The morning of our arrival into Malaga from Naples, over breakfast in our hostal, we weighed accomodation options. The choice was between a hostel in the old town of Malaga or a private room in an AirBnB south of town (in Guadelmar) by the sea. Knowing it was time to be by the water even if that meant a thirty+ minute bus ride into the city, we chose the apartment.
I had no way of knowing that clicking “confirm” would soon open a door into Spain that few tourists get to experience on their own.
Our host Antonio, offered to pick us up at the airport and from the moment we got into his car it would become “Malaga por Antonio.” He took us to a neighborhood restaurant on the boardwalk our first night, cooked homemade paella for us on the second, and gave me a cooking lesson in making Tortilla de Espana on the third. We met his friends, heard stories about his life, listened to his music, and got to experience Malaga through his eyes.
And, of course, he got a glimpse of Alabama and the US through us. Those kind of meaningful exchanges are the reason sites like www.airbnb.com work so well. For us, it’s the reason we travel.
We came to Malaga, only planning to stay one night, simply because it was our best transportation entry for reaching Tarifa. There is so much to see and do, we found ourselves looking for reasons to stay. From the stunning architecture that makes the entire city feel like an open museum, to the glitz and glamour of the marina promenade, and endless stretches of sand on the beach south of town, Malaga was unexpected and beautiful.
But when we think back on our visit here, I have no doubt what we’ll remember: drinking wine from Cordoba (Antonio’s hometown) in the kitchen watching the intricately beautiful process of what would soon be the best paella we’ve ever had.