Sunday with Picasso

As a trainee for a company that rents touristic apartments, my daily work includes meeting people from all over the world who come to Malaga to spend their vacations. I don't yet know Malaga that well myself, so I try to spend as much of my free time as possible getting to know the city and its main attractions, so that I would be better prepared to answer any questions the clients may have and maybe even give recommendations about what Malaga has to offer.

This past Sunday started with a rain shower, so I decided it would be a good day to visit a few museums. Malaga is not only a nice place for a beach holiday, but also, among other things, an internationally renowned city of museums. Among the most important ones are those dedicated to the life and work Pablo Picasso, regarded as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century.

Picasso was born in Malaga in 1881. Even though he spent most of his adult life in France, he never forgot his Spanish roots, and it was later h…

Sounds of feria

Note to self, and to anybody planning to visit Malaga in August in the future: if possible, avoid trying to walk in the city center with a suitcase during the feria, especially in the evening. I tried it yesterday, so I know what I'm talking about. The streets are so packed full of people in a festive mood that getting anywhere even without a suitcase can be difficult. With a suitcase, it's close to impossible.

It's not that I was completely unaware of what to expect. But my home away from home in Malaga is situated in the historical center of the city and not accessible by car, as far as I know. A taxi would not have done me much good, so I had to walk. Luckily I did finally reach my goal, with the help of some friendly malagueños (Malagan people).

Now I'm surrounded by the sounds of the festivities outside, and mentally trying to prepare myself for my first day of on-the-job learning tomorrow. I already had the chance to visit the office yesterday evening, so I know…

Getting ready

I'm at the final stages of packing now, and trying to prepare myself for heading off to Malaga tomorrow. There are so many butterflies in my stomach that I'm surprised there's room foor anything else there. Of course I'm also very much looking forward to the next two months, and to all the new things I will learn and all the new people I will meet. The Andalusian weather will be an added bonus, since the summer in Helsinki has so far been, well, not much of a summer at all.

My arrival date to Malaga coincides with the start of this year's Feria de Málaga, the annual Malaga city fair. The fair commemorates the re-conquest of the city by the Catholic Monarchs  of the Crown of Castile, Fernando and Isabel,in 1487. Nowadays the feria is a week-long street party that fills the center of the city with happy (and loud) people and plenty of flamenco and other things andalusian.

I have been to the Feria de Málaga once before, 11 years ago. I'm excited to be reunited wit…