I feel the need to apologize to my readers. I realize that I have been less than regular in my postings of late. I guess going on a long vacation and then trying to get back into the swing of work and housekeeping has somewhat distracted me from my blog. We here at The Havens also suffered from protracted colds and sinus infections, which made us somewhat lackluster in our desires to do anything that resembles intellectual activity.
I just can’t post un-edited photos either. I feel that cropping and minor adjustments to light levels make them more enjoyable for people, and so I have been neglecting that little job too.
At any rate, I am back from taking Ruby on a 5 mile hike through the paths and dry stream-beds of Bennett Spring park. Behind me the sounds of the football game emanate from the tv as Jim enjoys a nice Sunday afternoon of game-watching. It is MUCH more pleasurable since the 49ers won their game yesterday afternoon. And so, in memory and fantasy, I return to Malaga in November.
I left you last at Castillo de Gibralfaro. After exploring that complex and enjoying a glass of rioja at the little cafe, we descended the coastal hill and spent a short while admiring the ruins of a Roman ampitheatre which is situated below the castle walls.
We could have spent a few Euros and walked around the ruins, but instead we turned to the right and entered the Alcazaba. The massive main doors were impressive, a solid wood core armored with metal bands.
Jim was quite taken with the marble “door stop” that was set into the threshold of the gate. You can see how the gates closing against it over the centuries wore it down.
Immediately after you enter the walls, you find that the builders of this fortress availed themselves of the materials scattered about the Roman ruins and incorporated them into the structure.
The outer walls protect a walkway the winds around the inner walls. Occasionally, there are watchtowers on the outer walls, accessed by steep stairways.
Whenever I look at things like this, I imagine people armed with crossbows, swords, and wearing heavy armor running up there to defend the castle.
The literature we read up at the Castillo informed us that there was a lot of stuff grown within the walls of these complexes, and sure enough, there were vegetables growing along the walkway up to the second level gate. This is a row of chard, with an unhappy squash vine draping over the wall next to it.
Above this little garden, the walls of the Alcazaba loomed impressively.
After wending our way upwards, we finally found ourselves at the gate through the inner walls. Turning back after walking through it, we got a nice view of a modern building next door, and you can see a few more of the Roman columns that were incorporated into the “new” building.
Once again, you ascend between walls. As we were making this trek, Jim commented that this reminded him a lot of the description of the fortified city Gondor in J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings.” Here, the walks were lined with orange trees.
You can see the next gate at the top of this brick walkway. When you walk through it, you find yourself in a very wonderful garden courtyard.
Evidently there are rooms and quarters worked into the walls, and they shelter some beautiful shady corners.
Above the courtyard is a terrace that has a wonderful view of the port and city.
You can see the little gutter that runs along the brick. It has water flowing in it. These little waterways flow everywhere in the castle, providing humidity and acting like air conditioners in the summer time. Here you can see the piping that allows the water to fall to the lower level.
The water was even running down through the gate structure.
Around the corner and up the hill, we discovered the “source” for the water. This marble “bathtub” cries out to be relocated to my garden…
Above the gardens and gates stand the royal household quarters.
Inside the royal quarters has been made into a museum. Apparently Málaga was famous for its kilns and potteries, which probably accounts for all the brick and tile in these structures. Anyway, there were lots of exhibits of pottery, and a quite wonderful reconstruction of an ancient kiln that was too dark to get a decent picture of. But I did manage to capture an exhibit that featured some of the porcelain as well as the triangular “feet” that were used to separate greenware in the kiln so it could be stacked during the firing process.
There were doorways furnished with keyhole arches all over the place. Not one of them was decorated the same way.
Another little patio near the royal quarters.
There was a grand view from the gardens below the royal quarters. Here you can see the walkway leading up the hill to the Castillo. Off to the right is a series of terraces that keep the mountain from falling on to Málaga. To the left you can see the Coracha and its walls.
Fatigued by all the climbing and walking, we descended back to the gateway, and wended our way into historic downtown Málaga past Picasso’s birthplace and found a nice spot for some afternoon refreshment. Then we returned to our hotel and rested in preparation for a dining adventure later that evening.