As most of you probably know, after just two lovely weeks back in England, I decided that it would be a great idea to up-sticks again and head to Estepona on the south coast of Spain (I really am getting used to this living by the sea idea!) for seven months.
Estepona is a small fishing port on the Costa del Sol, between Marbella and Gibraltar, that has expanded as more and more (British) tourists have headed south for a warmer climate and golf. In fact, it is so far south that on clear days I can see Morocco from the door of my building and Gibraltar is just around the corner! Nowadays, it is more like a small town (although the Spanish seem to call it a pueblo – village) with gorgeous squares filled with cafés, fountains and orange trees, tiny little white streets, a port filled with bars (and the offices where I work) and the obligatory Paseo Maritimo along the beach (where I live!). It’s nice to live in a town small enough that everybody seems to know everybody!
I’ve been here for seven days now, though it feels like 30 and have already done so much, so here is an overview, written as I look at the sea from my apartment window…
On Monday morning we left the house at 5am (which meant getting up at 4am) to get to the airport to catch my 7am flight into Málaga. The queue was full of old biddies heading to their villas on the coast, but luckily I was meeting the two other interns from my company there, so we could bring the average passenger age down by a few years. After checking in my extremely overweight suitcase, and hoping that no one would notice that I had two pieces of hand luggage, we began our journey, which all of us just slept through! After the plane journey we had to take a bus to Marbella (Marbs) and then change to take another to Estepona, a gorgeous bus ride if I do say so! It was such a relief to have Andreea to travel with as she has been in Estepona since September, so knows what she’s doing.
In fact, I stayed with Andreea at her flat for my first four nights as my apartment wasn’t ready until Friday. She’s has been so helpful, so much so that in 5 days I had sorted out my phone, my flat and my NIE (a number that all foreigners in Spain have to get from the police station to open a bank account). My experience has been nowhere near as stressful or lonely as the start of my time in Spain thanks to her! So far we’ve managed to go to the gym (spinning followed by Zumba is painful!), go for tapas with another colleague, visit Marbella (for shopping) and visit Málaga (for work).
I guess I should probably talk about what I’m actually doing here… For the next seven months I will be working as an Editorial Assistant for the website Andalucia.com (check it out, boys and girls). I have my own desk and an email signature! I’ve absolutely loved the first week of it and although it was lot of training, I’ve learnt a lot! In fact, I can now use Dreamweaver, writing and understanding the code (are you proud, Dad?). Having never been to Andalucia before, I’m also learning a lot about the area, the history and the geography (having to know which Costa is in which province…). We also get to have an Andalucian breakfast each morning, which is delicious – café con leche (yes, I’m now a coffee drinker) and a pitufo con tomate y aceite (a toast Spanish baguette with tomatoes and oil), perfect for the warm, sunny mornings here! As I already mentioned, we’ve already visited Málaga for research, something we (Andreea and I) will be doing every week throughout January to do research, and we are heading to Granada too in February!
And finally, a small gloat about the weather and my apartment. It’s been sunny every single day so far and 20+ in the middle of the day, although it does get really cold at night. This weather is apparently unusual for January, so don’t worry… However, the plus side is that when I wake up in the mornings I can enjoy a lovely sunny view over the beach and the sea. My apartment is literally 15m, if that, from the beach – such a novelty! I chose to live on my own as I couldn’t really find a flat to share with anyone and I didn’t really want to have to deal with the bad habits of strangers all over again, and so far I love it! It’s also a lot cheaper here, so I have an entire flat for the same price as just a room in France and, if I ever get lonely, I can just walk 5 minutes up the road to Andreea’s J
Sorry for such a bitty essay, so much as happened in such a short amount of time!
Until the next time,