On Saturday, June 9th we leave Evora, Portugal and drive to Malaga, Spain. Took us about 7 1/2 hours with stops; so really a travel day. I must say that although this seems a long time to be in a car, when one is travelling through new countryside, the time goes by quite quickly. We dropped off the car at the train station, which was easy to find and take a cab to our hotel, the same one we stayed at when we first arrived in Spain about a month ago. Funny thing, got the same room!
We take a few hours to relax and go out for dinner. Weather here is marvellous, nice to enjoy some hot weather, it is 25 degrees at 8 in the evening.
The first time we were in Malaga, we simply took a chance at finding restaurants (we were here for two nights); and not good experiences, just passable food. When in Evora, I checked out places on Trip Advisor and made reservations at various restaurants for our next three nights in Malaga. Well, the first of these, turned out to be a gem, a small french restaurant “La Recreation”. As we walk in, we are greeted by the owner and I say we have a reservation. Must be the way I said “reservation” probably more french than spanish in pronunciation. Robin is always correcting me, which is ok. The owner starts speaking to us in french. We find out that he and his wife (the cook) moved to Malaga and opened their restaurant 4 months ago. I would say by the reviews on TripAdvisor that they should do very well. The food was excellent. A small quiet restaurant on a side street; away from the busyness of the city. After we had finished our dinner, the owners wife came out and we had a lovely chat with her.
As we are leaving the restaurant, we turn into one of the main squares. We feel like we just got hit by a “tsunami” of noise and people. Oh my gosh, this place is packed and the noise level has gone up, enough so, that I can hardly hear Robin speaking. We try to take pictures, not sure they would do justice to the amount of people here. It is of course Saturday night and as usual in these tourist cities we see many “hen parties and stag parties” happening. One bride to be had a veil on her head topped off with a “penis”….one sees all sorts of costumes being worn by the prospective brides and grooms. One group of guys even had a megaphone, singing away. Such a change from quiet Evora and Merida where the loudest thing around was a dog barking! Not sure the pictures below even come close to capturing the number of people.
On our walk back to the hotel, we bought some fresh almonds from a street vendor, the vendors abound. The almonds have a lovely taste; slightly salted and some sweetness…nice desert!
Sunday, June 10th. Thinking of my aunt this morning, Tante Gaby who is 92 today and a force to be reckon with; she has her own Facebook account! Hope to see her soon, love spending time with her.
We head out to take in the Museo Picasso here in Malaga. Picasso was born here and is where he spent the first few years of his life. It opened in 2003 in the Buenavista Palace, and has works donated by members of Picasso’s family. Unfortunately we were unable to take pictures of any of the Picasso pictures. I did take a picture of the interior courtyard of the building which is lovely. The Picasso museum includes his early work, sculptures, pottery work, drawings and paintings from his “cubist” period. A very good range of his work and nice to see.
There was also an Andy Warhol exhibition taking place this month, so very fortunate to view that as well. Able to take pictures of the Warhol work. Always love going to the museum stores, always so many interesting things in these stores.
As we are about to enter, we see a display and it talks about taking your picture in the Andy Warhol style and posting it on Facebook. Couldn’t resist, just too different….might consider having a poster made of this….too cool!
A room in the museum where you use various mediums to copy some of Warhol’s art….below are our creations!
Make a stop at the Cathedral, mass in going on , so we are able to view only a portion of it. Time to stop for reflection and prayer.
As we were walking through the old town this morning, we saw many groups of young men and women who looked totally hung over, dragging their suitcases down the road. Guess the parties are over and they have to go back to reality!
Walk to the port where many outdoor stalls are set up and vendors are selling their wares from jewellery to clothes, clocks made out of old LP’s, baby clothes, etc. It is now late afternoon and we decide to head back to the old town for a bite to eat and go back to the hotel for a rest. Temperature gauges on stores show that it is 29C. Nice to have some heat after the cool weather that we have experienced. Lovely breeze blowing as we are near the sea, so doesn’t feel too hot.
We stopped at a pastry shop this morning and one thing we have noticed is that donuts seem to be prevalent in the shops. We have seen this in every city we have visited on this trip…must be a new trend; as have not noticed this on previous trips.
Walk by another shop and a window display catches my eye. It is a men’s store and sells specialty shoes that can make one 7cm taller! Ok, that is different.
Talking about weird signs, following is one that is on our toilet in the hotel; just had to share! “Please do not flush paper towels, tissues, wipes, hopes & dreams into the toilet. Thank you.”
Came across some good graffiti today…..love it.
We had arranged for an ebike tour on Sunday afternoon. Our young guide, Marcos, has lived his whole life in Malaga. We had done a walking tour when we were here a month ago, but decided on this tour as well to get a better sense of the city. Turned out great as with the electric bikes we were able to get up to the upper heights of the city with wonderful views of the city, the mountains in the back and the Mediterranean sea. Spent a couple of hours out on the bikes with the guide, a young English couple and a Spanish lady from Madrid who was looking to move to Malaga. A great way to see the city and surroundings and get a little exercise at the same time.
In the pictures below, Robin is rubbing the head of the Picasso statue. They say if you rub Picasso’s head that you will return to Malaga!
Went out for dinner tonight, we notice the crowds not quite as large as on the weekend, but still busy. On our way to dinner, ran across another religious celebration where they were carrying a statue of Mary. We noticed the swaying of the platform, this is from the men underneath waking step by step causing the swaying.
Beautiful colours in the evening and we stop in a local square to enjoy life going by.
Monday, June 11th and we head out to the Alcazaba. Our guide book says that if you can’t make it to Granada to visit the Alhambra, these is second best! This is a palace/fortress from the 11th century Moorish period. It is mostly built of limestone, which crumbles easily and has required frequent rebuilding throughout its existence. The palace was largely restored in 1930. Nice to meander around the fortified walls with good views of the city. There were some decorated rooms (ceilings, some fountains) to view, but must admit, doesn’t come close to the Alhambra. It is said that in ancient times the sea reached the lower walls of the fortress. We have read that the land upon which the port shops and walkway, along with the park are all built on reclaimed land.
Our next stop is the Centre Pompidou, Malaga which is a branch of the Pompidou Centre in Paris. It opened in 2015 on the port and is housed in a low modern building which is topped with a multicoloured cube. A wonderful selection of art by multiple artists.
We decide to see if we can find a table at the famous Bodegas El Pimpi for lunch. When we arrive the outdoor area is jammed packed with patrons, but inside we are able to scoop a table. Actually, considering it is 28 degrees outside, quite happy to be indoors. Great service, even though this place is packed. The interior of the restaurant is a rabbit’s warren of rooms, containing tables and a couple of the rooms are bars only. The walls are decorated with old “feria” (fair) posters and photos of famous visitors, including of course, Antonio Banderas a native son of Malaga.
Nice dinner out tonight, once again…..going to be hard to get back to cooking our own meals!
Picked up by a driver on Tuesday morning, June 12th and flew to Paris where we had a two hour layover, then a flight to Amsterdam. We have tomorrow to spend wandering around Amsterdam. We have been here on several previous occasions, but do not tire of this vibrant city. A little hard not to say “gracias” after a month in Spain. We will be back home in Calgary on Thursday, June 14th and although we have had a wonderful trip its always nice to get back home.
This is my last post for this trip and I hope readers have enjoyed reading our adventures as much as enjoy writing about them. I alway do a photo book of our various trips when I get home and I use a lot of the narrative from my blog for these books. Good memories!
Thanks to my wonderful husband and travelling partner, Robin, who is always there by my side experiencing life with me…..in good times like these and in the hard times! We will continue to make memories together for as long as we can. Adios for now!