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For the past week the forecast for Friday in Málaga was for RAIN. So l dutifully packed my umbrella but then faced a dilemma. Should l pack the book I’m presently reading (in case it rained) or an extra pair of shoes (in case it rained). There was only room in the suitcase for one (don’t ask) and in the end l opted to bring the book.

But then it didn’t rain. In fact it was a gloriously sunny and warm day. At first l was a bit unsure about what to do since l had nobody to go out and play with. All l knew is that l wanted my day to include a quick trip to Atarazanas market and a post-lunch drink on the terrace of the Gibralfaro Parador Hotel. And so first things first. I got to Atarazanas at 12.00, perfect for a quick beer and “brunch” snack (a grilled skewer of prawns and monkfish). Then l headed to the port with the idea of getting in a bit of a beach walk before lunch.

It’s been awhile since l actually walked along the port. Usually l either take the park or the Paseo de las Sorpresas to get to Malagueta beach. But today l also wanted to walk to the lighthouse so that meant venturing further along the quay. My god, what a mess (so no quay pics). I hear they are planning to put in a massive Hard Rock Café next to the Pompidou (guess they’re not expecting that contract to be renewed). What was initially an attempt at offering high end shopping with diverse dining options is now a sad array of cheap sunglasses and casual clothing shops along with the usual fast food suspects: Burger King, Dunkin Donuts, KFC, 100 Montaditos. So Hard Rock will fit in just fine. But really, what a sad mess.

Anyhow, l continued my walk down to the lighthouse and then along the beach until l reached the iconic Malagueta sign. By then it was time for lunch.

Luckily l had a recommendation from my friend Ania, and somewhere l had never been to – La Odisea. Unfortunately the dish l HAD to try (according to both Ania and Joanna) didn’t come as a tapa. So l ordered a media ración of the presa with peanut sauce and mushrooms, and it really was delicious. But after that l couldn’t eat anything else, so l headed out to catch the bus up to the Parador.

I was lucky to find the one table with this lovely view free, so l spent a pleasant hour enjoying a glass of wine in the sun. Then l walked back to the centre. Got there just before sunset and almost went to the Marriott AC rooftop bar to watch the sun go down but was told l had to buy an 8€ ticket to go up, which included a drink. WTF? So l headed home instead and relaxed there for a couple of hours before l took a final evening stroll to enjoy the lights. What a perfect day.