Wednesday, June 5, 2013


We hopped off our train in Malaga around 5:30 PM. Their train station was big and beautiful, connected to a very modern mall. We rented a car and made our way out of the parking garage onto regular streets. This is where the fun began.

I printed a bunch of google maps with details on how to get us from the address of the train station to the address of our hotel for the night, etc. But the problem was the parking garage dumped us out somewhere and we couldn't find the streets we were looking for. Luckily we were able to turn on Chris's phone and use his navigation app once again. Saved our bacon (and possibly our marriage)! It was quite stressful for Chris as the driver and me as the navigator. The city was fast-paced with little streets full of roundabouts, and lots of one-way roads. Without knowing the area it would have been IMPOSSIBLE to get ourselves out of the city and to our hotel for the night. 

Malaga itself was much more rundown than any city we saw in Spain -- at least the heart of it. I know the Southern areas of Spain (which survive off tourism) have struggled with the economy for the last few years.

But the resort town 15 minutes Southwest of Malaga called Marbella was beautiful.  It looked like Miami or something.This is where the mission home for the Malaga mission is located. Apparently it has an ocean view and is quite lovely.

When I was researching where to stay on this trip I decided against Marbella, because it didn't feel like an authentic Spanish experience -- it was just very resorty and touristy. Plus the hotels in Marbella were quite expensive.

I stumble upon this small white-hill town called Ojen one day when I was google-earthing the area. I fell in love! I knew that's where we had to stay for the night. So after we drove out of Malaga we headed down the cost a ways and the headed North back up into the mountains towards Ojen. Here is what our first peek at it looked like as we came around a bend. Gorgeous!!

We stayed at little 15-room hotel called La Posada del Angel. It's owned by a Dutch couple who moved here a few years ago to run it when they fell in love with the town. We parked at the bottom of the town in a parking lot and the owner picked us up in his golf cart, because most of the streets in the town are barely wide enough for a golf cart to pass through.

We checked into our room which was lovely and pleasant, with a huge bathroom.

All of the rooms of the hotel are accessed via stairs through this inner courtyard. I think it used to be a few different homes that they bought up and connected in this way.

In the center of the courtyard is an amazing lemon tree. I fell in love with it. I wanted to take it home.

So happy to be in Ojen.
The amazing lemon tree again! .
After we got settled in we decided to explore the town a little bit, since we were only there for one night. We walked back down the skinny streets to the town square.

The town was just so adorable! I wish we could have stayed an extra day here.

We ate dinner at a restaurant called "The Tunnel." Chris had some amazing shrimp and I had Milanesa. Afterwards the waiter kept trying to bring us coffee or wine. We kept telling him we don't drink. Finally he brought us these drinks he called "sin liquors" (which literally means "without alcohol") and he kept telling us they were non-alcoholic. I sure hope they were, because they were delicious! :)


The next morning was a little overcast and chilly so breakfast was served indoors instead of in the courtyard. It was the most hearty breakfast we ate on our trip (excepting when we were with my parents). Lots of breads and cheeses and jams and fruit and jamon. Yum!

Saying goodbye to my lemon tree.
After breakfast the owner loaded up our golf cart to drive us back down to our car. It was so fun driving through those streets as the owner zigged and zagged arounds bends like it was no big deal. I wish he could have taken us on a longer ride!

Cute little woman on her way back from the grocery store.

Some of the streets were really steep.

We passed the town square again, this time in the sunlight.

Once we got back down to the car we took a few more pictures of Ojen while we packed up. Such a beautiful little city nestled in the hills! We wish we'd had a little more time here.

I snapped a few more pictures on the road out of town as we headed to Gibraltar for the day.

To be continued in Gibraltar...

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