Festivals in Alhama de Granada and Malaga

Wednesday 7 September to Friday 9 September

We were the last to leave the party town of Granada, along with Kate and Mark who were heading to Portugal and Hayden and Andrea who were taking a few days recovery in Cabo de Gata.

Evan and Steph had left the day before, loaded up with our wedding gear.  With a bit of luck Evan will remember to bring it on to Australia in December, in time for Alex and Sarah’s wedding

Our plan was to explore a little of the south west of Spain before flying out of Madrid in two weeks to southern Africa.

Malaga is a major hub for the region of Andalucia. The beaches here are good and the weather always warm, so it is a popular holiday destination area. Mediterranean Cruises leave from here as do flights to the Balearic Islands of Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza. It is also the main entry point for visitors to the Alhambra in Granada, as Granada itself is poorly served by air and rail connections.

We had decided to avoid the motorways and enjoy the countryside on this short leg of our journey. We stopped en route at a small village called Alhama de Granada, looking forward to a coffee. The village was in full preparation for their Gran Festival Taurino (Grand Bull Fight Festival), with decorations being put up and stalls set up in the village square. This is one festival I didn’t mind missing.

We had booked into a small apartment for our stay in Malaga, which turned out to be a bonus, as we managed to wash everything in our cases.  The apartment was opposite the cathedral, which is central to sightseeing in Malaga.

Our first bit of exploration was around the cathedral and the bishop’s palace and on to the lovely shopping street of Marques de Larios. In true Spanish style, the shops were reopening for evening trade and the town was coming to life.

We wandered into Piaza de Constitucion and found Picasso sitting, contemplating life. Picasso was born in Malaga, but spent little of his long life here.

This part of Spain has rich Roman and Moorish influences. The Alcazaba (Moorish Citadel) had been built over the Roman fortification, and all that was left was part of the Roman Theatre.

The Alcazabo sits on a rocky outcrop with a commanding view of the surrounding countryside and what is now the port. It was a steep climb to the top, but in true Moorish style, lovely gardens and beautiful views. A new bride and groom were busy posing for post-wedding photos.

As we descended some parrots were getting their last feed for the night, and making plenty of noise about it. These Spanish parrots always make me laugh – they are so animated and noisy.

Next day we wandered down to the waterfront Malagueta. The day was warm and crowds of all ages were on the beach. Apartments front on to the beach and I imagine there are plenty of people who just live to be on the beach.

After a pleasant lunch at a Chiringuito we visited the Museo Picasso to see some of Picasso’s work and work of others influenced by him.