July 16, 2005

7/16/05 Málaga Spain

My own tour of the city

Oh, this body just doesn't like these late nights. Got up fairly early so I could finally do my tourist thing in the cool of the morning.

First stop was the 'Castillo de Gibralfaro' up high overlooking the city. Man, what a walk to the top. Even at this early time of the day I was sweating buckets as I got to the entrance. The castillo was built in the 14th century due to the increased use of artillery, to better protect Alcazaba below. It's a huge fortification with a breathtaking view of the city. This military fortress was in use from 1487 to 1925, almost 500 years. Wow.

Wonderful view of the city

Looking towards my neighborhood

After that, I walked a good ways down the mountainside to visit the 'Alcazaba de Málaga'. Built in the 11th century, it was as impressive as a fort as it was beautiful because of the gardens and fountains throughout. But my feet sure were taking a beating on these stone walkways and steps.

Another recommended stop on my tour was the 'Fundación Picasso' in the home where he was born. Inside, besides prints, paintings and ceramics, was a replica of a studio room to give people an idea of how Picasso grew up. His father was an art teacher at the San Telmo Academy.

One of the few ceramics of Picasso

The next obvious stop was the 'Museo Picasso Málaga' with it's collection of over 200 works by Picasso. And it's all housed in the 'Palacio de Buenavista', a 16th century Andalusian palace which had the most impressive ceilings made of dark wood and pieced together in an Moorish design like a puzzle. Too bad they confiscated my camera at security.

Marques de Larios

Over the Cathedral door

By this time I was totally exhausted and it wasn't even noon. When the bus dropped me off, I was ready to drop. Ended up taking a long nap trying to recharge.

Towards evening, I wanted to see the procession for the 'Virgen de San Carmen' the patron saint of sailors, but I wasn't sure when it would be on the boardwalk. While sitting in the shade, I met Kim, short for Kimberly whose real name was Hillary. She is English but only by birth because she's spent more time all over the world than England. We ended up talking over a beer about travel and philosophy of life that travelers seem all to know. What a beautiful, interesting woman. We ended up getting separated in the crowds of the procession but she said we'd see each other around. I hope so.

It was difficult to see much of the procession because of the huge crowd in the small space of the boardwalk. But it looked like they had a huge float with the gilded statue on top surrounded by huge candelabras, all this carried on the shoulders of the men. As they got to the waters edge, it looked like they were going to take the statue on a boat out to sea, but by now the crowd was impenetrable. We were having a little get together later for Tilde's going away, so I slipped through the crowd and headed home.

On the way to the ocean

I'm going to miss seeing Tilde's smile every day at school. Her happy attitude really came through when I was calling about schools from Almansa. I'm sure it's why I decided on Málaga ¡Sí! as the school I wanted to attend. The funny thing was that of all the people there, Peter and I were the only one's who didn't speak Swedish.

A little going away party for Tilde

A few of the group wanted to continue on elsewhere, so Britt and I decided to invite Elin, Rebecca and Michael over for a late night dinner. As Britt later fell asleep, Michael and I walked the girls home. Another late night for me. This old body just isn't cut out to do this every night.