Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Friday, October 19, 2012 – Malaga, Spain – Cloudy Rainy – 63 F

Distance from Vigo to Malaga,Spain: 620 Nautical Miles

Local Information: Malaga is located on the Southern Coast of Spain and is the capitol of the Costa de Sol.  Malaga has a population of about 500,000 people.  The La Alhambra is one of the famous sites beyond the city in the Andalusia Region of Spain.  It was home to Sultans and Kings for six centuries.

A dreary day on the Costa del Sol…

Malaga and Beach (Small)

Malaga Harbor from Aft deck a (Small)

Malaga from the Ship

Reflection docked Malaga (Small)

Celebrity Reflection Docked in Malaga

The Port is supplying a shuttle bus from the Cruise Terminal to Paseo del Parque.  The cost for a single round trip was 4 Euros.  Not a long ride – maybe 10 minutes tops.  The drop off point is central to just about everything in Malaga. 

Paseo del  Parque Malaga a (Small)

Paseo del Parque

The park stretches for several blocks – in some areas, vendors are selling various items on the sidewalk adjacent to the park.  The park itself contains a number of fountains and statues and is also filled with extremely fragrant flowers.

Statue in the Park (Small) Statue in the Park a (Small) 

The Parque

If you follow the Paseo Parque away from the Cruise Terminal you will run into the Alameda Principal, which is massive main street – it has at least six lanes and two signals to cross to the other side. 

I took a different route on my way out. The bus left me off across the street from the University of Malaga.  From that location, I was able to get a good view of the Alcazaba Fortress.  This fortress (built in 1057) was home to the ruling Emirs of Malaga.

Alcazaba Fortress Malaga (Small)

Alcazaba Fortress

From there I went at right angles to the main boulevard, which took me into the narrow Calles and shops.  Some of the streets are quite narrow

Narrow Street Malaga (Small)

and on most of them, cars have difficulty moving through.  Nevertheless, there are scores of high end stores lining all of the streets.  Also present everywhere are bars and tapas restaurants.  Most of the stores were not yet open (it was already past 10 AM) but the tapas joints and bars were ready for business.

My goal was to find a coffee shop with free WiFi so I could get caught up on things back home.  I did not have any success with that until I got back onto the main street, the Alameda Principal. 

Turnabout Alameda Principal (Small)

Turnabout – Alameda Principal

On this street, along with scores of other eateries, were a Taco Bell, Burger King, and McDonalds.  I went to the McDonalds (best bet).  I found not only free WiFi and clean washrooms but also bought a chocolate sundae for 2 Euros.  Even though it was around noon, the place was essentially deserted. 

20121019_043736 (Small)

At right angles to the Alameda Principal, I came across a nice pedestrian walkway lined with flowers on the lamp posts.

Pedesrian Wa;lway (Small)

While the Alameda is lined with cars and busses, navigating some of the narrow sides streets requires a different mode of transportation.

Horse Transportation Malaga (Small)


On Tour: Ellen at the Alhambra Palace

While I am exploring Malaga on foot, Ellen is on tour La Alhambra Palace. The Palace is located in the Andalusia countryside near the city of Granada. The palace gets its name from the red colored stones used to construct the structure.

IMG_20121019 Red Stone give Alhambra its name (Small)

IMG_20121019_Alhambra Palace 1 (Small)

The Moorish style of the palace is evident in the picture below.

IMG_20121019_Alhambra Palace k (Small)

 IMG_20121019 Alhambra Palace Waterfall (Small)

Waterfall on the Grounds

The Sultans who occupied the palace wanted to use water throughout the site.  The water was brought in from the mountains and routed around the palace structure.  This made possible the Reflection Pool and water features below.

 IMG_20121019_Alhambra Palace Reflection Pool (Small)

IMG_20121019_Alhambra Palace water features (Small)

Reflection Pool (Above); Fountain 

A closer look at the fountain revealed the presence of 12 lions representing the twelve tribes of Israel.  Why a lion?  Wasn’t King David called the Lion of Judah?

IMG_20121019_Alhambra Palace 12 tribes (Small)

The Twelve Lions

Another link to the Jewish People can be found on one of the mosaics in the Sultan’s Garden.

IMG_20121019_Alhambra Palace Jewish Star (Small)

The Sultan’s Private Garden was a beautiful combination of flowers and water features (in the sequence below).

  IMG_20121019_Alhambra Palace local flowers (Small)

IMG_20121019_Alhambra Palace flowers (Small) 

IMG_20121019_Alhambra Palace Garden and Pool (Small)

 IMG_20121019_Alhambra Palace fountains (Small)

The Sultan’s Garden

The most important room in the palace was the Reception Room.  This is where the Sultan met visiting dignitaries.  The room is lined with intricate mosaics.

 IMG_20121019_Alhambra Palace Reception Room  (Small)

 IMG_20121019_Alhambra Palace reception room (Small) 

The Reception Room

The view of Granada from the Alhambra Palace is terrific even on a gray and dreary day.

 IMG_20121019_Alhambra Palace the view (Small)

View from Alhambra Palace

Both on foot and on tour, Malaga was a terrific port of call.

The evening is spent reading and relaxing in the Ensemble Lounge.

Pedometer: 10,632 steps; 5.04 miles; 520 calories

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