17
Mag-2013

Malaga, the rich

And after Granada, here I am in Malaga.

I try to make up my deficiencies asking Carmen, my “tourist guide”, as much information as I can about this city. We reach the port, after a long bus ride along the coast, hopping from town to town, on the road that  connects Almunecar to Malaga and I soon have the feeling to be in a small town. Carmen corrects me immediately: we are in the sixth largest city in Spain, after Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Siviglia and Zaragoza. I’ve heard different opinions about its beauty: some prefer Granada because it’s older and because it has a richer history, some tell me Malaga is more fascinating because of its aesthetic looks. As for me, Malaga has already scored one point in its favor: it’s a city on the sea.

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Once we arrive at the bus stop, we walk towards the center, which it’s easy to find because of the cathedral bell tower peaking through the rooftops and the palms of the port. “Have you noticed there’s only one tower?’ Carmen tells me “they ran out of money during constructions and the cathedral was never completed so to be called “La Manquita”, the ‘amputee” that is.

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One of the things I find amazing here are the streets of the historical center. They are all made of marble and the houses and the buildings exude luxury. As Carmen confirms later on, this is one of the richest places in Spain. And there’s more to it: I fill another gap finding out this is also Pablo Picasso’s birthplace. Up until know my knowledge went as far as knowing that Picasso was born in Spain!

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Antonio Banderas was also born here and this is maybe even more fascinating tome: I excuse myself with the art lovers, but I’m definitely much more practical when it comes to these things!

There! An Arabic castle! And on top of a hill!! Strange thing this is, I haven’t seen any so far!! I just strongly wish I’ve lost weight and toned up my body after all the walks up and down the hills!! Two weeks in Andalusia are the perfect workout! The Alcazaba is one of the most famous sites in Malaga but it takes quite sometime to visit it all, especially if one has only few hours and the pace is slow. If I had been alone it would have been different, but I need to take Carmen and her age in consideration, since she is sixty-eight years old.

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After a quick visit up and down the Alcazaba, we stop for a bite at “Il Pimpi”, a restaurant in the same square where castle is. Here I learn I should always ask for a “caña”, generic term to indicate a bier, instead of a branded cerveza, which is usually more expensive. Carmen order a portion of “boquerones”, fried sardines but since I love avocados, I choose a “tropical salad” made with avocados, lettuce, shrimp and mangoes. Mammia mia, what a threat! This is heaven!

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We keep walking around, reaching Plaza de la Merced and the house where Picasso was born, with the connected museum that bares his name, the small square where the Sagrado Corazón is and all the different streets full of shops. Thanks goodness it’s the afternoon and beside the restaurants and the bars, all other stores are closed for the siesta, or I would go bankrupt here! Our bus to Almunecar leaves at 5pm so we just have the time for a cup of coffee at the station before we head back home, where Aurora is waiting to have dinner with me.

Ps: Malaga 1- Granada 0.

As much as I found Granada lovely, I like Malaga better. I haven’t seen much of neither one so maybe I should just use it as an excuse to come back for a more accurate tour!!!

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