It’s time to pack our bags and journey on to our next destination. As we say adiós to Málaga our memories will be of the fantastic views of the Alborán Sea (a subdivision of the greater Mediterranean Sea) from our apartment.
And, of course, we will also have great memories of the summer feria, Picasso, biznagas, spit-roasted fresh sardines grilled at the beach and, perhaps not such great memories of the humidity.
In planning our farewell to Málaga, we wanted to record a few additional highlights of our stay.
The Alcazaba dominates the skyline near the old town with the architecture effortlessly blending into the hillside creating opportunities for outstanding photos. The Moorish rulers of southern Spain built the handsome Alcazaba on top of the remains of an 8th century Roman fort.
As you may know, we have recently been in Granada, Spain and we naturally visited the magnificent Alhambra. In Málaga, the Alcazaba is referred to as the younger sister of the Alhambra because it is smaller and 300 years younger. Admittedly, in our opinion, the Alhambra is more impressive but the views of the city, the port and the sea from the top of this fortress are marvelous.
There is a spring and summer tradition in Málaga where a ‘handcrafted flower’ called La Biznaga is created. This large sweet blossom is handmade from the incredibly fragrant but small jasmine blossom. Artisans insert fresh jasmine buds into the tops of dried thistle to create the biznaga flower. Search for the Youtube video “Tutorial Paso a paso: Jazmín” to learn how to make a biznaga. Although the video is in Spanish you will understand by merely watching.
We also learned that these biznagas are used as air fresheners and are an effective mosquito repellent. Good tip. We did not see a single mosquito during our stay. Perhaps because there were so many jasmine in bloom?
The word Biznaga means ‘a gift of God’, therefore, receiving a flower is considered a special gift. Search for the “El Biznaguero”, a man wearing black trousers, a white shirt and a red waistband to buy a biznaga. He can be found walking near the promenades and restaurants. Below is a statue we found of an El Biznaguero in the beautiful park next to the City Hall.
In our final week in Málaga we witnessed the start of the “Grand Tour of La Vuelta a España 2018”. La Vuelta is Spain’s equivalent to the Tour de France. The race began in Málaga on August 25 and will end September 16 in Madrid. The Vuelta covers 2022 miles. Although we have not normally followed cycling, it was exciting to witness the beginnings of this race.
Catedral de Málaga
We are continually surprised by the beauty of the churches we have seen. In Málaga many of the exteriors of the churches have used various patterns or shades of pink, red and yellow paint. However in the heart of the city, the largest and most commanding of them all, the Málaga Cathedral, has no such decoration, the stunning architecture is enough.
Málaga’s Cathedral is the second largest in Andalusia and this magnificent church dominates the skyline. It was constructed between 1528 and 1782 and, as we are discovering, like many churches, this one was not quite finished. Similar to the Cathedral in Granada, the second tower of Málaga’s Cathedral was never completed, resulting in her nickname, La Manquita (the one-armed lady).
Inside the Cathedral, there are two magnificent organs but it is the choir that caught our attention. It is considered one of the most valuable rooms in the church. Each individually carved choir seat is incredibly detailed and a masterpiece on its own.
Ars Málaga Episcopal Palace
Our visit one morning to the Ars Málaga (the Bishop’s Palace), was lovely. The bright yellow and red building is 3 stories tall and shares the courtyard with the magnificent Málaga Cathedral. The permanent exhibition inside is from the collection of the Diocese of Málaga.
Málaga is home to some of Spain’s most picturesque coastline, so beaches are always nearby. Although the beaches are smaller and with less sand than we are used to, the water temperature is great and being on the Mediterranean, the waves are not as large compared to the Pacific Ocean along the west coast of North America. If you are searching for a beach vacation, Málaga may be a good option. You will hear lots of English, at least in August, near the beaches as this is a favorite destination for many residents of the United Kingdom.
The temperatures hovered in the low to mid 30’s ℃ / 90’s ℉ accompanied by high humidity throughout the month of August.
We did enjoy our relaxing month in Málaga, visiting the many museums, strolling the walkways along the beaches and absorbing all the wonders of living next to the sea.
Salud from the Malagueños,
Ted and Julia