Friday, June 17, 2016

Playing the tourist in Malaga



More often than not you'll see me praising Sevilla as being a beautiful city and it is a wonderful place to visit, although of course I'm prejudiced as we live in that Province.  However, we also spend a whole lot of time here in Malaga and recently, even more time in the actual centre of what is known as Historic Malaga. The centre of Malaga is approximately 30 minutes by car from our beach home.

Malaga often is overlooked and only really thought of by tourists as the 'gateway' to the Costa del Sol, which in fairness it is, being home to the very busy Malaga airport which serves the rest of Europe and beyond, the port that plays host to lots of big cruise ships from all over the world,  as well as the train station where the high speed Ave arrives and departs.  But there is far more to Malaga than just those things.  The centre of Malaga is really very attractive, very clean with loads of great shops, bars and places of interest.  So I thought I'd share some of my photos that I took last week, however there are loads so maybe it'll end up being more than one post.  I hope you enjoy seeing a little bit of this vibrant and friendly city!

Spain seems
almost  to 'welcome' graffiti and street art and you will see paintings everywhere.  These large murals are painted on the walls of the river which dissects the city.  The river itself is relatively dry most of the year but when the 'rainy season' comes cars have been known to be washed right out into the Mediterranean Sea (it is quite common to see cars parked on the concrete river bed!).  The flash floods that come down from the mountains are incredible!

You'll notice that these murals are all 'water' themed, which is very appropriate :)






One of the bridges that crosses the currently dry river bed is called El puente de la esperanza, meaning the Bridge of Hope.  On the railings people have attached padlocks of all shapes and sizes, some of them have names and little messages written or stuck on them, often these messages say what that particular person is hoping for!  There must have been hundreds of them!  I wonder how many people get what they hope for?  Some of them....I hope!



As we walked through the back streets I took quite a few photos of the very attractive shop fronts.  This one is selling flamenco dresses and was packed to the rafters with dresses of all sorts of colours and patterns.  Unfortunately the shop assistant said that I couldn't take any photos inside, but I took a few outside:


The dresses below are very reasonably priced and obviously factory made, handmade flamenco dresses retail for hundreds and sometimes thousands of euros! 



This church, la iglesia de San Juan Bautista (St John the Baptist Church) is situated opposite the above shop.  The church, built in the 18th Century, shows painting on it's facade that was typical of Malaga architecture of that time, on the 'nobelest' buildings only of course.  However, this church and several other buildings throughout the city, have recently been 'uncovered' as these painted patterns were covered by many layers of whitewash!!  This church is unique for this mesh shaped decoration and the combination of colours.  







Just along the street from the church is a pharmacy that looks like it belongs in the early part of the last century!!  I wish I'd taken a photo of their cash register because it was a work of art in itself, but maybe next time!  The walls are lined with shelves containing old apothecary jars, and they're all so so beautifully designed and painted.   You can just see them, as well as the old fashioned wooden counter, archways and doors.


We discovered this little alley way containing a really funny shop that looked like a mixture of arts and crafts as well as clothes for sale.  However, one half of the shop was actually a bustling cafe/bar, but each table was surrounded by goods on display for sale!  It was the two weird characters outside that drew me to notice it:


  
It was an interesting shop and I was tempted to buy a small folding deck chair which I thought would be perfect for my dolls until I saw the price.  I decided it was a bit too expensive but then immediately that we were too far from the shop, so I chastised myself for being such a skinflint and not buying it....maybe next time!

Here's a lovely sweet shop that had some great toys for sale too.  I love their shopfront which takes up a whole big corner, quite a frontage, with the big lollipop and the candy cane stick of rock:



Unfortunately due to a combination of the incredibly clean windows and the bright sunshine, you can't see clearly into the window here, but take my word for it, it was filled with DOLLS!!  Oh and some dinosaurs, but the dolls were the best thing about this window!  

Oooh and inside, CHOCOLATE!!!  What a "to die for combination" dolls AND chocolate!   
 
Two cute little dollshouses and I really like that black police car.....bet it's expensive though!



Another shop selling flamenco dresses and everything else for fiestas and ferias....I love their frontage too, very eye-catching:




I didn't go into this shop but will do next time, because it looks quite interesting.

Here are some attractive buildings that I photographed.  Mostly, I suspect,  are pisos or flats/apartments above the shops.





If I had to live in a city, I would love to live in an apartment that had a balcony overlooking the bustling streets below....a bit like these! 
  
The church, built in the 1700's, nestled in amongst the shops and apartment buildings. 



A very narrow street, common here in Malaga and throughout the rest of Andalucia too. 






The shop below, Almacen del Indiano, sold all sorts of local delicacies, from Spanish ham, dried Cod, olive oil and liquor.  I really loved the pictures that were on the outside of the building.





A quick look inside revealed a small bar area at the back of the actual shop :)




I think I've gone on long enough for one post so I will show you the covered food market in another post......that is if you're all still awake out there!  Sorry this was so long, but I hope you've enjoyed seeing a little bit of Historic central Malaga.

Thank you for visiting and I hope everyone has a great weekend with good weather too!