I’ve been to Europe before but only for a few days or so. That’s why it made me re-consider my stance on going back to Europe and actually spend more than just a few days of vacation and really see that country that I know I would have a ton of fun. For some odd reason, I had my eye on Spain for the longest time and decided that I was going to go there! And I highly others to at least in their lives to take a long trip to Europe as well whether it’s backpacking around or staying in one area for a long time which is what I did.
The first thing that I had to do was go through Germany since it was cheaper and quicker to go to one of Europe’s biggest airline hubs – Frankfurt, Germany. Once there, I went through customs and immigration and then realized that I had about 8 hours until my next flight and it didn’t help that I got there at around 4 or 5 am! I asked one of the German immigration officers if I could go out and look around in Frankfurt since I had such a long layover. He said no problem – just take my passport and find a place to go eat a bratwurst. Haha. I liked that advice but the thing was I didn’t know how to use the u-ban which is its train system so I took a taxi instead to take me downtown Frankfurt before the morning hour’s rush. I remember talking to the driver in my broken German knowing that it had been some time since I last studied German but anyway, I made my intent clear that I wanted to go to the heart of the city since the airport quite a bit away. Just note that not all people in Germany can speak English as there are a lot of foreigners as well.
Once in the city, I looked around but it was like any other big city except cleaner and had a mix of the old and new. Obviously with most places being closed at that hour (5-6 am) didn’t give me much to do. One thing to note in Germany, that there are a lot of Turks that live in the country and they can either good or bad depending on what neighborhood you run into. I happen to run into a ‘good’ part of a Turkish area and I’ve always read good things about its food especially its kebab which is basically meat cooked on a stick. Once I thought I had seen everything after walking for hours around the city such as the parks, along the river, etc. I took the U-bahn back to the airport so I could easily catch my flight to Malaga, Spain.
It was relatively a quick flight there and I was excited. One thing I immediately noticed was the splattering of British English, Paruski (Russian) and Deutch (German) – there were a lot of Germans and Russians on my flight as well as in Malaga’s airport. The British I found out came directly from GB. I was thinking to myself – how do these guys get around if they can’t speak Spanish or even English (except for the UKers)? I would find out later in Spain. But I instantly enjoyed the scenery upon getting out of the airport and out into the fresh air of Costa del Sol. One thing that I found out was it was going to cost me 100 Euros for a taxi to take me from the airport to my hotel. Oh hell no and just for one way? That’s a lot of money especially when it’s converted into the US Dollar! After doing some research, I decided that I was going to get my international driver’s license and rent a car.
Renting a car was one of the smartest moves that I did there. Despite gasoline costing a bit more due to European taxes, it was still cheaper to move around in a rented out, brand new BMW Beamer. I couldn’t tell you how awesome it was driving with the radio blasting on the Spanish highway while seeing the coast, the beaches, the resorts, and the mountains. It was just a great drive! Instead of checking into a hotel, I got myself an apartment condo-like accommodations where I’d rent out a place for a week’s worth making it cheaper to stay. It was nice, it had a full kitchen with silverware and plates and cups and cooking utensils, full bathroom, one or two bedrooms, a full living room with TV and couches and chairs, and even a washing machine and a clothes hanger!
Once settled in my home for the next 2+ weeks in Fuengirola/Marbella (there’s some confusion where the city/town limits are in this place), I finally had some time to go out and see what this place called Costa del Sol was like. Translated in English, the Sunny Coast or Coast of the Sun, I immediately liked the place even though I had only seen a little bit of the 100 km coast line that this place encompasses. Once there I took a look around and realized how many British people were there either living or staying there for “holiday” as they called it. For some, it was just a 2-3 hour flight from the UK so it was easy for them to do a quick weekend trip. But the vast majority of those who lived there simply explained to me that they just liked the environment here, the same sentiment of the millions and millions of tourists who also come to the area looking to get away in the great weather and beaches.
However, there was more to this place as I found out the longer I stayed there.