Thursday, 6 July 2017

Old town shopping expedition

We were half a dozen for Wednesday morning's midweek Eucharist at St George's, thanks to Clare being there and two passing visitors. We did some food shopping in Mercadona afterwards, then walked into the Old Town via the pedestrian tunnel which takes you to the Plaza de la Merced. This was basically a general briefing for Clare on what there is to see, and where the main streets are. It was also an opportunity for her to get used to walking about in the heat, although today hasn't been as hot as it was in my first month here.

After an hour or so of walking around, we returned to the apartment for lunch and a siesta, before another evening swim for Clare. I noticed an ocean-going rowing eight with cox and trainer on board a kilometre offshore, and wondered if it was the same crew I watched from the headland at Rincon de la Victoria last autumn. Then, after supper, a walk in the dark along the Paseo Maritime, before early bed for both of us.

Today it was overcast, relatively cool, though humid, and it spitted a little rain. It's the first day of its kind since I arrived here. Much refreshed by a good night's sleep, we went into the Old Town to look around the wonderful Mercado de Atarazanas, such a special place celebrating the rich beauty and variety of Andalusia's fresh food products, proudly displayed, and by some amazing characters among the traders. We bought marinaded Rosada pescado to cook for lunch, and half a kilo of fresh strawberries. Next time we'll return to get freshly caught fish, once we can decide which variety to buy!

Clare was pleased to find a small lightweight hair dryer at a bargain price in Chinese supermercado next to Atarazanas, and I found a wire basket which could be used for vegetable steaming. The flat is quite well equipped, considering that it's only a few months since it was re-claimed for use as a chaplain's apartment. Each occupant has their own minor equipment requirements, as well as food preferences to suit their way of life. Meeting these needs is part of the pleasure of sojourning in a new place.

We also walked across the 'German' footbridge over the rio Guadalmedina to reach El Corte Inglez, so that Clare could inspect special offers in the summer sale. She travelled light, hoping to find some lightweight clothes for the extreme heat which are not so easy to find in the UK, but there was nothing of interest. Organisation of the clothes layout for the summer sale reminded her of a jumble sale, she said. We had an over priced drink in the top floor cafeteria, then walked slowly back across the Old Town to the apartment to cook and eat half the Rosada pescado from the market for lunch. We now have a better idea of how little cooking it actually needs, for next time.

Once again, a siesta, a swim for Clare, an evening walk into the port after supper, just as the huge Valetta registered TUI Discovery cruise ship was going to sea from terminal one. Several new ships have docked in recent days. Large private luxury motor yachts, a much smaller cruise ship to carry a couple of hundred rather than thousands of passengers, a large bulk carrier, a vehicle transport ship. Proximity to North Africa makes Malaga quite a busy port, for both commerce and leisure. I find it fascinating to observe, and try to understand.

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