It could have been anywhere in Europe, but it ended up to be in Malaga, Spain for several practical and logical reasons. Whatever they were, not a bad place to be for business.
Even if it would have been only for business, it would have been great… It was awesome and inspiring… and equally exhausting for me being an acro-girl: getting up early with a good mood, long days of paying attention and maintaining the good mood, sitting down most of the 9 hours all dressed up including wearing shoes (yeah… this is a big thing for me… I walk barefoot at home), not being tempted by the abundance of food and snacks behind me…
In one of those moments of epiphany leading up to the event, I decided to get there a day earlier and get some quality time with me, myself and I. Good decision.
In hindsight I really loved the place and could not understand why Spain didn’t make it to my summer schedule yet… Maybe because to me the Costa del Sol was a 70s vacation spot where all Dutch and Belgian people went on holidays… by car and with their tents or caravans. And that crowd would have by now retired in their apartments there… in my narrow-mindedness.
Obviously, I was wrong. I found myself catapulted into a relaxed, summer vibe in less than the 3 hours the flight took to get there from Brussels. Brilliant.
As always I researched where to be at what time to have the best pictures. Also as always, I had no problem to navigate my way to the places I wanted to get to. Thank you Google Maps. But I always seem to misinterpret or better not to realize what height differences to expect. I look at a normal map and immediately think the reality is also “flat”. Only recently I have reprogrammed my brain to make the connection between “a lot of bends one after the other” and “most probably this is a road on a mountain or steep hill”. But then again, I read the hike to Gibralfaro to be “steep at times”. I should have understood “do not underestimate that the hike to the top is quite steep and VERY steep on some passages. We mean REALLY steep. Not only for going up, which is physically entertaining, but also going DOWN… where you will have to watch out to not slide your way down.” Luckily, I didn’t wear my fit flops, I would have stumbled and ROLLED down. Loved it though, and did that hike 3 times as I wanted to see the castle (open until 8 pm), see the sunset/ golden hour/ blue hour around 9:30 pm and finally the night view.
As I write this I realize I am a spoiled brad after the white, soft sandy beaches and clear, warm tropical waters we indulged at Koh Rong Samloem in the spring: I didn’t really like the rougher and cold sea water and the darker sand on the beach. I know, I am sorry…
I did like the old town… so typically Mediterranean… it brings back good memories of the family trips I did with my children. It has that something special, asif time stood still, but then again, it is was very much alive. When I was making my way to the restaurant I would meet my colleagues, I passed by a type of brasserie/ bar… Through the glass doors I saw people dancing the waltz… If it wasn’t for the appointment, I would have stayed here and enjoy this special place for the remainder of the evening.
Also so typical Mediterranean was the absolutely delicious fruits! I forgot how sunriped fruit tastes like… the cherries burst open when you only look at it – with a heavily stained white shirt as a result… I found those little plums my mum used to love when she was young … It reminded me of a trip back in 2008 or 2009 to the Provence, where we found the most delicious apricots on the local market… the ones at home never came close.
This trip opened my eyes for the places closer to home that I might want to explore again with my kids during the summer holidays. After the nagging on the 2016 trip, I decided to hold off on those family trips as they were getting too exhausting for me. I might want to reconsider… MIGHT, not a promise yet.