Sunday, November 4, 2012

Malaga - More than a Stopover

Unlike Seville, with the Cathedral; Granada, with the Alhambra; and Cordoba, with the Mezquita, we didn't plan on visiting any specific sites during our stay in Malaga, instead opting for a calm and restful end to our time in Andalucia. The city, however, had other plans, offering up a feast of fortresses, harbours, cathedrals, markets, and a beautiful historic core all worthy of exploration and making it nearly impossible to sleep in. Luckily, I've never found sleeping in too difficult, and the full breakfast offered at our hotel, complete with fresh waffles, made the morning feel overly indulgent.

Locks on the bridge we crossed on our way to the hotel


With so much to see, and just two days before our flight to Milan, we chose to explore Malaga from the outside, deciding not to enter the beautiful renaissance Cathedral or the grounds of the ancient Moorish Castle. A mistake? Perhaps, but it worked well for us, allowing us to explore at a leisurely pace and recuperate from a long month crisscrossing our way through Spain.  As a result, most of our favorite moments in Malaga aren't specific sites or activities, but rather the overall atmosphere of the city. 

Roaming through the local market was fun like always.


We began our day by wandering in no particular direction and simply enjoying the beautiful sunny weather. Eventually, we found ourselves in front of Malaga's Rennaisance Cathedral and took some time to listen in on tour guides describing its history (Did you know that only one of the two towers is completed - apparently the money raised to build the second was donated to help the USA gain its independence from Great Britain?). After that, we wandered down to the harbour and through some of the beautiful gardens, watching the people chatting after finishing a Marathon that had taken place that morning. 

The completed tower of Malaga Cathedral

Our first true Renaissance Cathedral


We stumbled upon a market in front of the ancient Roman Amphitheater at the base of the Castle and, after perusing the goods which included a vast assortment of jewelery, crafts, and carved wooden penises, we feasted on some dried apricots and honey roasted peanuts. 

The Castle and some of the lovely gardens

Great architectural sights are found all over the city


We finished off our day of relaxation by looking for a place to watch some soccer (clearly Travis' idea), eventually ending up in a small Irish Pub. The bartender, beer in hand, was more than willing to pour us a pint, but the kitchen was closed until the Malaga game was over. Twice during the match a couple British lads came in looking for English soccer, but their request to change channels was adamantly refused.

The old castle

The castle and old Roman Amphitheater


Once a stop over for tourists destined for the sun soaked beaches of Costa del Sol, Malaga has shown that it has plenty more to offer and tourists are starting to listen.

By Travis Huyghebaert with No comments

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Calli and Travis returned from a four month trip through Europe more excited than ever to hit the open road. Who knows where they'll end up next...

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