Our first port of call was Malaga. I went to Malaga about 20 odd years ago and what I saw wasn’t inspiring. The bus station was bleak and we drove past, on the way to Nerja, run down neighbourhoods. I thought why on earth would people visit here? Well it just goes to show what I know! In researching what to see when we docked I found that I was probably seriously mistaken in my opinion so I was looking forward to the visit. I was also looking forward to getting off the ship. I get seasick on swings so it may seem strange to find me on a cruise. I bought the wrist bands, a roll on thing for behind the ears, ginger candy and seasick meds. And they had peppermint tea on the ship. After a rough first full day I found my sea legs. Turns out getting a hot rocks massage is not a good thing if you get seasick easily. I found out the hard way!
We started the day at 6.20 because we were told we would pass through the strait of Gibraltar between 6.30 and 7am. This would be before dawn but I figured the rock would have lights round it. So off went the alarm, threw our clothes on, and dashed upstairs to find we passed it a half hour ago. But we could see the lights of Africa which was something else. Since we were up we decided to watch the sun come up. It started to get light about 7.45 and it was beautiful.
When we docked it was a beautiful day, little on the toasty side, but still lovely. We walked to the old town and to get there we had to go through loads of gardens. I’m a bit envious of all the blooms they were having as the garden at home was finished.
Our first stop was the cathedral and low and behold it wasn’t raining or in scaffolding! This has never happened to me before. It’s either or both. I thought that things were looking up. :) It was an interesting place and I enjoyed walking round it before lunch.
After all the walking it was time to find a place to have our lunch. We wandered a bit looking at menus and found a small cafe just off the road. It just had a few tables. We each ordered a panini with Iberian ham and manchego cheese. Simple but very delicious. I knew we’d eat well off the boat. It was one of the things I was looking most forward to.
After lunch we headed over to the Alcazaba fortress. This place was a maze of amazing gardens, rooms, pottery, and history. It is centuries old with the Moorish influence. The Moors built beautiful buildings so we found this quite fascinating. And it was truly a maze of rooms and courtyards. It took us a long time to walk round it. We didn’t have a map so we just explored wherever we could. I think we saw most of it.
To end the day we saw the most amazing sunset. There are times I am in awe of how beautiful nature can be. I only had my iphone at this time of day so I wasn’t able to take good pictures of the 50 or 60 dolphins leaping about. But boy were they having a grand old time.
Malaga is one of the stops that we would go back to. It was a great start to our exploring Spain.