Day 4 was a relatively quiet day, mostly traveling from the northeast part of Spain down to the south to Malaga in Andalusia, about 60 miles from the Strait of Gibraltar.
Domestic Flying in Spain
In planning our trip, we debated the best way to get from Barcelona to Andalusia. Eventually we decided to fly and not take a train or car because it would take much less time.
It is always interesting to fly domestically overseas. While we are very comfortable traveling domestically in the US, when we fly within a foreign country, we see the differences in how things work. For example: I don’t like to rush when I’m flying. I like to budget a lot of time for check-in, security, etc. Flying is stressful enough for me. I don’t want to add the concern of missing my flight to it. We left our hotel in Barcelona at 9:45 and arrived at Barcelona airport about 30 minutes later. Typically Sunday mornings are not busy times at our local airport. That is NOT the case in Barcelona, the airport was packed. However our flight is not until 12:20 and we had priority check-in so we were not concerned.
Everything was moving along well. Security was very similar to the US. However, the wrinkle came when we passed through security. It appears that in Spanish airports (well, Barcelona’s airport anyway), they don’t post the boarding gates until about an hour before the flight. We didn’t even know which of the 5 terminals we needed to go to. So for over 40 minutes we sat in front of the Departures monitor waiting for the terminal and gate. So much for getting there early. After that, the flight was fine.
Because Malaga’s population is less than 600,000, we were expecting to land at a rinky-dink airport. Luckily, the airport was very nice and of decent size. I was interested in spending a little time in Malaga because of its history, which is about 3000 years in the making. It was founded by the Phoenicians, and has been rules by Carthage, Roman Empire, Goths, Moors and finally Spain. Unfortunately that was not the case, we didn’t get to spend any time there. Our driver met us at the exit gate of the airport and we immediately set out for Nerja.
Nerja is a small town on the Costa del Sol about 35 miles east of Malaga. It lies on the waters of the Mediterranean and surrounded by the tall mountains of the Sierra Nevadas. It is a picturesque place, our home for the next four days while we explore Alhambra, Granada, and the wonders of Andalusia.