Monday, April 1, 2019

Malaga, Spain

I LOVE Malaga! What a fabulous city and what a fabulous day we had, I could spend a lot more time here, without a doubt.

As usual, we had no real itinerary and once we got off of the ship, we approached our first taxi. We tried to ask him if he had any tour brochures but he did not have a clue what we were talking about, which is surprising as all of the islands had printed brochures which make it easier to communicate and this is a much larger city.

The driver was not friendly, nor helpful so we all walked away. It wasn't long before we spotted another taxi with a young taxi driver. We figured we had a better chance that he spoke English and maybe we could better communicate to him what we were looking for, which was a tour to all of the hotspots of Malaga.

He did speak better English and we agreed to pay him 100 euros for three hours; a little more than before,  but SO worth it! David was GREAT! When we could not understand him, he just popped what he was saying into a translator app and wha-la! We knew what he was trying to tell us!

Our first stop was the Castillo de Gibralfaro which was through town and up some winding hills. It was an old fortress with a long queue, but great views, there was a violinist playing the theme song from the "Godfather" at the top of the hill; I just love buskers!

From the terraces outside of the fortress, we could see the one-armed church, the port, and the bull-ring. They also have crazy, hairy, red squirrels running through the trees!

The bullring, La Malagueta, is a 16 sided polygon that was built in 1874; today there were no bulls, only a bunch of cars and trucks parked inside the ring.

Since we are not very good at waiting in ques, we started walking down a cobbled path towards what looked like another fortress. There was an outlook viewpoint along the way with a blond, cute, young gentleman playing the guitar. I gave him a euro and told him his music was lovely.

He thanked me and I asked him about the fortresses. I told him there was a long line at the top and he said that the fortress at the bottom was "better" for viewing, I thanked him and we got back into the taxi.

Our next stop was de Santa Maria de Victoria Church. I was pleasantly surprised that there were few tourists at this church and figured that was probably a stop choice made by David after I commented that there were too many touristas at the last place! haha

One thing that I have learned about churches in Europe is that you never know what you may find behind the big old wooden doors. This church was rather simple on the outside, but holy moly was it special on the inside!

The side altars were beautiful, the statues were realistic without being gaudy, which we quickly realized that they saved the opulent gaudiness for the front altar. It was extraordinary, I have never seen anything quite like it before. When you looked up at the front altar,  at the glitz and the glam, it was difficult to see that it was not a 3D illusion, but a room, up high, behind the front altar.

The best part of the day was when Cindy's Joe appeared in the window area of that room, while we were still down below, looking up and trying to figure out what we were seeing. All of a sudden, the scene changed, and there he was!

I was so excited that he found his way up to that secret room, and we hurriedly followed in his footsteps,  afraid someone may come and shoo us out of there!

After snaking around a bit and finding the staircase, what we found when we entered the room was the most amazing carvings and sculptures that I have ever seen. There were also stained glass windows worked into the design. Of course, we all had to get our picture taken up there in the special room and I hope that God was more amused than angry that we were enjoying one of his houses in such a whimsical way. It was spectacular!

LOOK! It's Joe!!!

Who me?

After leaving the church, David took us to Pablo Picasso's house; his birthplace, apparently. We figured we may as well go inside and see his home, thinking that we would see some of his artwork, too. But, boy, oh boy were we fooled! The only artwork in his house was artwork that friends had given him! I did, however, see one of his childhood shoes! Bahahaha!

Pablo's Christening Dress

Pablo Picasso's shoe

Guess we will have to wait until we get to the Louvre to see a Picasso!

After leaving Picasso's, we headed for the lower fortress known as Alcazabar. On our way up the hill to the entrance, there was a man with a cart selling nuts. I commented and said, "Oh, they look sort of like almonds."

Red Hairy Squirrels

Our sweet taxi driver started talking to the man with the cart, and the next thing we knew he had bought us two cones of "almonds"! When we offered to pay he said, "No, No!! From me!" What is it with people wanting to give us stuff this trip? SO very kind!

The nuts were literally the BEST nuts I had ever eaten! They were sort of like almonds, but not really and I will be sad not to be able to get them at home. After our nut stop, we headed up the hill and to the entrance of Alcazaba where David helped us buy "senior rate" tickets! lol They were 1.50 euro; we offered to pay his way in to come with us but he declined.

Best nuts EVER!
Alcazaba is a well-restored fortress that dates back to the 11th century. After the Christian conquest, the Catholic kings took it over and King Phillip IV used it as his residence when visiting Malaga.

We loved walking around the fortress seeing the fountains, arches, pottery, courtyards, and walkways. I found it interesting that there were small trenches that ran throughout the fortress with running water. The very best part of all was the smell of the citrus trees in bloom. They reminded me of my mother's yard. I am sure that I will always remember the beauty of this fortress because of the smell.

Built by the Moors; see the resemblance to the Mosque?

As we were leaving, David asked if we saw the Roman Theater; I guess we all looked at him with confused looks as he had to put "Roman Theater" into his translator. When we said that we didn't think so, he led us back up the path, past the fortress to the ruins of an old Roman Theater; Alcazaba Teator Romano.

He insisted on taking a picture of the four of us, and moved everyone out of the way! Go, David! He loved taking photos of us, for us. He would likely have been mortified if he saw our shenanigans in Victoria's church.

On a side note, she is buried there, but for some reason, we could not understand, the crypt was off limits today.

Our next stop was the famous Malaga Cathedral. This church, the one arm church, took 200 hundred years to build and was never completed. This church had a charge and a queue, so you know what that means! Look for the exit and try a sneak a peek!

I was inches from a clean getaway when Cindy, who I did not know was behind me got busted! When you are going in through the outdoor and you hear, "Hola, hola!" you know you are BUSTED!

I managed to get a quick look and was surprised that it was not nearly as amazing as the free church with no queue! We enjoyed the courtyard and all of the remnants of belltowers made into art and figured that someday when we came back to visit, we would have more time to explore the inside of the church.

We drove through the city enjoying the architecture, fountains, street signs, storefronts, and artwork before heading back to the ship.

Once we arrived back at the ship, we said our Goodbyes and paid David; we thanked him for a fabulous day, and we were touched when he was so shocked and grateful to receive a tip. Another great day in the books!
Sun was in my eyes! But not in his! lol

Once back on the ship we played cards and had our last "fancy" dinner at Cagney's Steak House. As always everything was wonderful and we were once again given fancy drinks from the Maitre'D.

Last time we were in Cagney's it took two and a half hours for dinner and dessert to be served; tonight we wanted to see the big send-off show and we only had an hour and a half to spare. After our waitress introduced herself and then disappeared, out friend Davalan, the Maitre'd came by and said hello.

We told him we would like to see the show, and asked if he thought that was possible to be finished with dinner to do so. He said, "Of course!"

And guess what? Our waitress was at our table in seconds, taking our order, and she had our food coming out of the kitchen boom, boom, boom! No waiting; Cracked me up! I even had them wrap up two desserts for me to take back to the room, as I was too stuffed to eat tonight's dessert and tomorrow we will be in the other dining room with a so so dessert so I will eat one dessert tonight, and my second one tomorrow night.

The show was absolutely fantastic and at the end of the show they brought out tons of the crew so that we could thank them for taking such good care of us. It was really nice to see all of their faces light up from the applause. Of course, when the captain of the ship and his officers were introduced, you had to wonder who was manning the ship!

After they got off of the stage, we all began leaving the theater, we were the first ones out and the crew were ling the halls, I started high fiving them all and they smiled even bigger; it was GREAT!

NOW, for the only part of the day that was not perfect; We must have run into a storm as we are rocking and rolling like CRAZY!! They have blocked all of the doorways and the waves are washing up onto the decks.

I have been on many cruises, but never one like this. I don't mind the motion one bit, as a matter of fact, I kinda like it. It is the creaking and banging that is a little unnerving.

Joe is already snoring, so hopefully, I will be soon. It can only last maybe another six-ish hours as we will then be in Alicante.

Prayerfully we will arrive in one piece so you can enjoy the rest of our trip! hahaha

FaceBook: CML: A Place for Hope and Humor

#chronicillness  #bebrave  #chronicmyelogenousleukemia  #Bosulif  #leukemia  #lovemylife  #cml #travellingwithcancer #family #europe #travelingwithleukemia #hopesanddreams  #gratitude  #grateful  #malaga  #spain

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