As we walked home along the esplanade following our wonderful meal at Restaurante Mar de Pedregalejo, we enjoyed the moonlit evening, listened to the small waves lapping at the rocks of the breakwater. Suddenly, Jim stopped, and said “Look at all those cats.”
Indeed, there seemed to be a whole colony of cats gathered amongst the rocks, cats of all sizes, colors and ages. There were several young ones in the pride, looking to me to be about three months old. The adult cats were wary, but not so feral that they were running and hiding. They sat away from the wall we were standing by, each perched elegantly on a convenient rock, regarding us with grave suspicion as to our motives for staring at them. One of the kittens, a rather fuzzy orange one, was very busy chowing down on something, studiously ignoring our very existence.
“Ha,” he seemed to be saying. “You have driven away all those greedy adult cats and I am going to take advantage of their absence and eat as much of this wonderful stuff that is piled here as I can.” I picked him up easily, he did not act frightened or struggle, but submitted to my stranger’s caress grudgingly, his attention riveted on the pile of small bait fish that he had been gobbling with such avidity. The other cats watched disdainfully, and finally I put the little guy back down, whereupon he immediately addressed himself to eating fish again.
The cats were sleek and fat in a way most feral cats are not. I think the largesse of leftover bait fish is given to them at that site on a regular basis. At any rate, they seemed to be making a fine living amongst the rocks of the breakwater, and so we proceeded along our way back to our hotel.
The next day we decided to visit El Corte Inglés in downtown Málaga. Jim was thinking of buying some good shoes and had been seduced by their website before we ever left home. Of course, we walked, it only being a little more than a mile over there. My oh my, you can spend lots and lots of money at that place. We didn’t. When faced with the literally hundreds of choices of shoes, none of which seemed to be priced at under 200 euros, we decided that the need for shoes wasn’t all that pressing. Besides, I’ve never been that enamored of designer togs, and the place fairly reeked of designer thsi, that and the other. We left the premises, happy to have visited, just as happy to have not enriched the coffers of the chain.
But we were beguiled extremely on our way home. We caught the public parks department installing a very beautiful nativity scene in one of the main traffic circles. The first thing that caught my eye was the angel and its wings made of pampas grass.
How novel, I thought. Botanical dressings for the figures. I could see the pampas grass, I could see that some stuff was leaves. From across the street, I photographed.
You can see a couple of gardeners kneeling there by the impatiens. I was very intrigued. From where I was standing I could not see what the capes were made of. So we crossed the street, and looked back at the installation.
From closer up, I realized that the capes and dresses were bougainvillea blossoms. The Magi’s camels were made of palm bark, the saddles are depicted by palm fruit. The women’s hair is strands of pepper. I’m not sure who this woman is, perhaps she is the midwife or someone. After all, I believe it is traditional to have lots of water at a birth.
The gardeners were not only installing the figures, they were planting literally hundreds of impatiens plants to dress up the scene. They really did not seem to mind us tourists photographing us at their work. Very quickly, they finished up the job, cleared all the empty pots, ladders, and other miscellanea up and departed the scene, leaving the figures for us to admire.
Having more or less exhausted the photographic possibilities of the more-than-life-sized Nativity scene, we returned to the main sidewalk and headed down into the pedestrian zone where shops, restaurants and tapas bars abound.
These gentlemen were in attendance, in honor of a demonstration that was being held.
This is the crowd of demonstrators, not just the lunch time crowd.
We stopped and listened to the very earnest speech that was being given, looked at the placards. Apparently what was being demonstrated against was violence against women, both domestic and also the institutionalized violence of some of our international neighbors. A worthy cause, indeed.
We proceeded down the mall, looking around at the different shops, enjoying the novelty of a whole section of city where there is no vehicle traffic. A marvelous idea I think more American cities should emulate.
We really weren’t that interested in eating in any of these establishments. They seemed to have quite dear prices, and also seemed to be aimed at all the tourists that were visiting the Picasso museums, the cathedral, and staying in the fancy hotels downtown. So we walked back towards our hotel through the city park that just is outside the port.
Lots of beautiful bronze fountains in the park, as well as WiFi.
We descended to the beach and picked up some shells and rocks to bring home to my shell collection. (Speaking of my shell collection, I REALLY need to dust it rather than poke about on the computer writing blogs…)
All along the beach were little cafes, built right on the sand. Each one had a nice group of tables surrounding the building where the kitchen and bar was. We sat down to have a snack, and not being really sure what to order, decided that some fire roasted sardines were in order. While we waited for them to cook, we had a beer (or two — who was counting??)
Those are our sardines cooking, by the way. We felt that the whole fish seemed a trifle expensive, and we weren’t really sure about ordering that for lunch. Notice the sea bass that is cooking by our sardines. The gentleman at the table next to us was the diner who had ordered it, and when we saw how it arrived and how good it looked while he was consuming it, we immediately vowed that we were going to return and experience the full fish deal.
We decided that that would be a good way to wrap up our Málaga experience. Accordingly, on the day we were to embark on the Seabourn Spirit, we checked out of our hotel and left our bags behind the desk. Then we walked down the beach towards the port. What we were trying to ascertain was whether one could walk out to the ship, or whether one had to take a taxi to the cruise terminal. Our exploration showed us clearly that walking was certainly an option, and so we returned along the beach.
When we arrived at the little cafe, it was open for lunch and so we sat down and ordered our fish.
A strolling guitar player showed up and gave us a few songs while we drank some beer and waited for the fish to cook.
Those are our fish cooking. I ordered a dorado, Jim had a sea bass. And this is how they were presented to us when they were finally done. It took a good half hour for those fish to roast, but I can tell you it was WELL worth the wait.
Replete, we returned to the hotel and picked up our carry on bags, which we had converted into their back pack format. We shouldered our bags and retraced our path down the beach, past the port and to the cruise terminal.
I’m not absolutely positive, but from the looks we got from the baggage handlers, they don’t have a lot of people arrive for their embarkation on foot. However, once we presented our cruise documents, our passports were stamped and we walked around the corner of the terminal and saw our lovely vessel waiting for us.
The Seabourn Spirit, our home for the next two glorious, relaxing, luxurious weeks.
(By the way, I cannot recommend this cruise line highly enough. They REALLY know how to do it, as you will see in the next couple of posts.)
Life is good.