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The entrance (after the crazy ticket machine)

In 1992, we were here again. By then, the highway around the city was finished, and traffic in Málaga itself had eased up (a lot).

However, we were still in the mood to avoid the city as much as we could. In 1995, we didn't even leave the highway. 

So, until now, we hadn't seen anything of the city.

Málaga is a city we have always tried to avoid. The first time we were here, back in 1989, there was no highway around Málaga. So, everyone had to drive through the city. Needless to say this resulted in a very crowded city. Aaarghh. We spent many hours in traffics jams, just to get to the other side of the city.

In those times, once you've had to drive your car in Málaga, every other city, including Paris or Naples, seemed to be as quiet as Lutjebroek (the Netherlands) on a Sunday morning.

The only safe way to drive in Málaga, was to go to the butcher first, buy a carcass of some (preferably large) animal, wrap it to the front of your car, throw some liters of blood over it, and then start driving. Of course, it also helped we had a very old and scratched car.

View over the harbour

Now, in 2002, we decided to give Málaga a chance. Let's see what the city has to offer. From our guidebook we knew Málaga had an Alcazaba and a Cathedral worth visiting, so we went to the Alcazaba first.

A pool, some fountains, flower pots, and a white house

It didn't start very promising. At the Alcazaba you have to buy a ticking from a machine. This machine is so complex, they have to hire someone to stand next to the machine, and explain tourists how it works. But once we entered the Alcazaba, our doubts were over.

Columns and arches (where have I seen this before)

The Alcazaba is part Roman (which means: the foundations are Roman, and the amphitheatre), but most of it is Moorish. And although it is not as spectacular as some other Moorish things we've seen in Granada, Sevilla and Córdoba, the Alcazaba definitely has its own charm.
After the Alcazaba we went for a stroll through the old city. When we were tired of that, we went to the cathedral. At first, the cathedral looks like just a cathedral. If you look better, you can discover every style since the 1600's has been used here.

Retablo in the cathedral

Parallel walls

On top of the hill behind the Alcazaba is another Moorish castle, the Castillo de Gibralfaro. It is connected to the Alcazaba by two parallel walls. However, if you want to visit the Castillo, you have to climb all the way up, because the entrance is close to the highest point. When it's 40oC, and you wear slippers instead of your hiking boots, this is not an easy task (unless you're wiser than us, and take the bus). The castle itself is not that great, but the views over the city, the plaza de toros and the harbor are very worthwhile. 

On coming out, we called it ice-cream time. And then it's time to go back to our casa rural. Málaga was not bad at all, we had a great day. And we even forgot to visit the Picasso museum. So: we'll be back.

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