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Lanterns in the sky 

Lanterns in the sky 

Bonfires and the moon at it’s brightest 

Bonfires and the moon at it’s brightest 

Making a wish at midnight in the Mediterranean sea 

Making a wish at midnight in the Mediterranean sea 

The festival of San Juan; celebrated on Malaga’s beach by jumping into the sea and making a wish, releasing lanterns into the sky and building bonfires. 

The festival of San Juan; celebrated on Malaga’s beach by jumping into the sea and making a wish, releasing lanterns into the sky and building bonfires. 

horse 

cows and picking lemons 

the paella made by Laura’s lovely madre 

Alhaurin de la Torre and Laura’s farm

Laura, our Spanish flat mate, kindly invited us to her gaff on Sunday; she lives out in the countryside on a farm so we thought it would be a good chance to kick back and enjoy rustic Spain. After being out on a heavy one the night before, big bro Joe, his novia Laura, Ciara and I were all extremely hung over (some maybe a little worse than others, hehe) but we all made it out the door and hit the road with lots of enthusiasm (albeit carrying copious amounts of bottled water, donning sunglasses and wearing the previous night’s outfit). 

Laura took us on a tour through her home town which boasted delights such as a 1 and a half million euro tree, a Japanese garden and an amusingly pitiful fort. Stepping out the car we were hit with a wall of baking heat - it’s so much cooler in the city centre - so we all sat round a table under a veranda with Laura’s adorable abuela and had some liquid refreshment. Laura’s mam then brought out rounds of typical Spanish food; olives, bread, chorizo and then the big daddy - a huge paella topped with the word ERASMUS written in peppers - it was a real show stopper. 

We had a little nose around Laura’s home which was pretty hilarious because of the hundreds of pictures of her as a child, particularly funny were the ones of her in full flamenco-dress. There were also a lot of amazing pictures of her dad riding horses; we found out that he’s a really skilled rider and has about 15 horses - so we went to meet them…

The horses were all absolutely beautiful and seeing them rekindled my love (/fear) for them. Laura also showed us her cows and her lemons (hahah, she has an orchard). 

And then Laura’s dad allowed us to ride one of his horses!! It was a gorgeous, lively 4 year old but it was pretty huge and therefore I got the fear. My excitement to get back on a horse, after 3 years, trounced my fear though and I hopped on and clip-clopped around and now I really want to do some more riding. Hopefully I’ll get the chance when I’m back in England. 

After a spot of tea we decided to go into town, to Laura’s other house, to eat cake. We spent a fair while picking out the right cakes (a banana one, a strawberry one, a chocolate one, and a custard one) and ate them in the other house, which was filled with more hilarious photos of Laura. 

Feeling thoroughly worn out and ready for city-life (i.e. a McDonalds and a shower) we went home. It was great to see a different aspect of Spanish life and it was so nice of Laura’s family to make us feel so welcome.  

drunken swims are the best 

sick view 

sick view 

The gorge 

The gorge 

Veintiuno

So I turned 21 this week, big moment, been keen to be 21 for a while so I was very enthusiastic to spend my birthday doing something notable. Thus I decided a day out in the mountains would be nice. The day before I stocked up on pink bubbly and houmous, and retrieved my main gal Beth Byrne from the airport, and expected a lovely day out to follow.

With only one train a day travelling to El Chorro, we were up unnaturally early for students and sprinting to the station anxiously soon after. After a trek up to a scenic spot we took in the huge gorge, the terrifying Caminito del Rey (King’s little walkway) and the pine tree-lined lake. The booze was uncorked shortly after. So we had a little mountainside fiesta on top of a closed up mine/snake pit and all got tipsy and sunburnt. I recommend a mountainous birthday.

On the way back to the train station we decided to sneak into a campsite for a swim in their pool where my theory that you get drunker outside was supported as I reckoned I was a mermaid and flopped about the place, embarrassing myself infront of some spanish kids…but it was my birthday so I can splash if I want to.  

21’s pretty great. Looking forward to 21 take II when I return home…which is in a month from today! madness. 

We also checked out what the museum of contemporary art had to offer. There was a lot to peruse and it was all pretty interesting (I even made some pretentious comment about Freud’s ‘uncanny’). 

We sampled some of my favourite things; like moscatel in El Pimpi, food from Il Labratorio, all the free olives, and lunch at the bakery under my flat. 

The drinking-water fountain particularly held my attention (it was so lovely and temperate). 

The drinking-water fountain particularly held my attention (it was so lovely and temperate).