Thursday, 8 June 2017

Walk in the port

A second full night's sleep in a row for me! The neighbourhood and the apartment is remarkably quiet for the center of a city. I pottered around all morning, listening to UK election day news on the radio, wondering what the outcome will be, but I have no intention of staying up to hear the results tonight. The apartment has good broadband, although the solid construction of this sixties building does curb the reach of the signal at the far end, in the kitchen, where I often listen while I cook or eat at home. No two electronic devices have exactly the same capacity to fix on a weak signal, so I have to try them out in turn to see which gives the best results on wi-fi, to save using up data on a 4G phone account. 

A visit to the El Corte Ingles electronic gadget store to buy a wi-fi signal relay device is possible. Finding the right place to plug it in where it can best transmit and receive is another issue. As the first inhabitant of a newly purchased Fuengirola Chaplain's house three years ago, this was the solution to the same problem. Being a more modern house, however, it had a much better distribution of power sockets to make use of. Always best to make use of what's given, if you can.

After quite a late lunch, I went out for my first longish walk of my stay, starting on the Paseo de la Malagueta and making my way to the furthest extent of the eastern arm of the port. The sun was thinly veiled in mist, so I didn't suffer from over exposure. Once you leave the Paseo, there's almost no shade to be had until you reach the two huge Cruise ship terminal buildings. It's the first time I've seen these structures and their accompanying docking facilities. There are no cruise ships in port right now, only an assortment of container ships, bulk carriers and the odd goods vehicle ferry that transports stuff to and from North African ports.

At the town end of the harbour, there's a 300m double deck promenade. The quay level features restaurants and luxury designer retail outlets aimed at cruise clientele. The upper level has a few open air bars and some small gardens, but is mostly open for ship spotters to stand and stare and walkers to promenade in style. Towering over the promenade is 'El Farino' a substantial lighthouse which celebrates the 200th anniversary of its construction this year. 

At the town end is a stylishly constructed modern art gallery called the Pompidou Centre. I found it quite irritating that it was necessary to enquire on-line what the function of this building was, as no information was readily visible to indicate this externally, unless you went inside. I think it's pretentious to trade on having a universal public reputation. It's like meeting some grandee who states emphatically: "Surely you know who I am."

The top level promenade crosses over a bridge beside the art gallery. You can walk through this to access La Malagueta barrio. This has a history board relating to the coastal railway which once ran from Malaga to Velez Malaga. The bridge pays homage to the tunnel through which the train ran into the port. The line closed in the sixties. Most of its railway artifacts soon disappeared, except tunnels along the route, some of which are still in use as part of the coastal footpath running along the old track-bed. The great tourism development started in the same era as the railway disappeared. I imagine some developers and planners may look back with regret at losing such an asset for both mass tourism and local transport. Road traffic congestion however well managed, is a liability and a burden to bear for the foreseeable future. 

In the evening, I re-established my acquaintance with the main maritime traffic website, to see if would be possible to work out which ships I'd seen in dock - as ever, a fascinating exploration. Just as well too, there's no telly here, and it's impossible to watch UK TV channels on my devices, due to digital rights management controls. So much for freedom of information!

1 comment:

  1. Keith, there is a very useful fold-out leaflet which we got from the tourist information people in Frigiliana, so I'sure they'll have it in the place just across the road from the port main entrance as you go towards the Alameda. It gives details of 50 museums and galleries in Málaga. We have found it to be invaluable.