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!



20 comments:

  1. Sharon what a wonderful and interesting post.I have always thought of Spain as a beach holiday place but looking at your fabulous photo's I would now like to visit Malaga and wander those streets and see the shops and go in and look at all the wonderful clothes and items for sale. Plus the wonderful churches look well worth a visit.
    lol as I saw the flats above the narrow streets I too, thought want a great place to own a flat and look down on the street bustling with people :)
    Thanks for sharing this insight into Malaga and I for one look forward to seeing more in your next posts. hugs xxx

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    1. Thanks very much Dee, I'm glad you enjoyed it. And yes, that's the thing, so many people see Malaga as just a place for a beach holiday when there is just so much more to see and do. And I've only seen a part of it, there is indeed a lovely promenade area with one of those big carousel like the London Eye which I'd like to go on. Plus I'd love to see those big cruise ships in the port because that new massive one that holds about 8,000 people docks there too and it's supposed to be pretty impressive close up. Not that I'd want to go on a cruise on it, just see it close up! And masses of churches and historic buildings too. Definitely worth a visit in my humble opinion.
      xxx

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  2. I enjoyed every single photo and look forward to more! Malaga has been on my wish list to visit for awhile so this was perfect for me. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you KK, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'll get to the second part very soon!
      xxx

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  3. Many thanks for taking me with you on this wonderful and interesting tour of Malaga.

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    1. You are very welcome Kendal, I'm glad that you enjoyed it!
      xxx

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  4. Dolls and chocolate! That's my place!
    Malaga looks like a very interesting city. I was surprised there are so many shops selling flamenco costumes. I had thought flamenco nowadays mostly was done for tourists (like the Bavarian Schuhplattler..). I live and learn!

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    1. LOL I knew that there would be some readers who would feel the same as me about the chocolate and dolls Ursula!!! A lovely combination.
      Yes the art of Flamenco isn't dead. It is still very popular for tourists, but also inland, where we live in Sevilla, it is still very popular. Particularly the outfits for the ferias and different processions that are plentiful throughout the year. In our town we have two big ferias each year as well as several other events where you'll see loads of 'Sevillana' clothing, they're beautiful and so colourful.
      xxx

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  5. Yes! Chocolate and dolls! I am imagining how much fun it would be to pass a store full of dolls in the window! Thank you for this lovely post. My version of traveling! hahaha

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    1. Thanks Jano, I'm so glad that you enjoyed it.
      xxx

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  6. Of course, I had to google Malanga and now I know where it is! Gorgeous photos...the shops and alleys are so different from what I normally see so I really enjoyed it. Some of those areas are so quaint!

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    1. Thanks for visiting Malaga with me Farrah, I'm glad you enjoyed it!
      xxx

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  7. Hi Sharon,
    I could look at photos like this all day! Love the old buildings, the colourful shops and alley ways.
    Thank you so much for sharing, as I doubt if I will ever get to see Spain any other way.
    Hugs,
    X

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    1. Thanks very much Xanadu, I'm glad you enjoyed the tour. I will try to do more like this so you get to see other parts of Spain too, one of these days!!!
      xxx

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  8. Fascinating. Thank you so much for the guided tour.
    The graffiti you began with - I'm not surprised it's encouraged as those examples are so well done!
    Looking forward to the next post.

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    1. Thanks very much Rosie, glad you enjoyed it.
      And yes, those are great bits of street 'art' aren't they! I have been passing them and each time getting annoyed with myself for forgetting to bring my camera, so I'm glad i finally remembered!!!
      xxx

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  9. A lovely look at real Spain - thank you!
    Tricia x

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    1. You're very welcome Tricia, thank you for coming on the 'tour' with me, I'm glad you enjoyed it!
      xxx

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  10. Wonderful photos of Malaga! Thank you Sharon so much. I would love to visit Malaga one day! I was fascinated at the beautiful street art, the interesting shop windows and the beckoning alleys. Plus I had no idea that stores sold Flamingo dresses! It makes perfect sense that they would sell them but it just did not cross my mind about going to shop for a flamingo dress! How wonderful! A fantastic post! :) XXX

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    1. Thanks so much Ginger, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I think you now have the travel bug, don't you! It would be lovely if you were to visit Malaga and Spain one day :)
      Yes, many shops here in Andalucia sell flamenco dresses, even the big department stores sell them, particularly for the different ferias (carnivals and fairs) that take place here on a regular basis. I will have to do a post on some because I have a lot of photos somewhere of people in our town wearing them!
      xxx

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