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Posts from the ‘Málaga’ Category

Malaga | The Wheel

They seem to be springing up like mushrooms these days, but ever since the London Eye first opened its capsules back in 2000 to welcome in the new millennium, it’s been obvious that these hi-tech Ferris wheels for carrying sightseers above it all were here to stay.

malaga wheel (1)the Mirador Princess

The latest to be erected is the new Noria (literally a treadmill) de Malaga, which can be found in the port area just beyond Muelle Uno, on Avenida de Manuel Agustín Heredia. It will be even easier to find at night, as the LED illuminations will be visible from up to 30km away, and will be there for at least the next eight months, with the option of an extension.

malaga wheel (3)view of Muelle Uno from atop the Wheel

The wheel, rather romantically called the “Mirador Princess”, is fully transportable, though it does require 25 special trailers, and once it arrived on site it took a team of 25 men and a very large crane two weeks to erect. It stands 70 metres high and has 42 air conditioned cabins, each taking up to 8 people, so fully loaded it holds a maximum of 336 people. Each ride lasts 15 minutes, and takes each cabin around three circuits (a full circuit actually takes only four minutes, but the extra time allows people to get on and off). The price of a ride is 10 euros for an adult, and 6 euros for a child, unless you’re less than 80 cm tall (2 foot 8 inches), in which case it’s free.

malaga wheel (2)view of the Wheel from Muelle Uno

So how much bang do you get for your buck? From the top of the wheel you will be able to see about 30 km, as long as there’s nothing in the way. This is enough to give you a view across the city, with novel views of landmarks like the Cathedral, the inner harbour, the Atarazanas Market and the Alcazaba, as well as a fascinating roofscape of the old town. Personally, although I don’t really have a good head for heights, I think that getting up somewhere high for a look around is the best way to start a holiday in a new city, and gives you a different perspective.

Ooo look! Is that our apartment?

Malaga Update

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View from San Nicolas apartment

I haven’t written anything about Malaga recently, so following a short visit there I thought it was time for an update on things to do, where to eat, and a quick look at some of our new apartments.

First up are three museums, which while not new, I’ve just recently visited. The Museum of Glass and Crystal is a fascinating exhibition with around 3,000 pieces spanning some 2,000 years of the art of glass making, set on the first two floors of a charming 18th century private residence (the owners live on the upper floors), complete with paintings, period furniture and a typical courtyard. In an hour-long visit you will be taken on a guided tour by one of the owners, whose enthusiasm and knowledge make this one of Malaga’s best small museums.

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Beautiful decorated glass from the Glass and Crystal Museum

Next was the Interactive Music Museum. For anyone, of any age, with an interest in music and musical instruments this is a must-see, with more than a thousand exhibits from around the world and through the ages. Unlike the “please don’t touch” rules of most museums, the slogan here is “please play them” (in Spanish tocar means both to touch and to play a musical instrument, so it’s a kind of pun), and each section of the museum has a space where you can experiment with some of the instruments and watch videos of others in use.

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Paco de Lucia and Robert Johnson – Interactive Music Museum

My personal favourite though, was the Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions. This can be found in the 17th century Posada (coaching inn) de la Victoria, which has been lovingly restored to preserve most of its original appearance. From the moment I went in I was completely charmed, and spent a happy hour wandering through rooms devoted to the daily working life of a Malaga house, the kitchen, bakery and dining room, and others to local crafts and industries, notably fishing, wine making, and olive oil production. Upstairs is a complete change of style, with rooms showing the family life of the 19th century bourgeoisie, and exhibitions of ceramics and religious objects. The friendly greeting from the receptionist also helped to make this a really enjoyable experience.

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Olive Mill – Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions

On the eating front I can hardly believe that I had never been to legendary churro outlet Casa Aranda. You have to have breakfast here at least once during your stay, and follow it with brunch at one of the bustling bars in the Atarazanas Market. Also new and worth going to are the Croqueteria Añil (more than just croquettes of course), Café Estraperlo, La Luz de Candela (Candlelight) and Óleo, the Sushi-fusion bar in the Contemporary Arts Centre (not new, but new to me). Our top rated new find was the El Señor Lobo café, essentially a burger and sandwich joint in the Soho barrio. Genuinely new (it’s only been open a few weeks) I really wish it every success. With good food, humourous wall scrawlings, and a wonderfully friendly and enthusiastic owner it certainly deserves it.

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the “Kevin Bacon” sandwich at Sr Lobo

We are also pleased to announce that Veoapartment has several top quality new one and two bedroom holiday apartments available for rent in Malaga. Los Alamos and Madre de Dios 2 are both near the famous Plaza Merced in the historic centre with easy access to monuments and beaches. San Nicolas, in the Malagueta (one of the central beach neighbourhoods), has stunning views of the Alcazaba and the harbour. The San Lorenzo and Martinez Campos complexes both feature 1 and 2 bedroom apartments and are located in the Soho neighbourhood, the triangle of land between the harbour, the historic centre, and the Guadalmina River, which has become famous for its street art.

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Apartment Martinez Campos 2

Malaga | Three New Museums

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Already an important centre for the arts, especially for a city of its size, with the Picasso Museum, Carmen Thyssen Museum and the Contemporary Arts Centre all being internationally recognised, Málaga has recently moved up a gear with the opening of the new Centro Pompidou Málaga, the Russian Museum and the Bullfighting Arts Centre.

new museums malaga

The new Pompidou Centre is, of course, an offshoot of the famous Pompidou centre in Paris’ one of the world’s largest and most prestigious collections of 20th century art, and only the second such after the Pompidou Metz. The agreement between Malaga and the Pompidou will last initially for five years, with the option of another five. The Málaga collection is being housed in the large glass cube at the end of Muelle Uno in the renovated port, a variation of the glass pyramid at the original.

The new centre will be in three sections. The first will house the permanent collection, consisting of around 80 paintings and other works by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon, Max Ernst, René Magritte and Rineke Dijkstra. The second will be for temporary exhibitions on particular themes (starting with Joan Miro’s works on paper, and female photographers of the 20s and 30s), lasting between 3 and 6 months. The third will be devoted to workshops for children and adolescents to encourage the next generation of artists.

new museums malaga (2)

The Russian Museum, a branch of Saint Petersburg’s State Russian Museum, can be found in Málaga’s old Tobacco Factory (itself an important example of 1920s regionalist architecture), which it shares with the Automobile Museum. Its permanent exhibition is of Russian art from the fifteenth to twentieth centuries, with items ranging from Byzantine icons, through Romanticism and Avant-garde to Soviet Realism, and of every size from the very small to the monumental. The 1,000 or so works on display form the largest collection of Russian art in western Europe, and are a fascinating window onto a culture at once familiar and exotic.

The museum will also house a series of temporary exhibitions tracing the relationship of Russian and European art, an auditorium and reading room and digital resources creating a virtual museum of the parent institution, as well as a Children’s centre with computer games and creative workshops.

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The Centro Arte Tauromaquia can be found in the former tourist offices in the Plaza del Siglo in the centre of the old city, which have been totally renovated to accommodate a multi media salon and more than 300 pieces of the Juan Barco art collection, possibly the most complete and comprehensive in the world of bullfighting. Posters, paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptures, including works by Picasso, Goya and Salvador Dali. Definitely a must see for anyone fascinated by the romance of the bullfight.

These three new museums will make Málaga one one of the most important cities of art in Spain, and are a great reason to be one of the growing number of visitors here, whether you stay in a hotel or rent an apartment.

Malaga | A Postcard from Malaga

 

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Hi Mum, Hi Dad

Well, here we are in sunny Spain (yes, even at this time of year, though it can be a bit chilly in the mornings), and having a whale of a time. I was a little worried it might feel like an out of season beach resort, but it’s not like that at all. Lots of things to do here. There is a beach, of course, but we haven’t actually been hanging out there, though yesterday we took a long walk out along the coast road to the old fishing villages for a fab seafood lunch. Looks like St Tropez or one of those places, palm trees all the way along and little bars on the beach. There’s even a rather dilapidated almost Victorian bathing resort place that has a kind of rustic charm – tres romantique.

First morning, though, we went up to the old castle at the top of the hill to enjoy the view over the city. It was a bit of a climb up – should have taken Luke’s advice and taken a bus or a taxi, but it added a certain relish to the cold beer we had when we got there. And you really can see everything from up there, from the bullring to the harbour, the Cathedral – and lots of gardens. And the sea, of course. My first time on the Med! Hard to believe I’m really here.

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Afterwards we went down to the Alcazaba. That’s the old palace and fortress where the Moorish rulers used to live. It’s half the 1001 nights and half, well, a fortress. Towers and walls and whatnot.

In the evening I had my wicked way and we did some shopping in Larios, the main street in the old part of town. Not John’s favourite thing, but I didn’t spend too long or max out the credit card. Picked up a nice pair of shoes and a gorgeous handbag though, so felt I’d had a stab at it. And today he gets to get his own back and drag me round the Automobile Museum. But he still has to take me somewhere nice for dinner afterwards. Plenty to choose from, the food scene here is much more lively and varied than I expected.

What else? We’ve done quite a lot of just wandering around. Found some weird street art and the Roman amphitheatre, and an amazing old bar like a labyrinth. I still want to go to the harbour and have a drink looking across the water.

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Our apartment is really cute, and has everything we need, and feels much freer than staying in a hotel. And there’s one of those great fresh food markets just five minutes away. I’ve never seen so much fish and seafood in one place.

Well, that’s about it for now. The holiday seems to have gone really fast, but I’ve a feeling we’ll be back.

See you soon

Lots of hugs and kisses

Jenny

Malaga | Alcazaba and Gibralfaro

This week we have another guest blog post by history buff, tour guide and long-time Seville resident Peter Tatford Seville Concierge. This time, Peter takes us to Malaga.

Malaga has long been one of my favourite Andalucian cities. It’s not just a place to pass through going to and from the airport, or a high-rise resort with so-so beaches. Though there is still an element of that, in recent decades the city has done a lot to change its image, and its heart is now very firmly in the right place, with a pedestrianised historic centre, a thriving food culture, some of the best parks and gardens I know of anywhere, a recently renovated harbour front with shops and restaurants, and loads of cool museums and art (from favourite son Picasso to the Contemporary Arts Centre).

alcazabaat the top of the Alcazaba

For me, though, one of the most important things is that this is a city with history. Founded by the Phoenicians, and occupied by the Romans, its most impressive monuments date from the long Moorish period. From almost anywhere in the city you can see its two fortresses, the lower Alcazaba (from the Arabic al-qasbah, a citadel) and the upper Gibralfaro (gebel-faro, the rock of the lighthouse; Gibraltar, the rock of Tariq, has the same derivation). From below it can be seen to best advantage from alongside the Roman amphitheatre, itself rediscovered by accident in 1951 when the houses on the hillside below the castle were demolished to make way for a planned garden. Although the Alcazaba was also the palace and royal residence of the local kings, its primary role as a fortress is most obvious from here. There is an entrance to the castle here, but there is a second way in (all will be explained later) which avoids the steep climb up from the bottom.

view from gibralfaroview of the port from the Gibralfaro

In the meantime, take a trip up to the top castle, the Gibralfaro. The Phoenicians had a lighthouse and fortified enclosure here, and the current Moorish building dates back to the 10th century, with a substantial rebuilding in the early 14th. Our tip for the Málaga novice is to avoid going up the steep path that connects the two castles, and instead to take a taxi, or a bus up the back of the hill, and walk down the path to the Alcazaba afterwards. One of the main reasons for coming up here, as you will see for yourself when you get there, is the magnificent view right across the city, from the bullring almost immediately below you, past the Alcazaba, Park Malaga and the harbour, to the mountains beyond. Enjoy it from the castle walls, the mirador (lookout) or best of all from the terrace of the Parador Hotel with a drink to go with it. It’s a magic moment.

From there walk all the way down the hillside path to the bottom of the wall of the Alcazaba that faces the sea to find the alternative entrance. This is, in fact, a lift that takes you almost to the top of the centre of the fortress. It’s always my preferred option, particularly in summer, to be carried to the top of things, and only to walk downwards. During the period of the Córdoba Caliphate this hill had a modest fortification to protect the city from pirates. In the more troubled times that followed it, the local ruler built his residence and the double-walled castle enclosure that still exists today. It’s considered to be the best-preserved of all the Spanish alcazabas, and although much smaller than its counterparts in Granada and Seville, the central palace area with its courtyards, pools and gardens, still gives some idea of the high level of civilisation compared to most of the rest of Europe.

alcazaba (2)inside the Alcazaba

Walking along the old battlements it’s easy to see why the siege by the Christian armies leading up to its fall in 1487 was the longest of the entire reconquest period. The castle has endured ever since, surviving abandonment, neglect, and even being occupied as a tenement slum by the city’s poor before being carefully restored during the 1930s and 40s.

I think Malaga is one of those places that always seems to have another side of itself that it only reveals gradually, so it’s well worth renting an apartment and taking a few days to explore what’s on offer.