Loving Up Andalucia

Every now and then, the stars align and L and I have a fantastic, beautiful, perfect weekend. This was one of those them. I could not wait to get to my keyboard on this fine Monday morning. That’s how blogging should be, folks. That’s how life should be, really, but let’s not get too philosophical. It’s Monday, and I just rolled out of bed.

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An El Chorro morning

I don’t always take advantage of what Andalucia has to offer, but this weekend I certainly did. This post is in perfect timing for tomorrow’s Dia de Andalucia, or Andalusia Day, a day commemorating the 1980 electorate vote that made Andalucia an autonomous community in Spain. For those of you who don’t know, Andalucia is the southern portion of Spain containing the eight provinces Almería, Cádiz, Córdoba, Granada, Huelva, Jaén, Málaga and Seville.

This weekend kinda revolved around food. Can you believe that?

Thursday
And my weekends normally don’t start on Thursday, soooooo there’s that. My new roommate and I decided to go see La La Land, so we got ready and walked 20 minutes to the theater. It wasn’t even playing La La Land that evening due to a film festival. The other movie we wanted to see, Jackie, wasn’t playing either, so we walked around the city instead. We perused the North American store, A Taste of America, where I ogled cereals, salsas, and maple syrups from my home continent. We then stumbled upon Cantina El Calambrito, a new Mexican restaurant in the hipster district of the city. If you are an American, then you’re probably a Mexican food regular. The closer to Mexico, the better. However, I have found that Europeans have yet to master Mexican flavors. BUT El Calambrito was the closest thing I’ve had to authentic Mexican food in Europe. EVER! This includes my 2012 Euro Tour during which I tried Mexican food in Finland, Denmark, and France. It was an epic fail. I will definitely be returning to El Calambrito. Shout out to the cheese dip and the enchiladas! After our Mexican feast we wanted dessert. Again, we walked around the city until we found something suitable– Arabic sweets. After that we headed home to pass out and have dreams as sweet as our Basbousa.

Friday
On Friday afternoon I went back to A Taste of America where I purchased some goodies from home I’d been missing. These treats included Peanut Butter Crunch, tortillas, tortilla chips (Do you see where this is going?) and some not-totally-pure maple syrup. Friday was pretty chill. Leo came over for dinner, as I’ve been quite the little chef lately thanks to all the culinary tools in my new apartment.

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Views from a 12-miler in Malaga.
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American pancakes for the French boy.

Saturday
On Saturday afternoon I made L some American-style pancakes for the first time. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was doing, and the batter I made with whole grain flour only produced 4. But the good news is that the consistency was still very pancake-y despite me not following the directions. Imagine that. They were a success though because Leo has requested more!

I ran my 12-mile long run on Saturday instead of Sunday just in case we went hiking in El Chorro on Sunday. Spoiler alert- we did!

The weather had been kinda funky in Malaga, and it had put a damper on many of my runs last week. The skies were grey and the water was green. The salt had been very heavy in the air. Thankfully the weather returned to its regularly scheduled sun for my long run, though it was a bit warm at 69 degrees. More practice for the race, I suppose! Twelve miles later, and I was starving. We scrapped a previously planned picnic on the beach for a walk through the city center which involved a stop for apple almond pie and a decaf coffee for me from Cafe Berlin.

As if the cake and coffee were not enough, we went to our favorite Japanese restaurant, Arigato, for unlimited sushi. We popped in around 7:00, which is early for dinner in Spain. They graciously welcomed us as their first guests of the evening! We were the only customers in the restaurant for a solid 30 minutes baha. It was nice and peaceful compared to the usual loud dinners in Spain. Besides my usual rolls, I had a new favorite dish of green tea ice cream! The green tea flavor makes the ice cream seem light enough to eat after having stuffed yourself with 15 sushi rolls.

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Sunday
Sunday morning we caught a train to El Chorro! I mentioned this mystery train in my previous post on El Chorro. I could write a separate post on transportation in this village because… It’s not so good. The Renfe train that stops in El Chorro is fantastic though. It’s quick and convenient, perfect really. You can escape from the city center and be in a rural Spanish paradise within 40 minutes. I’ll save the story about the shuttle buses for another time, but you do deserve to know that schedules don’t matter and they are never on time. We barely escaped a transport snafu when the bus drivers decided to make their own schedule.

This time in El Chorro we explored the trails surrounding the reservoirs, which was absolutely stunning. We also ate our food within the first couple hours of exploring. Typical. We were on foot only for about six hours until we caught the bus back to the train station. We decided for our third trip to El Chorro, we’re going to do one of the hardcore 21-kilometer trails. Until then, here enjoy the gorgeous pictures of El Chorro.

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