This year's Spanish adventure takes me to the south to explore the sunny Andalucian region. My home base was in Málaga, a city known as the gateway to the Costa del Sol and the birthplace of Picasso. Originally settled by the Phoenicians (then, the Muslims and then, the Christians...), there is no doubt of Málaga's deep history but in recent years, the city has reinvented itself as the cultural hub of Southern Spain, thanks in large part to the opening of the stunning Centre Pompidou, the first outside of the Paris museum. For me, Málaga has a big "small city" feel - from my hotel on Cortina del Muelle, everything from shopping and restaurants to museums was a 15min or less walk, so I never once took a cab or a bus. As someone who loves to walk everywhere, that's a huge winning factor.
Here are my favorite moments from Málaga:
Not a bad look at the Málaga Cathedral, right? The view from the rooftop at the AC Marriott Palacio.
Along the Paseo del Parque is a beautiful botanical garden. This tiled bench reminds me of one of my favorite sites in the world, Park Güell in Barcelona.
The stunning Palmeral de las Sorpresas promenade, which stretches along the port to the Pompidou, is a beauitful walk, especially around sunset - get your cameras ready.
Theme of the trip: Always look up.
So creepy/amazing. The foil was molded around actual bodies hunched over.
Inside the Alcazaba, a historic 11th century Moorish fortification:
The kid sister to the Alhambra courtyard minus the hundreds of tourists.
The Alcazaba is one of the best preserved Moorish fortifications in Spain.
Love the faded painted tiles on the walls along the streets.
Málaga street art with a sense of humour.
Pale yellows and baby blues: Málaga's city hall, Ayuntamiento de Málaga.
Fashion police. Calle Marqués de Larios for when you're itching to shop and charge it. Shop picks: Cos, & Other Stories, Purification Garcia, and Adolfo Dominiguez.
What's that saying, "every girl needs a pair of heels"?
Look up or you'll miss these awesome gymnast creatures hanging above Calle Nicasio Calle (right by The Good Burger).
The streets are sparkling and so clean, even at night around the main square Plaza de la Constitución and Calle Granada.
Picasso's birth home (the second floor apartment) in Plaza de la Merced.
If I could be a flower, this would be it.
Inside the Museo Picasso Málaga. Most of the pieces here are from private collections, never sold, from Picasso's family and friends.
Moorish baths (AKA hammam) in Andalucia used to be public buildings where people used to gather for hours. To continue the tradition, Hammam Al Andalus has various locations (Granada, Cordoba and Madrid) in addition to the biggest hammam in Spain, their flagship, in Malaga.
In a step back into time, I had the pleasure of experiencing the traditional Kessa treatment (a skin purifying exfoliation on a warm stone with a kessa glove and foam/soap) with a relaxing massage followed by a visit to the warm bath (pictured above), steam room, hot room and cold bath. Really, I couldn't have asked for a better treat than this to cap off my Málaga adventure.
A little snapchat fun of my 32hr journey from LAX > JFK > Paradise, above.