Category Archives: Trying something new

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.

What to think about when you start skiing

skiing as a beginnerFirst of all, I am generally not very adventurous. So putting myself on two small boards to slide down a steep hill in high pace isn’t my first choice of spending a nice saturday. However, my boyfriend is a skiing teacher and all my friends ski since they are little. So I figured after I pushed myself to start climbing and to try surfing, I could as well also give skiing a go.

If you are also thinking to start skiing as a complete beginner, here are some of my personal tips further extended by the more professional advice of my boyfriend.

  • Skiing is a sport
    It is truly exhausting, trust me. You don’t have to be an athlete but you should have a normal level of fitness I would say. It doesn’t do any harm to do some sport before, especially to strenghten your legs. While skiing your knees are constantly bend which my muscles weren’t used to and I strongly regretted not having done any workout before.

skiing tips for beginnersfirst time skiing

  • Start Skiing with a professional teacher
    To get starting with skiing you should book a professional skiing teacher (or get a friend who did a certified training). They know best how to teach beginners and will be able to teach you the rigth technique from the beginning. When choosing a skiing school look out for certificates like the Deutscher Skiverband, Deutscher Skilehrerverband in Germany or the Östereichische Skiverband in Austria. Just generally try to make sure the teachers were trained on a high level. For children, group courses are better because they most of the time feel more comfortable in a group. In a group there is also the possibility to playfully do some small competitions so that the children learn faster and with fun.
    For adults smaller groups are better suited because adults don’t learn just by watching someone and repeating the movement but by mentally understanding what to do and trying to put that into practice. With a smaller group the teacher can react to the individuals better and might be able to explain things individually.

skiing equipment

  • Equipment
    You need a winter jacket and winter trousers. On top of that you should wear some warm layers under your jacket, although don’t put on too much because you will get warm pretty fast. Gloves and goggles are also quite handy.
    If you don’t have own skies and shoes don’t worry you can borrow the complete equipment in every skiing area. The ski should reach up to your nose when standing, although smaller skies are easier at the beginning. When trying on shoes you should be very comfortable in them and be able to move your toes. Don’t try them on walking but standing with bend knees. In this position you shouldn’t feel any pressure of the shoe on your foot. If they feel uncomfortable when trying, they will hurt when you start skiing. The ski poles should be at a lenght were your arms form a right angle. The helmet should fit your head tightly so it really protects you if you fall.
    Normally the people in the shop will know all of that, so if you don’t have the feeling they are checking all these things and especially don’t ask you some question about what you want to do, you better go to another shop.

lift 2

  • Start slow and don’t excpet to much of yourself
    Last and most important. Skiing needs practice. This means that you won’t be a perfect skier after one day of practice. I spent basically my first day on the children’s hill learning to use the lift and just practicing the basics. But it felt great to slide down that little hill on my own in a controlled way after half of the day.
    However when we went up the hill for our first run down the slope, I was terrified and lost confidence. With the help of my boyfriend I managed to get down in one peace and  was even able to do the last quarter by myself which felt amazing. But I had realised that I need a lot of practice before I will feel perfectly fine.

I hope these tips help you when thinking of starting to ski and also took away some of your concerns. After all the day was a great experience and adventure which I would like to repeat soon.

Can you add any tips for beginning to ski? Are you a skiing pro or thinking about to start?