Category Archives: Trying something new

Roadtrip from Málaga to Gibraltar – Castillo de Castellar de la Frontera

After one day in Málaga, me and my friend hired a car and started our trip to Gibraltar. Driving along the coast we first stopped in Marbella. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t as good as we hoped so we just walked along the beach instead of actually going for a swim.

Beach at Marbella, Spainsea at Marbella

I can’t really tell if I liked Marbella because we didn’t see much more than the beach. However pasing huge hotels at the promenade, I would’nt choose Marbella over Málaga for a longer stay. But as I said I can’t judge properly.

What I can tell you is, that Marbella has a great restaurant for sushi. The Kyoto offers extraordinary sushi not far away from the beach. I know it is a bit strange to eat sushi in Spain when you can have tapas but my friend had serious cravings for sushi so we ended up enjoying a pretty good meal.

Sushi restaurant in MarbellaSushi at Marbella

After lunch we drove further following the coast. Some kilometres before Gibraltar we drove north to Castillo de Castellar –  a beautiful old castle with a small town around it.

Castillo de Castellar– Doesn’t this look stunning? –

We parked the car and got lost in the narrow streets of the small town.

castillo de castellarcastillo de castellarcastillo de castellarIt is a bit of a ride to get there but it is definitely worth the effort. You will not regret it, i promise.

castillo de castellarNext to the castle is a small lake where you can go for a swim or rent a canoe. Within the town you will find small cafés and some little shops. You can even stay in the castle which is a hotel now.

After a long stroll around we headed towards Gibraltar which we reached in the early evening. Perfectly timed for a nice dinner and an early night ;).

What to do in Málaga – Spain

Malaga in SpainAt the end of May I flew over to Málaga for a short trip into the sun. I was visiting a friend who is living in Gibraltar but because flight connections from Germany to Gibraltar are insanely expensive we agreed on meeting in Málaga.

I arrived quite early in the moring so we had plenty of time to explore. The city center is truly beautiful. The narrow streets with the typical spanish houses get you into an holiday mood immediately.

streets of Malaga

Malaga

I just love the tiny balconies and wooden blinds. I always imagine the locals drinking their morning cup of coffee right there in their morning gown watching the sun rise over the sea ;).

We stayed in the Picnic Dreams Boutique Hostel which I cannot recommend enough. The hotel is situated close to the main sights and has well furnished rooms. You even get the basic toiletries which is great for people flying in only with carry-on luggage. On top of the nice rooms the breakfast is delicious too. I tried the typical spanish breaky – toast with mashed tomatoes and olive oil – which was surprisingly good.

But back to our arrival. After having checked in to our rooms, we started to explore the city and went straight to one of the main museums in Málaga – the Picasso Museum.

Picasso Museum Malaga

Picasso was born in Malaga and spent his youth in the city. The museum draws a detailled picture of his artistic development showing some of his greatest work. I have to say I am a big art lover so I basically enjoy every art museum. However I really liked how the museum managed to give an indepth impression of Picasso’s art without beeing too large to take all in. So even my friend who wasn’t into his art as much as I was really enjoyed the visit.

Close to the museum you will find the cathedral which is worth a visit as well if you ask me.

cathedral Malagacathedral Malaga

From the center of the town you can easily walk to the sea. You either can walk on the sea promenade and have a drink or two in one of the bars and restaurants or you head to the beach for a dip.

The promenade offers some great art as well with the Centre Pompidou Málaga a small enclave of the famous museum in Paris. Besides that, you will find local artists exhibiting their work on the weekend at the promenade. So do go and check it out ;).

After we built up some stamina with ice cream and coffee we headed up to the old castle ruin overseeing the town.

castle Malaga

Doesn’t this look beautiful. I asure you it is worth the climb because the view is really nice up there. If you go all the way up, you can enter the castle and descend within the old ruin.

castle Malaga

Having been walking all day long, we built up quite an appetite. I guess there isn’t a place where you actually will eat badly in Spain, however if you are up for a treat go to “El tapeo de cervantes”. You won’t be sorry. The tapas are exceptionally good and the wine is great as well. If you want to make sure to get a table book ahead.

Nibbling away on some Tapas and wine really was a good start for my holidays in the south. If you are in the area go and visit Málaga. Its size is perfect for a long weekend or a stop-over to other places.

Have you been to Málaga before? How did you like it?

 

 

DIY – Building your own vintage shelf

Since last summer I have been working on a new shelf for our living room. I love the look of old wooden wine boxes and always wanted to create some sort of furniture out of them. This summer I got some boxes from my grandma and her brother so I finally could start.

wooden wine boxes First of all I had to remove the battens my grandpa once used to close the box. He was a very handy person and always used the stuff he already had. So closing up those wine boxes and isulating them with styrofoam seemed to him a good way to use the boxes as a storage for apples.

After I restored the original form, I sanded the boxes until they were smooth and had no sharp edges anymore. In a next step I used a special glaze to kill any possible woodworms.

glazing the boxesAs the glaze had dried, I painted the boxes with a transparent colour to keep the natural vintage look. On top of that the colour made the boxes even more resistant to any damage.

Although I finished everything back in autumn we never came around to actually put the single boxes together to a new shelf. Last weekend we finally found some time and screwed the boxes together.

wine box shelfI was so excited to see how my project came together in the end. I have to admit I was pretty proud of myself after the shelf stood there in all its glory ;).

wine box shelfSince then I haven’t had one evening not being immensely happy with our new shelf. I love the different looks of the single wine boxes. Every single one could tell a different story and brings some real history into our home.

Travelling Peru – Urubamba and the Sacred Valley

After we spent three nights in Cusco, we started our tour through the Sacred Valley. Our first stop was a nice but very touristic lama and alpaca farm. We fed the animals and watched local women colour the wool and the weave it to truly wonderful patterns. The farm helps local women to preserve their weaving tradition and gives them the opportunity to sell their products to the tourists.

Our next stop then was the Inca ruin Pisaq.

Pisaq - Sacred ValleypisaqThe terraces were breathtaking. I like the idea that the Inca not only had those terraces for crops and stability of their cities but also as a sort of decoration. If you look at this mountain I can see what they liked about it.

On our drive further into the Sacred Valley, we stopped for the special peruvian dish – guinea pig. I know, a lot of especially European people would never dare to eat what is for us a pet. But to be honest I always try to experience the culture of a country also through its food and the guinea pig is such a dish in Peru. So if you are not too light hearted or didn’t have a guinea pig as a pet you should give it at least a try.

As we arrived in our hotel for the next two nights in Urubamba, we still had some time to explore the city. Urubamba itself isn’t that much different from other Peruvian cities. It mainly exists for tourists who head out for the Inca trail and Machu Picchu. However, despite its touristy atmosphere we found two very lovely spots hidden in between.

cafe cielito Linda UrubambaThe Café Cielito Lindo is worth every visit. The girly decoration and perfect cakes combined with great coffee makes this café one of my culinaric highlights of our trip.

The other highlight was a small restaurant called Paca Paca which you have to check out if you are in the area. The restaurant offers a range of delicious dishes from peruvian to european. You can simply have pizza from the stone oven or indulge in a light and modern variation of peruvian food like I did ;).

Paca Paca - UrubambaOn our second day in the Valley, we headed off to the mountains. Our drive dropped us at a small village from where we walked down to the salt mines of maras.

walkIt was a bit rainy and the clouds just looked amazing between the mountains of the Andes. After a short walk of around 30 minutes we arrived at the salt mines of Maras. Local farmers cultivate, harvest and sell the salt to the government and in little amounts to the tourists.

salt mines marassalt mines of marasIt was incrdible to watch people working there. It must be hard to balance 30 to 50 kilo of salt on your back walking on those very small bars between the fields.

From the mines we walked down to Urubamba and enjoyed our free afternoon with some cake and coffee. The next day we visited another breathtaking Inca site – Ollantaytambo.

OllantaytamboOllantaytamboOllantaytamboIn Ollantaytambo you can feel that this site was once a big fortress. It just looks and feels massive. The rocks transported there were the biggest I saw on the whole trip.

On the way back to Urubamba our guide took us to a local bar. We tried corn bear which tasted quite sour. I preferred the local special with strawberry to the normal one. It was much sweeter :). More fun than drinking was playing the typical game of those bars. You get a specific amount of coins which you have to threw into the holes of a table with a frog in the middle.

peruvian bar gameI really sucked but it was soooo much fun to play :). Try to get to a local bar and throw some coins.