The day after we
did our Stairmaster workout visited the Castillo Gibralfaro and the Alcazaba we decided that perhaps our quadriceps could use a break, so we stayed on the level ground of Málaga and wandered over to the Picasso Museum/Gallery. In addition to their Picasso collection, in their special event gallery they were featuring the art of Alberto Giacometti.
In addition to many of his bronzes, they also had one of his sketchbooks and quite a lot of his drawings. One of the more interesting parts of the exhibit was right at the entry, where there were several paintings of Giacometti, some were self portraits but one was painted by his father, who apparently was a well known artist in his own right. A very intense young man stares out of these images.
Frankly, I enjoyed the Giacometti works more than Picasso. Too bad we weren’t allowed to take any photographs. I really loved the groups of figures Giacometti produced. Many of the small figures changed radically as you walked around them. From one direction they appeared to be trees, from another they were clearly people. Very rough and elemental. His drawings were amazing; many lines connect all the aspects of the scenes he was depicting in a way that made me think that he could almost see the gravitational attraction between them and was trying to show it.
That night we dined at Los Delfines (The Dolphins), a very nice seafood restaurant where we thoroughly enjoyed Ensaladilla pipirrana, a salad that was a cross between ceviche and pico de gallo. For the record, it was the first time Jim ever ate a mussel, and it was wonderful. Then he had grilled fish and I had grilled prawns. Fantastic. We were fascinated by the fact that all through the evening, waiters were dashing in from the restaurants in the area and buying the fresh fish Los Delfines had displayed in the display case by the bar and taking it back to cook on their own grills.
The next day, our legs were recovered enough that we hiked about halfway up the hill to Castillo Gibralfaro to investigate a path we had noticed on our first climb that winds off across the face of the mountain below the castle. It appeared to be an ancient fire road, with extensive rock terracing keeping it from erosion. It is still in use today apparently, as evidenced by the existence of modern fire hydrants along it.
It was a nice walk above the city, with a grand view down onto the streets. This is one of the main traffic circles near the port. All that red is hundreds and hundreds of poinsettia plants we saw being transplanted the day before.
There was also a splendid view down onto the roofs and the extensive roof top gardens that exist all over Málaga. Unless you happen to be wandering around on old fire roads, you are completely unaware of the life going on beyond the balustrades of all those buildings that are looming over you.
No room to park on the street? Just build your place with a ramp to the roof.
Great view of the port too.
There was a bit of fun along with these views, fun that I didn’t get any pictures of, I’m afraid.
The path we were walking on forked, and we thought since it appeared to be well traveled that probably it descended and met up with one of the side streets. We could see that if that was the case, we would eventually come out fairly near our hotel and have a little adventure too.
So, we took the lower fork and proceeded down the mountain, admiring the agaves and prickly pear cacti as well as the flowers and pines. Eventually, we came out above the back yards of some of the houses built up the side of the mountain. All these yards were well fenced with cyclone fencing topped with unfriendly concertina wire. We walked along, enjoying the view down into backyards.
Eventually, we did come to a spot where the path “met” the street with about a 15 foot drop down a crumbly shale slope that the local cat leapt gracefully down. She sat at the bottom and looked up at us as if to say “What the heck are you doing here? I was hunting, you know.” We looked at the dropp and opined that a ten year old boy would have no qualms about scrambling down to the street level, but my 58 year old feet could only imagine slipping and tumbling along past the street, down another 25 feet into the patch of very spiky agaves that were waiting below.
Discretion over-ruled our inner children. We climbed back up to a spot where the path had split a second time, and followed that path to a spot where you could actually believe there was access to the street. There was a path — past a shed — through a lovely garden. Unfortunately, we could imagine that where we would end up was at someone’s back door rather than a street and trying to explain in our fractured Spanish that we were merely lost tourists and not housebreakers.
So, we climbed back up the way we came, walked back down past the Gibralfaro and Alcazaba, and found a nice bar with some tapas to refresh ourselves before we returned to our hotel.
This is the Hotel Los Naranjos, where we stayed. Our balcony is all the way at the top on the left, farthest back from the street.
From that balcony, we had a beautiful view of someone’s garage.
The view up the mountain behind the hotel. Probably we were walking behind the uppermost building looking into its back yard.
The roof right below our balcony fascinated me. I loved the tiles.
That night we walked a couple of kilometers down the esplanade to the northern section of Málaga and enjoyed paella for two at Restaurante Mar de Pedregalejo. If you click on that link, imagine us sitting outside right under that palm tree enjoying a balmy moonlit evening, nice wine, paella, cheesecake and brandy afterwards.
It was splendid, and then we walked back home along the coast.