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.
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.
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.
Yes, this is really what Malaga looks like on Christmas day. Certainly not a sight that you could ever see in cold Canada!
But then again, this is southern Spain.
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!
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.
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).
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.
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.
But we weren’t ready to go down yet!
As you can see, we continued climbing UP!
Good exercise for the soul, and I finally realized why my son failed Physical Education!
A last view of the sunset off the reddish-golden walls.
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.
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.