Archive | December 2012

On Christmas Day in the Morning

When we woke up on Christmas morning, my son looked out the window and said, “It sure looks like a great day to go out.”

So we went out. We actually went out in the afternoon, because if we go out in the morning the kids don’t pay attention to anything except their stomachs the whole day long. So it’s much better to fill them up first with a hearty lunch.

Parque Alameda Malaga

First stop: Alameda Park, the major park in downtown Malaga that’s right next to the port. We snapped a pic of the lush winter foliage and then immediately, we were off to the real object of our day trip: the Moorish castle that overlooks all of Malaga, the Castle of Gibralfaro.

Climbing Gibralfaro Mountain

I took a lot of photos of Malaga looking progressively smaller and more bird’s-eye sort of view as we climbed higher and higher, but those will have to be the subject of a future post.

Flowers Gibralfaro Malaga

Yes, this is really what Malaga looks like on Christmas day. Certainly not a sight that you could ever see in cold Canada!

Flowers on the Mountain Malaga

But then again, this is southern Spain.

Walls of the Alcazaba Malaga

The first part of the climb was simply stairs and more stairs meandering through a very pleasant park with lots of plants, especially flowers. We could see Malaga shrinking below us, but other than that, it didn’t seem too different from a walk through any other urban park on a mountainside.

And then we reached the castle. This is a view of the actual walls from below, when we first came upon them. These walls are probably over a thousand years old. (I’m not too sure exactly, would have to check up in the history books, but taking into account that the Moors ruled Spain from the eighth to the fifteenth centuries, that would more or less be a rough estimate.) Formidable!

Oven Gibralfaro Malaga

My son discovered this mystery lurking in the mountainside underneath a sort of cliff wall, well hidden from sight from the main pathway. We’re not too sure what it is, but it sort of reminds me of some type of oven, perhaps.

Flowers by the Alcazaba Malaga

We wandered around the castle a bit. Moorish castles in general are known as “alcazabas”, the ultra famous Alhambra in Granada is the best-known example of a Moorish castle or “alcazaba”. However, it’s not the only one in Spain, as virtually every southern city enjoys its own. Most are run-down and not very showy, but they are all conserved as monuments and you can usually visit them. We’ve also been to the one in Almeria, not very well-known at all in the rest of the world (or even in Spain, for that matter).

Sunset Alcazaba Malaga

The sunlight glancing off the walls of this “alcazaba” reminded us that soon it would be dark. I found the colours of the almost-setting sun a striking golden-orange sort of shade against the red earthen walls.

Tunnel Gibralfaro Malaga

After admiring the setting lights we decided to check out this tunnel that runs underneath the monument.

It leads to the back of the mountain and, in fact, the castle itself is like the centre of a star and depending on where you begin your descent from the mountain, you can end up in different parts of the city, with each pathway down acting sort of like a ray that spreads outward from the centre of the star towards a different neighbourhood.

Flowered Path

But we weren’t ready to go down yet!

Steps Alcazaba Malaga

As you can see, we continued climbing UP!

Path Gibralfaro Mountain Malaga

Path in Black and White

Good exercise for the soul, and I finally realized why my son failed Physical Education!

Setting Sun Alcazaba Malaga

A last view of the sunset off the reddish-golden walls.

Malaga Cathedral by Night

I found this view of Malaga’s cathedral as we left the grounds captivating. The night air was behaving and acting especially crisp and clear today.

Bar Malaga

Of course, you can’t end a day like today without something warm and filling. So we took a different route down into the city centre so we could enjoy tapas. What a fantastic ending to a lovely Christmas day.

Who Is Jack Frost?

I took my son to watch that new movie that just came out, “The Rise of the Guardians” (translated here into Spanish as “The Origin of the Guardians”). We had a thoroughly good time consuming buttery popcorn and doing the usual things that people do at movie theatres.

Frost

I thought that the movie was pretty clear. But when we came out, the first thing that my son commented about: did he remark about the amazing special effects? The heartwarming, happy-ending story? The lesson about how good can conquer evil and how joy is much more powerful than fear?

No.

He said: “Mami, what is frost and who is Jack Frost?”

Oh yes, sometimes I do tend to forget that we live in an almost tropical land and that he has never experienced the “joy” of having to fight through snow dunes higher than you are and getting locked up in the house because your door has frozen over.

I forget that he has never had a snowball fight, slipped on ice and broken his bones or admired the beautiful designs that frost can create on windows and tree branches.

And I forget that he has never seen frost.

Frost on Tree

The only frost that you will ever see in Malaga.

Last Chance to Leave Me a Little Cuddly Hug

The Expat Blog Awards are coming up! As I mentioned in previous posts, I’m so chuffed to have received a nomination for the Top Expats Blog Award. This is your last chance to leave a little bit of love for this blog (and for me!).

So if you like this blog, and you’d like to help me, please click on the badge below and leave me a comment (a NICE, sweet and cuddly one, please) and a rating. That would be so sweet of you and I’ll be so tickled if you do!

Living in Spain

And a big, humungous thank you and a sweet little kissie-kiss for all those who vote for me!

Lizard

Okay, so I wanted to leave you all with a photo of some sweet, cuddly, furry little animal, but I haven’t got any. I seem to be drawn more to creepy-crawlie things, right? Like crocodiles, and Barbary macaques and drooling birds, don’t you think? Well, at least this guy’s cute!