Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hidden Málaga

The title of this article is slightly ‘engañoso’, since what I intend to mention is obvious to the naked eye; and I am referring to the city rather than the province, which has many secrets I could discuss, and, I am sure, a few that I couldn’t. Or possibly vice versa. The city is less popular, less attractive, less interesting and even less expensive than other towns in the province. This is because the beaches in Málaga itself are not up to much, whereas Torremolinos, Puerto Banus, El Rincón de la Victoria, and others have much better beaches and better facilities for those who like that sort of thing. Ronda, and other places, though having no beach, are of far greater beauty and historic interest than the capital.

So what is there in Málaga itself? A Moorish palace, itself worth visiting for (honestly, if you’re ever in the area), and then, sharing a distant second place, a few churches, some images of Christ and the Virgin which are as good as most (not all) of those in Seville, a river turned into a canal where you can walk the dog and play football; a market that smells of fish, a main square in which there are newspaper pages several metres on a side let into the ground, a couple of sports stadia of no architectural or historic interest, a port full of birds, container ships and ferries, a new Palace of Seminars and Fairs, and so it goes on. If you lie on the beach and look west you can see the planes coming in to land over the sea, or gaining height the same way.

The weather is terrible at this time of year, but even I don’t care about that; I’m sure you don’t. But there is a bar in the centre near the port which is worth the trip, and the people know how to have fun.

Two rivers flow through Málaga, neither of them important, since it is on the sea; but they are there. I have heard it said that Málaga is the second most mountainous port in Europe. Defined in a certain way it may be true, but I don’t know why it would matter to anyone. But it has mountains very close, which are fun to walk up.

Ronda will have to wait for another time. And Torremolinos, too. Don’t think you know Torremolinos, by the way; you don’t.

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