This blog entry about the events of Monday, August 28, 2006 was originally posted on August 30, 2006.

DAY 4: “Erik, we are homeless,” Sylvina told me at El Mercader, after they had packed all their belongings in suitcases and bags to move their lives out of Malaga.

“I’m homeless too,” I smirked.

“No, you have your home in New York.”

“Mi casa es tu casa.”

It pretty much took most of the morning for Jack and Sylvina to pack their apartment up, from their clothes to Jack’s beer bottle collection and Batman toys.  To get out of their hair, I finally went sightseeing to see other homes that had been vacated for centuries, the first being the Castillo de Gibralfaro, an ancient Phoenician castle at Malaga’s highest point.  Built by the Phoenicians and re-purposed by the Moors and the Spanish for its optimal position for a watchtower and lighthouse, the Castillo de Gibralfaro fortification is now home to a museum and numerous miradors for perfect views of the city — its harbor, its bullring — and rumor has it that on a very clear day, you can see Africa off in the distance.  To the north, the Andalucian mountains surrounded us, and I could see just what former watchmen saw — although most of that view is obstructed from luxury condos now.

Adjacent to the Castillo de Gibralfaro was La Alcazaba (picture above), “Malaga’s most imposing sight” according to my guidebook, and with good reason.  Once the palace of Moorish kings who ruled the land, this well-preserved 11th-century fortress still instilled a sense of Arabian mystique.  Walking around its gardens, waterducts, amphitheatre, and pools, and passing through its Arabian archways and rooms, I felt transported to another time and place — although while most people may have imagined themselves in a tale of Arabian nights, I felt swept in like I was in the video game Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.

JACK AND I took the bus crosstown to get to the Atesa rental car office where we jointly rented the car we’d drive up that evening to Valencia.  We scored a sweet diesel-powered Citroen C4 from a funny Spaniard who, after hearing that Jack was American, had all these questions about his upcoming vacation to Mexico.

“The Spanish are so ignorant here,” Jack told me.  “[He thought that since Mexico and Florida are next to each other, they had the same government.  He was asking me if the government of Mexico and the government of Florida were the same since they’re so close to each other.]”  The reason he asked was because he wanted to bring his wife, parents, and kids to Mexico — in addition to a bag of weed — and was wondering if that’d be cool.  Jack advised him not to risk it.

By four in the afternoon, we had everything shoved in every available space in the C4.  More people came to say final goodbyes.  The landlord lady came to check out the apartment.  We were ready by 4:45, then 5:00, then 5:15.  Sylvina was having a long, hard time saying goodbye, especially with the friendship earrings she and Ellie had traded.  With tears and sobs in the air, I couldn’t help but feel responsible for it all, and so I gave the girls their moments while I just chilled out by the beach with Jack.

“I feel kind of bad,” Jack told me.  “We’re really leaving here because of me.”

“No, I feel bad,” I said.  “It’s like you’re leaving here because of me.”

No matter; the decision had been made — and logically it was the right one — and there was no turning back with the car packed up and the “[FOR RENT]” sign on the apartment balcony already.  Nothing could have reminded Sylvina that she was “homeless” more than that.

By 5:30 we were on the road to Valencia through the majestic and awe-inspiring Andalucian landscape.  Six hours later we arrived in the city center of Valencia, where we met up with our host Juan, Jack’s old Spanish friend from Miami whom I met during my last time in town.  More than a host, he and his girlfriend Elisa surprised us by not only letting us crash their apartment for a couple of days, but by simply letting us have it; the couple would stay at his in-laws during my stay so as not to crowd the place with five people — not that it mattered because there was so much space, with two bedrooms, a living room, kitchen, a study, and two terraces on each side of the unit.

“See, you’re not homeless anymore,” I told Sylvina as we moved all their belongings in.

She smiled.  It wouldn’t be forever, but it definitely would do the job in the meantime.

Next entry: Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

Previous entry: Breaking Up With Spain

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

Comments for “Homes”

  • Okay, here’s another entry as promised. I’ve posted up some Tomatina
    pictures too for you impatient ones out there. I hope to have an entry
    up on that soon, so I can read your comments.

    Posted by Erik TGT

  • First? I can’t believe it!

    Posted by Janice  on  08/30  at  02:06 PM

  • I think I stayed in those condos a few years ago while I was in Malaga!
    They do block everyone elses view, but they have a wonderful patio.

    Posted by Rob  on  08/30  at  08:29 PM

  • GREETINGS FROM VALENCIA… still here. I should have the Tomatina entry
    up within the next 24 hours.

    I’m off for Athens in the morning. OHPAAH!

    Posted by Erik TGT

back to top of page


Follow The Global Trip on Twitter
Follow The Global Trip in Instagram
Become a TGT Fan on Facebook
Subscribe to the RSS Feed

This blog post is one of twenty-five travel dispatches from the trip blog, "The Global Trip: Tomatoes, Grease & Beer" (originally hosted by, which chronicled a trip to Spain's wild Tomatina festival, Greece's awe-inspiring islands, and Munich's world-renowned Oktoberfest in August/September 2006.

Next entry:
Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

Previous entry:
Breaking Up With Spain


Confused at some of the jargon that's developed with this blog and its readers over the years? Here's what they mean:

BFFN: acronym for "Best Friend For Now"; a friend made on the road, who will share travel experiences for the time being, only to part ways and lose touch with

The Big Trip: the original sixteen month around-the-world trip that started it all, spanning 37 countries in 5 continents over 503 days (October 2003–March 2005)

NIZ: acronym for "No Internet Zone"; a place where there is little to no Internet access, thus preventing dispatches from being posted.

SBR: acronym for "Silent Blog Reader"; a person who has regularly followed The Global Trip blog for years without ever commenting or making his/her presence known to the rest of the reading community. (Breaking this silence by commenting is encouraged.)

Stupid o'clock: any time of the early morning that you have to wake up to catch a train, bus, plane, or tour. Usually any time before 6 a.m. is automatically “stupid o’clock.”

The Trinidad Show: a nickname of The Global Trip blog, used particularly by travelers that have been written about, who are self-aware that they have become "characters" in a long-running story — like characters in the Jim Carrey movie, The Truman Show.

WHMMR: acronym for "Western Hemisphere Monday Morning Rush"; an unofficial deadline to get new content up by a Monday morning, in time for readers in the western hemisphere (i.e. the majority North American audience) heading back to their computers.

1981ers: people born after 1981. Originally, this was to designate groups of young backpackers fresh out of school, many of which were loud, boorish and/or annoying. However, time has passed and 1981ers have matured and have been quite pleasant to travel with. The term still refers to young annoying backpackers, regardless of year — I guess you could call them "1991ers" in 2013 — young, entitled millennials on the road these days, essentially.

Spelling or grammar error? A picture not loading properly? Help keep this blog as good as it can be by reporting bugs.

The views and opinions written on The Global Trip blog are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the official views and opinions of the any affiliated publications.
All written and photographic content is copyright 2002-2014 by Erik R. Trinidad (unless otherwise noted). "The Global Trip" and "swirl ball" logos are service marks of Erik R. Trinidad. v.3.7 is powered by Expression Engine v3.5.5.