Friday, 23 June 2017

Noche de San Juan in Malaga

After a good long night's sleep and slow start, adjusting to the increasing hear, Owain and I took the bus from outside the apartment door to Atarazanas market again and bought a few gourmet delights, olives, ham, cheese to last us the weekend. After lunch we made our way on foot to La Merced and sought out the Picasso Museum. 

Pablo Picasso was born in a house on the corner of Plaza de la Merced nearest to the market hall, but the museum in his honour is establisehd in a classical Andaluz palacio a few hundred meters beyond the barrio parish church of Santiago where he was baptized in 1881. There's a collection of his work from each of the eighty decades of his life as an artist, including childhood works. The admission ticket includes use of an audio commentary on each room of exhibits and each period of his life as an artist. It was a remarkable educational experience, well thought out and full of insight to reflect upon. We were both mightily impressed.

In the evening we set out on foot to dine at a Guardian recommended restaurant, a little way out of town to the east at El Palo. Being the 'noche de san Juan', every beach and every restaurant along the N340 coadt road was crowded and busy. We were astonished to find the restuarant we sought was closed, and less astonished to realise that on such a night, every place was fully booked. So, we got on a very crowded bus back to La Malagueta, full of young people going in search of their mates for a night of partying, and ate an emergency supper, quickly assembled at home.

We then returned to Playa La Malagueta, which was thronged with people of all ages, gathering to celebrate the midsummer fiesta, and maybe get in a paddle or a swim, in between eating barbecue food and drinking, as is customary on this night. At the and of the beach nearest the port of stage was set up, for a big disco with light show for an audience of many tens of thousands. Hard to guess just how many people were there for fireworks at midnight, or camping around a fire on the beach to watch the sun rise. We didn't stay up to watch. Today, Owain managed a morning and afternoon swim. One way or another, a very full day.

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