Trip Recap: Spain
I headed on vacation to meet up with a friend from back home. We spent 5 days in the south of Spain, and we were also able to get to Gibraltar, which was a crazy experience. Last week’s trip to Portugal had me wanting to explore more of the country, but this was the first place where I can honestly say that I’d love to go back. There were so many things that I wasn’t able to do – like hike El Caminito del Rey – which is supposed to be the world’s most dangerous hike (check out this review) … and I would have loved to have taken a day trip to Morocco. But… maybe we’ll be able to make it back there one day. :)
Accommodation (6 nights): $62.28 (€48) – HostelBookers.com sponsorship
Transportation: $185.33 (€142,83)
Food: $201.77 (€155,50)
City Transit: $80.94 (€62,38)
Entertainment: $41.97 (€32,35)
Miscellaneous: $7.07 (€5,45)
This was another RyanAir flight, so I had to endure over 6 hours of roundtrip travel just to get to the airport. And the worst part was, my flight to Spain was so early on Thursday morning that I had to book a hotel at the airport (€48) – no trains or buses would run early enough to get me to the airport for 5am! So my $111.37 (€85.83) roundtrip flight actually ended up costing me $247.61 when you factor in train tickets to the airport, and the hotel I had to get. :|
We stayed at the Oasis Hostel Malaga, which is conveniently located right in the city centre. Dorm rooms start at just €13/night, and we stayed in a mixed 8-person dorm room for the duration of our stay. Everyone who stayed in our room was extremely friendly and sociable, and the hostel had plenty of amenities to keep everyone happy – including a rooftop terrace and bar, free use of computers, a kitchen, and plenty of space to lounge around. And, since I was the only girl in a room of guys, I never had to fight for the washroom. :) I also liked how there was a full washroom located in the common area. There were a couple of super early mornings where I took my stuff down there to blow-dry my hair, so that I didn’t wake up my roommates.
The picture here is of my bunk. We had drawers to lock away our belongings, and that small backpack (which, when not stuffed full, complies with RyanAir’s super strict carry-on baggage rules) is all I brought with me – a week’s worth of clothing, toiletries, camera, purse, and all of my laptop stuff.
A few small complaints: my key card stopped working every day for some reason, the front desk staff were often not at the desk (although to be fair, it was later in the evening when it was less busy, but still), and even though they had signage for reading lights and hair dryers, they didn’t actually have any for rent. But really, you can’t beat the price or the location of the hostel, and I’d definitely stay here again.
So if you’re looking for hostels or cheap hotel accommodation in Malaga, make sure you check out the HostelBookers website.
I will be the first to admit that I spent way too much money on food. But I got to try all of the dishes people recommended to me – spanish omelette, seafood paella, and lots and lots of tapas. :) And the wine! It was always so, so good. My favourite dish was at a restaurant called Gorki – it was chicken gizzard pate (hey, don’t get grossed out, it was amazing) over artichoke hearts. Growing up in Vancouver, I’m used to a steady diet of seafood. So the last two weeks spent in Portugal and Spain have really been a treat because, well, in Germany, there’s not much seafood. :)
We based ourselves in Malaga, and it was a cute city. I really liked the walkway down by the water, although for a beach destination, it was a bit of a disappointment. The beach was not nearly as nice as Faro in Portugal. But it was just a little too cold to go in the water anyway, so it wasn’t a big deal.
Our first day trip was to Gibraltar! The bus was just €12,29 each way, and it was completely worth it. The station is located in La Linea, then you have to walk across the border into Gibraltar – which is a British territory. It was kind of weird to go from all Spanish people, to hearing British accents everywhere. :) There, we spent €25 on a 2 hour guided tour of The Rock. And while I don’t usually like tours or tour groups, this one was well worth it because the area is just so big (we were just there for the day), and the lift that goes up The Rock was broken. Afterwards, we went down into the city and ate fish and chips.
Our second day trip was to Seville, and what a beautiful city! I got to see the Metropol Parasol – and is supposed to be the largest wooden structure in the world. From there, I just walked around the water, and all the way to the Parque de María Luisa, which is quite possibly the most beautiful park I’ve ever been to. In my opinion, it even rivals Central Park in NYC!
Author: Krystal Yee
I’m a writer, personal finance blogger, and marketing professional based in Vancouver. I’m a former Toronto Star (Moneyville) columnist, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Saving and Investing, and co-founder of the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. When I’m not working, you can usually find me running, playing field hockey, or plotting my next adventure.