If the truth be known, IKEA is an acronym comprising of the initials and location of the founder of IKEA - Ingvar Kamprad, Elmtaryd (the farm where he grew up) and Agunnaryd (his hometown in southern Sweden).
The company is the world’s largest furniture retailer, with stores in many countries, including Spain.
I wanted to pop along to IKEA to pick up some photo frames for a forthcoming Art and Photography Exhibition in Torre del Mar, where I will be displaying some of my photos in June. I haven’t visited my nearest store in Málaga for almost a year, but since my last visit some rather excellent solar panels have been erected as sunshades for cars parked on the 1400-space free car park. What a innovative idea!
IKEA has invested €4.6 million installing solar panels not only on the car-park sunshades, but also on the roof of the Málaga store, which will produce 2,821 MWh per year – 64 per cent of the amount of energy the store used in 2012.
Did you know that the IKEA logo is blue and yellow to reflect the colours of the Swedish flag? Well you do now!
So, if you’ve recently moved to the Málaga area, and are looking for somewhere familiar to buy your stuff – this might be the place for you!
The Málaga store has the usual frustrating one-way, anti-clockwise layout, typical of every IKEA I´ve ever been in, whereby you have to walk around the whole store (and it´s a long way) to get to the exit – unless you spot the craftily concealed short-cuts.
IKEA is situated in the Bahia Azul commercial area near Plaza Mayor. If you know where Málaga airport is – well, it´s close by, just off the same road – MA-21 at Exit 2.
Opening hours: Monday-Saturday 10am – 10pm (The store is also open some Sundays and Public Holidays, but it’s best to check the website before you set off)
Address: Av Velázquez, 389, 29004 Málaga, Spain
Do you have a degree in IKEA self-assembly furniture? I know I don’t!
Whilst you’re here, why not have a look at:
Sometimes they will be wearing cardigans. Often they have on their hats.
Sometimes they sit in the shade and other times in the sun (depending on the time of year).
One thing´s for sure – if there´s a bench in one of the white villages of Andalucía – there will be some old men sitting on it!
Particularly in spring and early summer, the hills around the Axarquía are a riot of colour, with a rich variety of beautiful wild flowers.
The blues and purples of the wild rosemary and lavender contrast with the golden yellow of the broom and gorse, which in turn make way for the pink Convulvulus and purple Vipers Bugloss. There are many varieties of wild Mediterranean orchids to be found, as well as irises, gladioli, stunning red poppies and pink and purple wild Sweet Peas.
The wild flowers reach their climax at this time of year in early May, as the oleanders on the hillsides and in the river beds signal the arrival of summer.
If you want to see wild flowers at their best, head off into the Parque Natural de Las Sierras de Tejeda y Almijara in the Axarquía.
Don´t forget to take your camera!
You might also like to look at:
Whenever I travel, I´m always interested to know how much things cost and, every day, people from around the world find my blog by searching for the cost of living in Spain.
Back in August and November 2012, I posted some receipts for groceries I had bought here in southern Spain, which proved to be very popular articles.
But I wanted to do something a bit different, so I decided that rather than post the prices of random items of shopping that you may, or may not be interested in, I would come up with a list of standard grocery items, which I will update the prices of, two or three times a year. This list can easily be changed, so if there are any other basic items you would like me to include, please let me know in the comments section, below. This way, if anyone else wants to do something similar, we can have a direct comparison between countries.
To make such direct comparison simple, I have once again used the Spanish Supermarket – Mercadona in Torrox Costa.
This month’s prices are a bit of a mixed bag, with some prices remaining stable, yet others increasing or decreasing.
So, here´s the Standard Grocery List I used previously. The first prices are as they were in August 2012 – the second prices (in bold) are as they were last November, with this month’s prices in RED alongside.
Milk (semi –skimmed UHT, own brand), 1 litre 0.54 € 0.54 € 0.53 €
Loaf (white, baguette 250g) 0.45 € 0.45 € 0.45 €
Eggs (12, own brand caged, medium) 1.35 € 1.35 € 1.35 €
Chicken breasts (1kg, boneless, skinless) 5.50 € 5.50 € 5.80 €
Apples (1kg, green, Golden Delicious) 1.35 € 1.00 € 1.65 €
Oranges (1kg) 1.39 € 0.89 € 0.79 €
Bananas (1kg) 1.25 € 1.15 € 1.35 €
Potatoes (1kg) 0.92 € 0.89 € 0.96 €
Lettuce (1 head, Iceberg) 0.85 € 0.85 € 0.85 €
Water (1.5 litre bottle) 0.45 € 0.36 € 0.42 € (for a 2 litre bottle)
Domestic Beer (1 litre bottle, Cruzcampo) 1.29 € 1.20 € 1.20 €
Fish (1kg Salmon steaks) 8.75 € 8.75 € 9.50 €
Toilet rolls (pack of 6, own brand) 1.95 € 1.95 € 1.95 €
Washing powder (Box, 35 washes, Elena brand) 5.94 € 4.87 € 4.87 €
Olive oil (1 litre, extra virgin, own brand) 3€ 2.75 € (5 litres 12.99€) 2.99 € (5 litres 13.99 €)
Coca-Cola (1.5 litre) 1.09 € 1.00 € 1.00 €
Butter (250g, own brand) 0.98 € 0.98 € 0.98 €
Sugar (1kg, white) 0.95 € 0.93 € 0.93 €
The following two items were only introduced in November’s grocery list:
Coffee (ground, 250g, Santa Cristina) 1.79 € 1.89 €
Beef mince (Store brand, pre-packed, 1kg) 5.43 € 3.80 € (for 700g)
New items added to the list:
Red Peppers (1kg, loose) 2.29 €
Green pointed “Italian” Peppers (1kg, loose) 1.99 €
Tomatoes (1kg, loose) 1.19 €
Currency Conversion from XE €1 = 1.31 USD
Gas: We don´t have mains gas here – we use bottles of butane gas. In August, a 12.5kg bottle of Butane gas cost 16.45 € - falling to 16.10 € in November. They are now 17.15 € . One bottle used to last (on average) 21 days (for two people… though around 4 weeks in summer) for all hot water, showers and cooking on a gas hob. Last September we had a new gas water heater fitted and, even though it has a larger capacity for water heating than the previous one, it appears to use significantly less gas. It´s early days yet, but the first bottle lasted five weeks (rather than three weeks). I´ll keep my eye on how that goes.
Electricity: For a 3 bedroom/2 bathroom detached house in the countryside with a swimming pool, we pay an average of 100 € per month. The cost of consumption for us is slightly lower in winter with heating/lighting, as opposed to air conditioning/lighting/swimming pool pump running for 8 hours a day, in the summer months.
Water: We are not connected to mains water, so when we bought our house part of the purchase cost was for a share in a local water company. We have a 14,000 litre water deposit in which to store our house water. Our water share gives us an allowance of up to 17,500 litres of water each week at reduced cost, though if we use more than this, the price rises steeply. Needless to say, we don´t use this amount of water, even allowing for swimming pool top-ups and garden irrigation. The water company, Patamalara, doesn´t always sent out their bills regularly and much of the cost appears to depend on the amount of repairs that have been undertaken on the system, but over the past twelve months our annual water bill has amounted to 92 €.
IBI – Council Tax: Paid yearly to the local council. Last year´s bill was 338€
Internet: 29 € per month with unlimited downloads (within reason). Speeds up to 3 Mbps
Petrol/Gasoline: In August 1 litre of 95 octane petrol was 1.49 €. In November 2012 the price had fallen to 1.40 €. The price is now 1.48 €
Vehicle excise duty: We have a Peugot 307 and pay 51 € per year.
Eating out: Glass of wine or beer, including one tapa is 1 € – 1.50 €. Menu of the day (three course meal, served at lunchtime, including bread and one glass of beer, wine or a bottle of water) 8 – 10 €
How do prices compare where you live?
You might also enjoy these articles:
The Rock of Gibraltar, one of the Pillars of Hercules in Greek mythology, has a strategic location on the Strait of Gibraltar where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Mediterranean Sea, with Europe to the north and the continent of Africa to the south.
Standing at the top of the Rock of Gibraltar it’s magical to look across the entrance of the Mediterranean Sea towards Morocco in North Africa – only nine miles away!
I hope you´ve enjoyed this spectacular entrance, which is my contribution to this week´s Sunday Post.
Other posts you may be interested in:
“When two friends understand each other totally, the words are soft and strong like an orchid’s perfume.”
Martin Luther King Jr.
Just look at this stunning orchid growing wild in my garden. It is so vibrant! Isn’t nature wonderful?
You might also enjoy:
According to this website: “Colour is a meaningful constant for sighted people and it’s a powerful psychological tool. By using colour psychology, you can send a positive or negative message, encourage sales, calm a crowd, or make an athlete pump iron harder.”
Talking of sales, Henry Ford famously declared that the Model-T buyer could choose “any colour, so long as it’s black.” Thank goodness that these days, consumers are more discerning!
This month I’m going to take you on a multi-coloured journey around the world.
We start off in Fiordland, on the South Island of New Zealand where we had an early start for our journey to Doubtful Sound. A storm had been lashing the area overnight and, as I am a strictly fair-weather sailor, I was feeling rather nervous at this point. However, my fears were soon calmed, because almost as soon as we were picked up from our hotel, the skies began to clear, the sun came out and we were rewarded with this most spectacular rainbow!
You can buy these multi-coloured ribbons in the main Prayer Hall at the Buddhist Kek Lok Si Temple in Penang, Malaysia. All you have to do is write your prayers onto the ribbon and hang it on the prayer tree.
Sixty miles northwest of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam is the Great Temple, the centre of the intriguing Cao Dai sect. Cao Dai is a Vietnamese religious movement that incorporates aspect of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and even Catholicism. The three principal colours of Cao Dai are yellow (for Buddhism), blue (for Taoism), and red (for Christianity), and these were evident during the noon ceremony, which I was fortunate enough to witness – along with hundreds of tourists and worshippers alike.
We stayed in the Old Quarter of Hanoi, Vietnam, close to Lake Hoan Kiem, where we visited the Temple of the Jade Mountain (Ngoc Son Temple) by walking over the wooden red-painted Huc Bridge with its colourful banners.
On White Night (Saturday 23rd February 2013) the entrance to Flinders Street Railway Station, Melbourne, Australia was transformed into a concert stage, with the whole facade of the building bathed in glorious multi-coloured light. It was magical!
** I always enjoy visiting Madhu at The Urge to Wander because like me, she has a passion for travel. She posts the most exquisite photographs and tells us of places most of us can only dream about. Her recent posts, The Frozen Smile of the Bayon and The Captivating Children of Cambodia were particular favourites of mine because only twelve months ago, I had the opportunity to see those enigmatic, smiling faces for myself – both the stone ones at Bayon and the enchanting children, nearby. I’m sure you would enjoy reading all about her adventures.
** Cathy is A Nomad in the Land of Nizwa and describes herself as a pilgrim, a vagabond, and a wanderer who has discovered the art of living and working abroad, and is now hopelessly addicted. As well as teaching English at the University of Nizwa in Oman, she is a prolific blogger – outlining previous travels in China, Korea, Turkey and Egypt as well as many other places. I particularly enjoyed reading Cathy’s recent post about the tree-climbing goats she encountered on a walk she took with a friend. I’d love you to pop over and say hello.
So that´s the CBBH Photo Challenge for APRIL, folks!
Remember, all you have to do is post your entry by the end of the month, tag your entry ‘CBBH Photo Challenge’, link back to this blog and, most importantly, don´t forget to add links to any two blogs that you´ve commented on during the past month, so that we can all HOP OVER and have a look. Make sure you FOLLOW THIS BLOG so you don´t miss next month´s exciting challenge!
For more information on how the CBBH Photo Challenge works click here.
I hope everyone taking part enjoys the exposure the CBBH Photo Challenge offers to featured blogs and, who knows, you may end up finding a new favourite! I´m looking forward to seeing your interpretations.
[CBBH logo Image credit: (cc) Mostly Dans]
Related posts – WordPress Photo Challenge: Colour
Well, we’ve arrived safely home in Spain after being Down Under for the past four months. We’ve had an amazing time, but it’s always good to be back in your own bed, and with more possessions than you can fit into a suitcase, isn’t it?
Although it has just started raining as I write this post, the three days since we arrived home have been sunny and warm, but the evenings soon feel chilly once the sun has gone down. So what better to warm us up than a bowl of hot soup, especially one full of Spanish flavours?
To make this delicious Chickpea and Chorizo soup, you will need the following ingredients:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 (340g) chorizo sausages (chopped coarsely)
1 large brown onion (diced)
1 medium red pepper (diced)
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 level teaspoon of dried mixed herbs (or use fresh if you have them)
750mls (3cups) chicken stock
400g jar of chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
For the Smoky Paprika Bread, you will need:
1 level teaspoon smoked paprika
1 clove garlic (crushed)
50g butter (softened)
1 loaf of crusty bread (sliced thickly)
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat and add the chorizo. Cook, stirring until slightly browned. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the diced onion, red pepper and garlic to the pan. Cook, stirring until the onion has softened. Add the undrained tomatoes and the chicken stock and bring to the boil.
Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the chickpeas.
Remove two cups of soup and purée in a blender. Return to pan along with the chorizo. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. (I like to add a few whole black peppercorns to the soup to give it an extra bite).
To make the Smoky Paprika Bread – combine smoked paprika, garlic and softened butter in a small bowl. Spread half of the flavoured butter onto the bread slices and pop under the grill until browned. Turn each slice over, spread the remaining butter and toast the second side until browned and crisp.
Serve the soup with Smokey Paprika Bread immediately.
You might also enjoy: