Tuesday, November 17, 2009

On the Malagueta

View of Malaga Harbour, from Gibralfaro

Malaga Cathedral, Plaza del Obispo

Ayuntamiento de Malaga, from the Alcazaba

Corrida next to Hotel Maestranza

Picasso's Birthplace, Plaza de la Merced

Moorish Night Market

Picasso and Antonio Banderas share the same hometown. They are the more recognizable citizens of Malaga in the Costa del Sol of Spain in romantic Andalusia.

A city of about half a million, it is a vacation destination and a major commercial port. Founded in the 8th century BC by Phoenicians, it was an important center of Moorish Spain, a couple of hours from the grand capitals of Cordoba and Granada.

With lots of spare time over Christmas holidays in 2006, I decided to fly to Malaga after the obligatory family Christmas festivities. I stayed at Hotel Maestranza, a few blocks from the Malagueta. Malagueta is the district to the east of the harbour and the city center.

The beach is nothing to rave about, but it has ambience and leisurely air. What is a beach without ambience? And one can always boast that it is on Costa del Sol.

Sunny weather with temperature averaging 17c in January, makes Malaga a very desirable winter destination for me. In addition, it has a rich cultural and historical heritage, a combination of the Moorish and the Catholic, so there's lots to do and see. Malaga is relatively inexpensive compared to other European destinations.

For sure, a return visit is on my to do list even just to practice my Spanish.