Saturday, 3 September 2016

Malaga centre on foot - again

There was nothing to impede a visit to Malaga today, so I caught the 160 bus at a stop nearby on the main street for the half hour journey along the coast road. I was impressed by how quickly the bus filled with passengers, also on the return trip, mid afternoon. The round trip cost €2.14, so it's no wonder buses are well used throughout the coastal urban area.

The bus stops opposite the giant ferris wheel by the port, that offers tourists a view of the city from on high. It goes on from there to the bus station, next to estación Maria Zambrano for rail travel, which is very convenient for getting out of town. The ferris wheel stop gives quick access to the Alameda Principal, the old town and the prestigious retail street, Molina Lario. 
Along this street, crowded with Saturday shoppers as well as tourists, there were several living statue performers, imaginatively presented and well kitted out of their role. Some has an element of eye catching gravity defying illusion about them, but the one that caught my eye was a man dressed as a miner, totally black, wielding a pickaxe, standing on what looked like a mound of coal. The contrast with the bright sunlit colours of the shops behind him was vivid. As I passed, a lady said to her companion in a distinctive Welsh Valleys accent, "Coal is for good luck, see."

I had no specific aim in wandering about, other than photographing things old and new that caught my eye. I also wanted to see how well I could remember the town layout and navigate my way around, although it is only ten weeks since I was last here. My curiosity about the city's cofradias is as strong as ever, and whichever way I went, there were new cofradia buildings to take in. I crossed the river and went to El Corte Ingles to look around. There's a stylish gourmet restaurant and expensive delicatessen on the top floor, with great cityscape views from its rooftop terrace. Always worth a visit, if only to look.
At the river end of the Alameda one of the twin bridges across the river - it's a wide dual carriageway beyond, is being demolished. Construction site notices all over the area either side of the river announce the coming of new metro lines, so I can only assume the loss of a bridge has something to do with this. 
Even so, with views from one side of the remaining bridge obscured by heras fencing and opaque reinforced plastic to shield pedestrians from work below, the length of the bridge on the opposite side was richly decorated with baskets of flowers. Such a nice malagueño touch of cheer.

I returned to the old town, by way of the Atarazana covered market, alive with colour, almost every stall open for trade, people standing at the several bars drinking and eating freshly cooked tapas, buzzing with conviviality. I wanted a spinach and cheese empañada, but could see none on display n any of the pastelerias, perhaps a little too late in the day. Never mind, next time. Then I walked over to the Cathedral and around its exterior, and on to Alcazaba. By this time, having walked two and a half hours in the heat, I thought it was time to find the return stop for a 160 bus. There was one waiting to leave from just outside the ferris wheel, and after half an hour's air conditioned ride, I was back in Rincon, eating a late lunch.

Then, after a brief supermarket visit for water and beer, supper and a slow paseo before bed. Now I feel I've properly arrived.

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