Tuesday, July 9: After El Torcal, we head to the beach at Málaga for lunch at one of the seafood Chiringuitos by the sea. At Restaurante Hermanos Muñoz, I have fantastic espeto de sardines barbecued on an olive wood fire. We also share clams with garlic and lemon, potatoes with peppers, and fried aubergines drizzled with honey. Yum. There’s nothing I love more than sampling a country’s food, and I’m really trying on the food in Spain. One thing for sure, I’m getting a little fat on this trip! Ok, maybe more than a little. 🙂
After lunch we walk into the center of Málaga near the Cathedral. We are left on our own to explore the town near the Roman Theater.
I visit the Picasso Museum, since Picasso was born locally and his parents’ house is now the Picasso Foundation and open for visits. Sadly photos are not allowed inside the museum. I especially love the exhibit of paintings of his family.
Picasso’s relationship with his native city was distant but nostalgic. He was born in the centrally located Plaza de la Merced in Málaga on 25 October 1881, which just happens to be my birthday (except not in 1881!). :-) He left the city with his family 10 years later. For three years, he returned to Málaga for the summers. His last visit to the city was at Christmas 1900 with his friend, the painter Carlos Casagemas. He spent three weeks in the city enjoying cafe-concerts and visiting relatives and left Málaga in January 1901, never to return. He found success in Barcelona and later in France. Later, his family and the Andalucian authorities determined to create a museum dedicated to the artist’s work in his hometown.
I also walk around Málaga’s Cathedral, but I’m tired of paying to go into cathedrals and I forgo the hefty 8 euro fee to see this one. The outside is very nice though and there are some very interesting sculptures outside. Later, Barry and Carole tell me they went inside and liked this cathedral better than Seville’s. Oh dear.
With a population of 568,507 in 2010, Málaga is the second most populous city of Andalusia and the 6th largest in Spain. The southernmost large city in Europe, it lies on the Costa del Sol (Coast of the Sun) of the Mediterranean.
Málaga’s history spans about 2,800 years, making it one of the oldest cities in the world. It was founded by the Phoenicians as Malaka about 770 BC, and from the 6th century BC was under the hegemony of Ancient Carthage. Then from 218 BC it was ruled by the Roman Republic and later the Roman Empire as Malaca. After the fall of the empire it was under Islamic domination as Mālaqah (مالقة) for 800 years, but in 1487 it again came under Christian rule in the Reconquest of Spain. (Wikipedia: Malaga)
Málaga enjoys a subtropical-Mediterranean climate. The summer season lasts about eight months, from April through November, although in the remaining four months temperatures sometimes reach around 20 °C (68.0 °F). This is why it draws so many Brits who are tired of rain, cold and clouds.
I pass by this movie poster and enlist our guide Barry to try to decipher it. I’m trying to determine if it’s a movie poster for one of the old Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy movies, either Before Sunset or Before Sunrise; Barry thinks it translates to “before dusk.” Later I do a Google search and find the poster is for a new movie, Before Midnight, which I’ll have to see when I return home to the States. (Before Midnight). I loved the other two movies about Jesse and Celine, who met on a train bound for Vienna.
I then begin a long hot climb to Alcazaba de Málaga.