Tuesday, September 16, 2014
He who is only a traveler learns things at second-hand and by the halves, and is poor authority. Henry David Thoreau
Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Mountain from TSO Photography on Vimeo.

Probably the most gorgeous time lapse video I’ve ever seen. Filmed on El Teide in the Canary Islands, Spain.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014 Thursday, September 4, 2014
He had never really mastered English, but he’d studied enough to have a healthy fear of its random severity, the senseless brutality of its conjugations; it was unpredictable, like a cross-bred dog.

Jess Walter, Beautiful Ruins.

My lil Spanish munchkins would agree.

Monday, August 4, 2014

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I spent a lot more time in Málaga than I had initially planned, mostly because I realized on the train halfway to Cádiz that I’d left my trench coat and scarf in the hostel (next to a sign that said, in essence, “Items Left Behind Are Lost Forever”). I immediately stress-ate three plums and resolved to return.

In Málaga, I befriended a clan of Germans with a penchant for shisha; a Finn with a penchant for pre-dawn language lessons; and an American engineering student with a penchant for yoga. With them, and the aforementioned processions, I got to know Andalucía’s second biggest city.

Sights worth the seeing:

  1. Alcazaba – A gorgeous example of Moorish architecture, this fortress is located next to the Roman amphitheater.
  2. Castillo de Gibralfaro – It’s a climb, and there isn’t much left besides the ramparts, but the views of the city and port are breathtaking. 
  3. Catedral de Málaga. Cathedrals are not usually my thing, but for some reason, Málaga’s Cathedral struck me. Unlike the gray, gothic cathedrals I’ve been used to, this cathedral had color accents that set it apart: a mint-green organ with gold accents, an exterior facade with red marble, for example.
  4. Playa Malagueta. Dotted with straw umbrellas and infused with the scent of pescado frito (fried fish), Málaga’s main beach is a refreshing escape and within walking distance from city center.
  5. Pablo Picasso Museum. I’ll admit, this was not initially at the top of my list. I’m not Pablo Picasso’s biggest fan – his work is a little jarring for me. I ended up going to this museum when I realized I could get in for free with my Spanish student I.D. Again, I’m so glad I did. Picasso’s portfolio of work is more extensive than I realized, stretching beyond the the cubism I knew him for. My respect for the man skyrocketed. Just as powerful as the artwork was the narration of the museum. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes:

“A good painting – any painting! – ought to bristle with razor blades.” – André Malraux

Playa Malagueta

Playa Malagueta

Alcazaba de Málaga

Alcazaba de Málaga

Catedral de Málaga

Catedral de Málaga

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Climbing to Castillo Gibralfaro

Plaza de Toros

Plaza de Toros

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Málaga {time for Finnish lessons} I spent a lot more time in Málaga than I had initially planned, mostly because I realized on the train halfway to Cádiz that I’d left my trench coat and scarf in the hostel (next to a sign that said, in essence, “Items Left Behind Are Lost Forever”).
Thursday, July 24, 2014

How terrifying are they on a scale of one to crying

Having heard about the uniqueness of Andalucia’s Semana Santa celebrations, I set south to experience them firsthand. First stop? Málaga.

If you don’t already know, Semana Santa (“Holy Week”) is the week preceding Easter Sunday. Spain has a deep religious history, and Andalucía in particular celebrates Semana Santa with unbridled enthusiasm. Processions go on all hours of the day and night, and are composed of floats and float-bearers, marching bands, and nazarenos.

Nazarenos, the dudes with the pointy caps, gave an eerie vibe to the proceedings. Apparently their faces are covered out of penitence (read more here), but let’s be real, they look like the KKK. That’s enough to set anyone on edge. There’s no connection between the two groups, but it was disorienting to see wives and kids hugging up to nazerenos just as you would any other parade-performer.

For the me, the novelty of the processions lasted all of two days. By the end of the week, I was fed.up. You’ve got to have a hearty tolerance of crowds and swaying to survive during Semana Santa. If you don’t, you will melt into a helpless puddle of rage. I was in good company, though. A lot of Andalucians flee their region during Semana Santa because it is such a hot mess. I was glad I went, though, because it is truly a remarkable sight.

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Not having itDSC_1408

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Bird’s-eye view of processions from my hostel (Patio 19).

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Four o’clock in the morning, from my second hostel’s window.



Málaga {it’s procession time.} Having heard about the uniqueness of Andalucia’s Semana Santa celebrations, I set south to experience them firsthand.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014 Tuesday, April 15, 2014
So where did you eat lunch today?

Ronda, Spain.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Monday, March 10, 2014