A Week In: Malaga - Pt.2

First off I need to say sorry. Sorry, because this post is going up late. This week has been a busy one for me and I lost track of the days until last night when I remembered I hadn’t written this post!

Now that is out the way, let begin.

I left last weeks post on our third day in Malaga, which means I’m starting this one on our fourth. Our fourth day was spent, yet again, on a beach. Emily and I spent the day on the Malagueta beach again after having another lazy morning and breakfast at a café called Noviembre, the vibe was great and the food really backed it up. When we arrived at the beach we nipped into the ‘everything’ shop over the road to pick up some water, snacks and cider before having a browse of the small market that lined the roadside. We actually picked up a couple of things from the market, the first being a round beach towel that Emily had been after for a long time, and the second being a couple of leather cable tidies that took my fancy. After our browse of the market, we found a suitable spot for our towels before entering relaxation mode. After a few hours in the sun and countless dips in the sea, we headed back to our apartment but via a different route, just to mix things up. I got my camera out for the walk home to justify taking my camera with me. We spent our evening in the city at our new favourite Gin bar after a huge meal at TukTuk Noodles.

Iron Door - Malaga, Spain 03/07/2017

Iron Door - Malaga, Spain 03/07/2017

After a restless nights sleep thanks to our neighbours it was a new day, and another exploring day for us. We hopped on the train to Fuengirola with a plan to have an explore then spend the day on yet another beach. Our plan didn’t exactly go to plan. Once in Fuengirola, we headed to Soffers Café for some breakfast before having a wander around. After about an hour we found a bus route that would take us up to Mijas. With the bus being only a couple of euros we hopped on. A short bus journey later and we were in the beautiful town of Mijas, located in the mountains just outside Fuengirola you wouldn’t even know they were close.

Mijas is full of whitewashed buildings and beautiful views of the coast. We spent some time wandering the small streets, in and out of shops as we went. We arrived in a small square, by the old bullfighting ring, and found an ice cream café where we took a break from the sun. The ice cream was beautiful and the iced latte Emily and I shared was just what we needed. From the café we explored some more before stopping for another drink after only an hour or so, you do have to keep well hydrated in the heat. After some confusion, we got our drinks, Malibu and Coke for Emily and Gluten Free San Miguel for me. Can you believe the confusion was with the Malibu and Coke? From there we headed back to the bus to start our journey back to Malaga. After arriving back in Fuengirola we had a quick bit of beach time before the sun went down, once it had gone we packed up and headed for the train.

Once back in our apartment we showered and headed out for the evening. That evening we ate at the Noviembre café before going back to the pub we visited in the last post for a cider nightcap.

Mijas- Mijas, Spain 04/07/2017

Mijas- Mijas, Spain 04/07/2017

Our last full day in Malaga was spent, for a final time, on the beach. Before we got to the beach though we did a bit of souvenir shopping along Calle Marques de Larios. Emily picked up some gifts for friends, I picked up a couple of bracelets for myself and we picked up a couple of shot glasses for our collection. After our shopping spree, we had lunch at the restaurant we ate at on our first night, it was just as good, if not better. Like I just said we spent the day on the beach again, we were on holiday after all! After a long day at the beach, we headed out to our favourite gin bar for one last time.

Clear Blue- Malaga, Spain 05/07/2017

Clear Blue- Malaga, Spain 05/07/2017

On our final day in Malaga we had to leave the apartment at 11 am, but after our last night, it was kind of hard. Our flight home was scheduled for 5:30 pm so we had to be at the airport for around 3:30 pm which gave us some time to kill. We headed over to Calle Marques de Larios to people watch and do some final shopping. We actually ended up sitting in a cafe with a beer and Malibu and Coke to pass the time. When the time came to head off to the airport we hopped on the train and said our goodbye’s to the city.

Once at the airport we discovered our flight was delayed by 2 hours, which grew to 2 and a half by the time we took off. With all the extra time to kill we wandered around Malaga airport, picked up some local Liquor called Liquor 43 from duty-free, got something to eat and just hung around until our flight. Something that always baffles me about flying anywhere is when people start queuing as soon as someone in any kind of uniform approaches the gate desk as if they will be let on the plane sooner. Emily and I ended up sitting around until the queue was only a few people long before we joined. After a disaster of a journey back to Manchester everything was plain sailing from there. Tony, Emily's dad, picked us up and whisked us off home to end our day in the comfort of our own bed, dreading work the next day.

And that, lady’s and gentlemen, is where this post ends. I have a few trips over the coming months so keep an eye out for those!

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Thanks for reading!

Rob

A Week In: Malaga - Pt.1

Another month and another adventure! This time Emily and I headed off to Malaga, for a relaxing week away to unwind. I still took my camera and snapped my way through the holiday but not with as much importance as usual. I’m breaking this week down into 2 posts as I don’t have lots of photos to share. Let’s begin.

Our first day started at the buttcrack of dawn! 2 am to be precise. Off to the airport at 3 am to catch our flight at 6 am to get us into Malaga at around 10 am local time. After a hiccup at the airport, I won’t go into that, we arrived at our Airbnb at around 11:30 am. Our first day was spent wandering around Malaga to find our bearings and get to know where everything is we would need. First on the list was the main shopping street, Calle Marqués de Larios, where we found a  beautiful fountain in a lovely open square. From there we wandered down towards the port (where I took the picture you see below), diving in and out of shops as we went. From the port, we headed over to the Larios Centro Mall to do some grocery shopping to get us through the week. After such an early start, and spending most of the day walking, we had a siesta before heading out for something to eat. We ate in a lovely Tapas bar, which I cannot remember the name of at all, but trust me when I say it was amazing!

A Wheelie Good City - Malaga, Spain 30/08/2017

A Wheelie Good City - Malaga, Spain 30/08/2017

Our second day started later than we wanted but we must have really needed a lie in. After a lazy morning, we headed off the beach, the Malagueta beach, to spend all afternoon in the sun. I had to take the obligatory tourist photo of the sign but after that didn’t touch my camera until the walk home where I snapped this picture of the town hall between the trees that lined our walk home. After showers, we headed out to eat again, this time at Restaurante Bar La Bouganvilla where the food was amazing once again! The menu was a typical Mediterranean menu with fish and meat but there was something for everyone and we can highly recommend it. After our meal, we walked down the road to the Sala Premier Centro pub where we ended our evening with a cider, very Spanish.

Town Hall - Malaga, Spain 01/09/2017

Town Hall - Malaga, Spain 01/09/2017

Day 3 was an adventure day which consisted of an adventure to the beach in Torremolinos. Can you see a trend starting yet? We hopped on the train mid-morning and were there not even 40minutes later. First port of call was a café for an adult refreshment, we were on holiday after all, before having a wander around the shops which was soon followed by posting up on the beach for a few hours. As evening drew closer we packed up and grabbed a bit to eat at a seafood restaurant called Chiringuito Los Bandoleros where we had Pizza, just what we were craving! The food was great and just what we needed after an afternoon lead down. From the restaurant we made our way back to the train station, popping into a few shops along the way. Once back in Malaga we headed straight back to our Airbnb, showered up and headed out for a few evening drinks. We chose to spend our evening in El Museo de la Ginebra where we knocked back a couple of rounds before calling it a night.

 Swing Bucket - Torremolinos, Spain 02/09/2017

 Swing Bucket - Torremolinos, Spain 02/09/2017

This is where I’m going to end this post, you’ll have to come back next week to see what we did on our final few days in Malaga.

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Have you ever been to Malaga? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

Rob

DubFiction 2017

I’ve got a different style of post for you all this week, I’ve stepped away from the travel content for this one, just to test the waters, so I hope you enjoy it.

The day is Sunday, July 9th, a day I been looking forward to for a while. It’s the day of the DubFiction 2017 car show at the Bull I’th Thorn in Buxton. If you don’t know what DubFiction is then I’ll quickly explain. DubFiction is an annual car show held at the Bull I’th Thorn pub in Buxton, Peak District, the show attracts large crowds of mainly VAG (Volkswagen Audi Group) enthusiasts to appreciate the tuning and styling efforts of fellow enthusiasts. The show gets bigger and bigger each year with a field full of preened and perfected cars all there for the same reason.

Bagged A7 - Buxton, England 09/07/2017

Bagged A7 - Buxton, England 09/07/2017

With the show starting at 10 am and a 1h30min drive ahead of me I set off at 9 am. I had hoped to be there for around 10:30 am but a diversion along my route set me back 30minutes. When I finally arrived, I paid the reasonable £10 entry fee and got parked up. The carpark was almost a show in itself but the best was yet to come. This year the DubFiction organisers held a non-VAG show alongside the main show with trophies given two the best looking cars, chosen by the organisers. I didn’t actually stay long enough to find out who won what. After strolling through the non-Vag show I got to the main reason for my visit, the VAG show! 

Ghia - Buxton, England 09/07/2017

Ghia - Buxton, England 09/07/2017

The arena was filled with rows of Audis, VWs and Seats of all models, ages and looks. I slowly made my way methodically around the show, snapping as I went. The first car I photographed was the Audi A7 at the top. This car is owned by a guy called Jack Hogg (check out his Instagram) and was an absolute beauty. The car is lowered using air bags and sat on some huge Avant Guard wheels. What caught my attention was the clean black styling of the car and how simple yet effective the styling is. Moving along towards the end of the first row was a collection of 5 classic VWs, 4 Campers and a Karmann Ghia. The Ghia looked showroom fresh and was tastefully restored by its owner, I just had to get a picture. Out of the campers, 2 were fully restored and customised to their owner's tastes and the other 2 were styled like Rat Rods (see the gallery), again to their owner's tastes. I actually preferred the Rat Rod campers, I think they look much cooler.

Hang Loose - Buxton, England 09/07/2017

Hang Loose - Buxton, England 09/07/2017

As I made my way around and along the second row a classic Beetle caught my eye. The hood was up showing off a clean engine bay, by clean I mean stripped back and simple looking, and pin stripes like a classic American muscle car. The Interior though was just something else! The simple aesthetics continued to the cabin and the attention to detail even went down to the inside of the glove compartment lid which had “Hang Loose” hand painted with the pinstripes present again. Just across from the Beetle was a glorious looking Audi TTRS in an amazing Satin Burnt Orange colour with racing inspired decals adorning the car. The TT was probably one of my favourite cars of the day, I’ll show you my actual favourite in a moment.

2 Generations - Buxton, England 09/07/2017

2 Generations - Buxton, England 09/07/2017

Another of my favourites and I car I would love to own one day is the grey Audi RS4 Avant in the picture above. Again, I love the simple styling of the car and how aggressive the body kit is on it, I actually prefer the Avant to the Saloon version of this car. As you can see above there are 2 generations of the RS4 parked next to each other showing the transformation of the car over the generations. After perusing half of the main arena I made my way back out towards the car park to grab some lunch, on my way though I had a quick nosey at the few trade stalls that were set up along one edge of the arena and treated myself to a black sun strip that will be going on my car when I have time to fit it. I also checked out my favourite car of the show, the jaw dropping Java Green Audi S3 you see just below, I particularly like the gold Audi rings and the colour coded grille and wing mirrors. I did spend a few minutes just admiring this car from every angle before getting my lunch.

Green Machine - Buxton, England 09/07/2017

Green Machine - Buxton, England 09/07/2017

For lunch, I got myself a Chicken Fajita Wrap from one of the vendors, which really hit the spot, and washed it down with a Flat White, because I LOVE coffee, and a home made lemonade from the coffee van that was posted up by the main entrance. After my quick lunch, I nipped back to my car to deposit by sun strip so I didn’t damage it by carrying it around with me, then checked out the non-VAG show properly. The non-VAG was predominantly BMWs and Fords but there was a beautiful Lotus 7 as well as a crazy track inspired Mazda 3. Out of the non-VAG show, my favourite cars were the Black Cherry BMW 3 Series, the Lotus 7 and the replica Alpina track car that can all be seen in the gallery below.

Cars On Cars - Buxton, England 09/07/2017

Cars On Cars - Buxton, England 09/07/2017

Once back in the main show I had a quick lap around what I had already walked in case anything had changed, and had a proper look at the organiser's cars. Another of my favourite cars was the JLoose RS6 Avant, I didn’t get any decent pictures of the car and because it is such an iconic car in the Audi scene I didn’t want to put out any sub par pictures of it. If you do want to see some great pictures of the car though check out Julians Instagram account. After my quick lap, I headed over to the other side of the main arena to check out what I hadn’t previously. I started with an older Audi S3 with a clean engine bay, lashed in carbon fibre, which I would do to my own car if I had the know-how to pull it off. My car will never be a show car though so I don’t have to worry.  I also checked out some even older A/S3s that were hiding down at the far end of the arena, these were all the 8L generation and all looked great lined up together in their various forms.

8L Gang - Buxton, England 09/07/2017

8L Gang - Buxton, England 09/07/2017

After looping around the far end of the show I made my way back towards my start point and past a line up of VW R36 Passats, one of which really caught my eye. This particular one (seen below) had a crazy colour shifting paint job and an embossed design along the sides of the car, unfortunately, the camera didn’t do it justice as the colour shift doesn’t show up at all and the embossing is only just visible, but none the less it was amazing! You’ll have to take my word for it.

R36 - Buxton, England 09/07/2017

R36 - Buxton, England 09/07/2017

From the Passats I snaked my way through the final few rows of cars and found some real hidden gems, including a Rat Rod inspired VW Golf Pickup, a smooth looking VW Polo R-Line, an amazing brand-new, Nardo Grey Audi RS6, another classic Beetle and last but not least, a Raleigh Burner motorbike conversion! I have to say the Burner really topped the day off for me as it was so unique and cool and it made me really want one!

Burner - Buxton, England 09/07/2017

Burner - Buxton, England 09/07/2017

Seeing as it was the first enthusiast car show I’ve been to, I have to say it was an amazing day and I really recommend visiting when it is next on. Yes, it was a bit of a pain to get to but once there it really was worth the drive. Like I said earlier, I did leave the show early as I needed to be back in Preston for some other prior arrangements. I don’t actually know what I would have done for the rest of the day had I stayed because I did see everything in about 2 and a half hours. If you fancy a great day out looking at some amazing and varied cars the DubFiction is a show worth visiting, I’m not sure when the next one it but keep an eye out on their Facebook page for more info.

To see more photos related to this post check out the Gallery below.

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What is your favourite car from the gallery below? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

Rob

A Weekend In: Amsterdam - Day 4

Welcome to our final day in Amsterdam, if you have missed the previous 3 days you can view them here, Day 1, Day 2, Day 3. If you are up Tod ate then please read on!

Our fourth and final day in Amsterdam started with us checking out of our hotel after a lovely 3 nights there. As we were flying home in the evening we had to leave some luggage at the hotel while we explored the city one last time. We rented bikes from the hotel at a rate of €9 per bike per day, which I think is quite reasonable. After getting accustomed to our bike we headed off for a morning coffee at While Label Coffee, which we can highly recommend if you want delicious coffee in Amsterdam. From White Label we headed off towards the Albert Cuyptmarkt, it’s no secret Emily and I like a market, via the Vondelpark and theHeineken Experience. We didn’t actually do the Heineken Experience but maybe we will next time.

Monday Market - Amsterdam, Holland 19/06/2017

Monday Market - Amsterdam, Holland 19/06/2017

Once at the market we locked our bikes up and wandered up and down, checking out the stalls as we went.  We found a cool furniture reclaimers while wandering up and down but didn’t take down the name but they had some really unique items in stock. Once we had finished at the market we headed back to the Vondelpark to find some shopping streets we hadn’t yet explored. On one of said streets, we found a cute little ice cream parlour called IJsboutique where we stopped for a well-deserved ice cream, they even had Emily friendly (Gluten free) cones! I had Salted Caramel and Pistachio, and Emily opted for Lemon Sorbet and Salted Caramel. All 3 flavours were amazing and I can only imagine what the rest of their offerings were like.

Noble Steeds - Amsterdam, Holland 19/06/2017

Noble Steeds - Amsterdam, Holland 19/06/2017

After our ice creams, it was back to the park for a photoshoot on our bikes. We found a quiet stretch of path and rode up and down, trying to act natural, and trying to get the perfect shot. `it worked in a way but didn’t come out how I imagined, I’ll have to practise those. After our photo shoot and a sit down in the shade, it was time for lunch. For lunch we headed straight to Ivy and Bros, stopping at the Bloemenmarkt to pick up some souvenirs on our way, because we knew it was Emily friendly, and we loved it so much last time. We had the same food, Chicken and Avo sandwiches and the same drinks, Homemade Iced Tea. Again all of it was amazing so definitely check it out when you visit Amsterdam. 

The Student Hotel - Amsterdam, Holland 19/06/2017

The Student Hotel - Amsterdam, Holland 19/06/2017

By the Time we had finished luck it was time to head back to the hotel so we could return the bikes and collect our luggage before we had to get the train to the airport for our flight home. The journey to the airport was an experience all of its own. The ticket machines wouldn’t accept cash so we had to pay on card, not a problem, but my first card got declined which meant I had to use my backup. Once that was sorted we got to the platform and the train we needed was just leaving, so we had to wait for the next one. Luckily we had given ourselves enough time so we wouldn’t miss our flight.

Cruising - Amsterdam, Holland 19/06/2017

Cruising - Amsterdam, Holland 19/06/2017

Once at the airport, everything went smoothly and we caught our flight on time without any more trouble. Which brings us to the end of the trip and the end of this mini series. I hope you enjoyed our time in Amsterdam, we both highly recommend the city for the perfect long weekend. If you need somewhere to stay then The Student Hotel is a great choice, and all the cafes and bars we visited are a must to visit.

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Have you ever rented a bike to explore a city? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

Rob

A Weekend In: Amsterdam - Day 3

Before you start, if you have missed the first 2 parts of this trip then please go back and catch up on part 1 HERE and part 2 HERE. If you are up to speed then please read on.

Day 3, Sunday, June 18th, 2017, started like the day prior, with a lie in. We ventured out from the hotel at around 10 am, making our way to the old town via tram. We started our day with a Canal Cruise around the canals and harbour of Amsterdam. We learnt a whole load of interesting facts about Amsterdam and the history of its geography, buildings and residents. Facts like each and every house in Amsterdam has a furniture hook at the top of the building to make moving furniture easy as the star cases are too tight. We opted for the Rederij Kooij tour and had a great time, the guide is played from a CD throughout the boat and tells everything is 4 or 5 different languages, the ride was smooth and the seats were plenty comfy enough. I’d recommend a hat and something to cover your shoulders on a hot day and it does feel like a greenhouse in direct sunlight.

Travel Buddy - Amsterdam, Holland 18/06/2017

Travel Buddy - Amsterdam, Holland 18/06/2017

Once our tour was complete had a stroll towards a part of the city we hadn’t yet explored, past the De L’Europe Hotel, the Nationale Opera & Ballet and the Hermitage Museum. We got to the Magere Brug and had a sit-down and a drink, whilst this was happening a rather large boat approached the bridge, causing it to open which was enjoyable to watch. Once the boat passed we got back on the move, over the bridge towards the Rijksmuseum and I Amsterdam sign.

Draw Bridge - Amsterdam, Holland 18/06/2017

Draw Bridge - Amsterdam, Holland 18/06/2017

We walked part way then hopped on a tram to escape the heat for a short period of time. Once at the museum we realised it was a bad time of day to visit. For one, there were hoards of people everywhere! All trying to get their picture with the sign. Secondly, there was a market on which brought even more people to the area. We waited patiently for a gap to take pictures and did our thing. I actually had a run-in with a French lady who claimed I ruined her picture of her husband and trod on her map in the process. I knew about the picture but no idea about the map, who leaves a map on the floor and walks off anyway? Her fault if you ask me. I ignored her and carried on as I was.

I Amsterdam - Amsterdam, Holland 18/06/2017

I Amsterdam - Amsterdam, Holland 18/06/2017

After a wander round the market, we hopped on a tram back to Old Town (can you tell we liked the Old Town yet?) for something to eat. By this point, it was nearing 7 pm and we were getting rather hungry. A quick google search brought up a Jacket Potato place called Jacketz. The main item on the menu is Jacket Potatoes and you can will the with whatever you want. Emily had Pesto Chicken and I had Chilli, both were extremely filling and left us wanting a post-meal nap. Luckily we had no plans for the rest of the day so waddled back towards Dam Square. We ended our day sat in Dam Square once again, watching the world go by. We caught the tram at about 10:30 pm but not before taking some moody pictures of the surrounding buildings.

10:16 - Amsterdam, Holland 18/06/2017

10:16 - Amsterdam, Holland 18/06/2017

 

Once back at the hotel we both collapsed into bed and slept off our food coma.

To see more photos related to this post check out the Gallery below.

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Have you ever done a boat tour? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

Rob