"" Writer's Wanderings: Port of Call - Malaga, Spain

Monday, November 21, 2016

Port of Call - Malaga, Spain

Malaga was another port that was new to us. Turns out, Malaga is the birthplace of Picasso! I guess that was another one of those art history classes I slept through in college. Never schedule art history or music appreciation at 8 AM when you are in college. He was born at No. 15< Plaza de la Merced in 1881. The place is now a museum.

And there was another HOHO Bus! We took the entire ride without getting off just to see what we might want to go back and visit. There was a castle on a hill, the Castle of Gibralfaro, which dates back to the Phoenicians but we passed on going through it. I didn’t care to see any more old churches and our other choices were pretty much just museums of art or archeology and history. 

It was too beautiful a day to spend indoors but a little chilly for a beach day although some of the beautiful beaches of Malaga were beginning to get busy. Malaga is one of the towns where Northern Europeans come to spend some days in warm weather—a little like our Florida.

We passed by a bull ring though that was intriguing. The Plaza de Toros can seet up to 15,000 spectators. In Alicante, I’d seen what at first I thought might be a Roman theater and took a picture of it from the fort above the town but didn’t discover until later that it was actually a bull ring. I wanted a closer look at this one in Malaga and I thought I had caught sight of a gated door that you could see through into the arena.

Bob and I got off the HOHO near where we had begun and walked through the lovely Parque de Malaga that had shady paths and lots of unusual trees and plants. Up in one of the large palm trees, were several green parrots chattering away. I tried to get a picture of them but they blended in so well with the green palm leaves that they are virtually invisible in the pictures. 

We managed to figure out where we were when we emerged from the park and finally found the bull ring. We walked entirely around it but didn’t see an open gate. If I had seen one when we passed, it was now closed. 

It was a bit disappointing but the bull ring was unusual in its architecture and I did get a nice shot of a poster advertising a bull fight we had missed by several days. I wouldn’t have wanted to see it but maybe just a little of the pageantry would have been nice. 

Bull fighting dates back to 711 AD and was originally a sport of the aristocracy and was fought on horses. Later King Felipe V banned the aristocracy from the bullfights. The common people took it up but had no horses so they developed a method of fighting that we are familiar with today--dodging the bull on foot with a red cape. 

On our way back to the ship, we passed the colorful cube of the Pompidou Center, a place that has rotating exhibitions of art and the lighthouse. It was a bit of a walk out to the ship but the sun was warm and a breeze was refreshing and this day my feet didn't seem to mind the walk. 

As we neared our ship, we noticed there was another in port. The shape of it and the name caught my attention. Could it be? Celebrity Cruise Line had a sister ship of our favorite cruising vessel, the Horizon, the one we took our first cruise on. Zenith was its sister ship. The hull was painted a deep blue instead of black but as we examined it further, we could still see the old X that marks the Celebrity ships. It was behind the new owner's emblem. 

Old ships never die. They just get repurposed?

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