23 April 2013

Winter Travelogue : Malaga

As we returned to our hostel and took a few hours rest, we went walking around town to do some shopping. And naturally, we went to the usual HnM and Zara boutiques as they were usually the cheapest, and some others nearby. As we were walking about, Granada rained like hell (ada pulak hell nak hujan).

After we had dinner, we went home packing our bags and had our rest as the next morning we planned to leave the city. Our original plan was a day-trip to Cordoba before settling in Malaga for a few days, but we woke up late so we decided to head straight to Malaga instead.

We spent two days in this city.

Malaga is a beautiful city beside the shore of the Mediterranean sea with a beautiful weather, even in the middle of winter.

It took about three hours to get to Malaga by bus, and the cheapest way too at about 13 Euros pax. This time the view was not as excellent as the one from Madrid to Granada, but equally comfortable to say the least. We arrive around 3 in the afternoon, and we went straight to the googled hostel we found online the night before.

The hostel was Hostel Costa Azul situated about fifteen minutes by bus from the city center. I was a little disappointed with the location, but the ones that is in the city center costed us more, and here it was a private two bed room with its own bathroom like in Granada at the same 15 Euros per person. And the receptionist guy was very polite and helpful, so it was not that bad.

The beach.
Playing the swings/
Free Palestine! Jumpa tepi pantai.
After we settled down and performed our prayers, we went to the beach which was only about 10 minutes walking distance from the hostel. Since it was in the middle of winter, the beach was literally empty. We were the only ones there, taking insignificant pictures and playing on the monkey bars. There were also lines of restaurants selling beers and stuff with a nice walking path for strollers like ourselves.

Streets of Malaga; as always not crowded and clean.
I met countless locals walking their dogs while enjoying the cool breeze of the sea. I admired their lifestyle, they looked genuinely happy and content with their lives. I mean why shouldn't they, they lived in a beautiful city with a great weather with less problem than what we have in Malaysia. (to some aspect).

Waiting the sun to set.

We walked until the sun set beyond the hills west of the city. We stopped at a little playground, or perhaps a hybrid between a playground for adults and a mini gym for the old folks. On the way we stumbled across countless joggers, and at the playground there were a lot of people doing their routine exercises, including a couple of men practicing boxing behind the sunset, which I think is very poetic somehow.

Rocky Balboa?
After that we returned to the hostel to get some rest, before we head out to the city center to do some sightseeing. We went to a street with shops on each of its side, completely closed to motor vehicles with the sky as our roof and marble floors to walk on. It was like an open mall of some sort, with lamp posts lining each side to the end of the road. It's a shame I don't know the name of the place.

Downtown Malaga

Aside from the usual boutiques here and there where I went into every single one because I had nothing better to do than just strolling around, finding a  halal place to eat is always an adventure. We met with an Indonesian who sells ice cream near Stratchan Street. He hasn't been home since six years, if my memory doesn't deceived me. After that we went home to have a proper rest after a long day in the city.

The Cathedral of the Encarnation, dari dekat.
The next day, we went to an old fort called Castillo de la Gibralfaro located on top of a hill that towered the city's skyline. To get to the top we had to hike hundreds of steps for about half an hour just to get to the entrance, and unlike any other forts or monuments we went before, this one only costed about two Euros each.

The fort was initially used to monitor the sea for any invading pirates.

Before we even reach the fort, we were treated with a round checkpoint where we can already saw the harbour from a higher view.

Berhenti tangkap gambar di checkpoint tengah-tengah mendaki ke Castillo.
Matador stadium.
There were walkways zig-zagging around the fort, on each side of the high walls we could see the end reach of the city; from the far east to the far west; the port and the white sails, the Malaga stadium and the mountainous background that graced the city adding its grandeur. 
Seaside view from Castillo.

Pintu masuk Castillo de la Gibralfaro.
A view from top of the castle, where you can see the Malaga football stadium.
After a few snaps around the fort, we exited through another entrance before continuing our journey to the city, where we stumbled upon a mighty 15th century church called The Cathedral of the Encarnation, that threw you back in time just by standing, staring to its enormous solid wooden door.

The Cathedral of the Encarnation, dari jauh.
Malaga isn't known for a city of old famous civilisation, although the port has existed since 600 BC, nonetheless it was amazing still to be able to spend some time there.

At night, we went to a mall late until it was almost midnight spending our time in Primark, the Mydin of Europe. Well, you get good quality products at retail prices, why wouldn't you go shopping? And after we got lost as we tried to find our way to the bus station, we went home to the hostel; had dinner at a nearby moroccan kebab restaurant and hit the bed.

After two days in Malaga, we're going to Cordoba the next day.

01 April 2013


Kalau dulu kita berperang di tanah lapang, di bukit bukau, di hutan belantara. Hari ini medan kita di alam maya. 

Facebook dan Twitter, dulu blog. Masing-masing menyorong ideologi sendiri tanpa meraikan kepelbagaian kefahaman manusia. Seolah-olah kau seorang saja yang betul, yang lain salah belaka. Selolah-olah kau saja yang tahu, yang lain masih merangkak membaca iqra jilid empat.

Aku penat.

Aku masuk ke medan ini selepas diajak kerana inginkan sense of belonging, sense of purpose. Aku lihat hidup orang yang ke tua mencari duit tanpa mengenal erti gembira, sering memikirkan berapa banyak duit yang tersimpan di bank. Aku dihantar ke dunia tarbiyah, yang dipenuhi manusia-manusia dangkal hanya melihat dunia ini hanya PAS-UMNO.

Dan bila aku bersama ikhwah, aku fikir dunia lelah itu telah aku tinggalkan. Rupa-rupanya akulah yang dangkal. Dunia itu terlalu luas. Ideologi terlalu banyak. Masing-masing mahu menjuarai ummah tanpa menghormati mereka di gerabak lain.

'Aku betul, kau salah, kau kena ikut aku'

Islam sama sekali tidak menafikan fitrah manusia yang pelbagai. Maka Allah meletakkan batas dan panduan, supaya manusia dapat terus hidup di dunia dengan redha dan barakah-Nya. Apa salahkah jika aku tak bersama kamu? Apa salahkah aku yang lebih selesa dengan caraku? Apa salahkah aku yang hanya mahu bergerak di dalam lingkungan redha Tuhan, masih belum terkeluar harapnya, walaupun aku berbeza caranya dengan kamu?

Ada yang asalnya manusia kebanyakan, menjuarai perang ideologi tanpa henti. Kalau kau dari orang kebanyakan, takkan kau tak faham bagaimana warna-warninya manusia itu?

Ada yang dulunya seorang yang luas pandangannya, tapi hari ini seolah-olah hanya hidup dalam balang kaca, dengan tali-tali mengawal gerakmu, menentukan tuturmu.

Ada juga yang terlalu manja tetapi memandang dirinya seorang pejuang?

Tak penatkah mereka?

 Perbezaan itu fitrah, teguran itu juga perlu, jangan pula pandang serong dengan aku.

Sesungguhnya aku hanya seorang yang mencari redha Tuhan di sebalik kemelut lelah itu. Aku hanya ingin menjadi manusia yang dijulang di syurga, mahu duduk di sebelah takhta baginda, mahu Tuhan memandang aku. Sudahlah dunia ini yang aku harapkan memberikan aku ketenangan, kalaupun aku keluar, dunia lagi satu itu lagi kosong, hanya penuh dengan mimpi-mimpi cetek manusia yang tak akan puas dengan apa yang ada di tangan.

Aku telah cuba meninggalkan mimpi kosong itu demi mencari redha Tuhan, dengan mengharapkan masa depan itu masih cerah, dan aku infaqkan tubuhku untuk dunia tarbiyah ini. Tolonglah, wira-wira kekunci tolol yang gila tak kenal dunia yang berbillion tahap kefahamannya, biar aku hidup tenang dalam dunia ini, biar aku hanya pening pada tempatnya.

Asas kita masih ukhuwah.

Semoga Allah menjauhkan aku dari jalan para pelampau itu, amin.
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