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Report 856: The Romance of Moorish Spain

By janie and geoff from Canada, Fall 2004

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Page 5 of 13: More Malaga

photo by Geoff Chambers

Cathedral in Malaga

Tuesday

Our friends from the US had arrived, so we got them acclimitized by doing a quick visit to Malaga. We drove straight to Malaga to climb around the Castillo Gibralfaro to get some views and an orientation of the area. The 14th C Moorish walls have been repaired, and there is a small museum inside. This was once a small fortified city connected to the Alcazaba, and you can still see the foundations of kitchen gardens. We walked the ramparts as far as we could. The views of the Mediterranean coast, the Alcazaba below, and the city itself were just wonderful.

Then down to the town for lunch in a truly strange little café in the cathedral district with dark walls, funky 60’s décor, plastered with movie posters. We went to see the Alcazaba again, and the cathedral again. No problem seeing them again.

Back at the condo, I made hotel reservations for Seville and Granada. After the third attempt to book a hotel in Seville and finding the hotels full, it dawned on us that there was some major soccer tournament going on in Seville on the day before we were planning to be there. But we still managed to find hotels that were on the recommended list of our guidebooks, and both were smack in the historical part of the cities. The high point of this effort came when the hotel keeper on the other side, listening to my attempts to speak Spanish said in a very weary and patient voice “Let us speak English. It will go quicker.”

In the evening, we parked at our favourite parking lot in Marbella and went looking for the Plaza de Naranjos again, and this time we found it. The square is lined with orange trees and dining tables, surrounded by historic buildings, now turned into shops, and the streets that radiate away from the square are all filled with shops. Clothing, shoes, arts and crafts, shoes, jewellery, shoes, souvenirs, shoes, restaurants, tapas bars, shoes. The old Marbella city walls are actually just off the plaza, only a small section is left and there are shops built against them. This was a very crowded area, but every wall seems to be covered with climbing geraniums, bougainvillea and the occasional jasmine. The swallows and swifts must have found it to be a good food spot too, they were constantly swarming and swooping above the plaza.

I had a craving for the broad bean and ham dish, so we went again to Fuego Lengo where I ordered the beans to start. Geoff had a rack of baby lamb and the bones were so tiny the lamb must have been just barely weaned. We found out that when they say “baby lamb” in Spain, they really do mean baby lamb.

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