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Published: October 15th 2017
Malaga was our next port and this makes the fourth time here. We headed to a jewelry shop where I wanted to buy a mother-of-pearl necklace like the one ML bought on our first stop but on reflection I adhered to my mantra “Subtract, don’t add”. We strolled around the city window shopping and I was particularly intrigued by the beautiful paving stones of marble. They provide a comfortable walking surface that I enjoyed after all the cobblestone sidewalks.
We stopped at the same cafe and enjoyed our chat with a young Russian woman and a slightly older Brit gentleman. They met a couple of years ago and have been travel companions since, more like friends according to him.
Four years ago he quit his job and bought a boat. Now he has a coffee business in Birmingham but it doesn't require 24/7 attention so he sails or just hops a plane to see the world. They had just spent a week is Spain, Madrid, Toledo and all places in between. Now it was time to return home.
We did the same and repeated the afternoon in Alicante, lunch, pool time and
But probably deadly in rain
reading. Did I mention that I ran out of book? This newest of the HAL vessels doesn't have a library. It is the cause of most of the negative comments onboard and I can’t imagine what HAL was thinking. Our table mates Ruth and Joe were kind enough to share their kindle library with me so I have plenty of reading material to last to FLL.
This is our final port on mainland Europe and It is lovely. While most of the guests headed to Seville as we did last time we were here, today we explored the city. The old town is on a peninsula and our ship docked right near the points of interest. While admiring a vest pocket park near a busy bus stop I sighted a familiar bird. A nest of parrots sat at the top of a palm tree and they were chattering away. They sounded like the birds that nest along the coast of CT that cause problems with the electric wires.
We came to Plaza de San Juan de Dios where the town hall is located. There were cafes and statues
and a couple entertained the crowd with a Flamenco dance, collected the contributions and moved on. The Town Hall itself is an imposing building but my attention was drawn to a couple standing in the doorway. The way the woman was dressed whispered BRIDE to me and I surmised that they were waiting for their time to tie the knot.
We wandered down a narrow winding street and ended up at the Cadiz Cathedral. There we encounter the Flamenco couple again setting up for another go at the crowd. The cathedral was closed so we continued on to the waterfront, strolled for a bit and then headed back to the center of town. In the way we saw a small church and decided to visit. As we entered we could hear folks singing and to our left was a small congregation was gathered at a side chapel honoring the Virgin. We decided to stay awhile. The crowd was small but there were people of all ages worshipping. We spotted a couple with a little tiny baby. The darling was a two week old baby girl and she behaved perfectly while the proud parents looked on. We sat
for a bit until the mass was ended and then took some pictures.
Back to Cathedral square we found a spot for a drink and I had a really nice stout while ML enjoyed an iced Diet Coke. It was a quarter to twelve and the bells were tolling the quarter hour. People were streaming into the now open church, some to jest visit and some for the noon mass. It must have been a special day for the Virgin as there were guards in medieval costume and locals dressed in their Easter finery. We were not up for another mass so we enjoyed the show.
Over my shoulder a woman on the second floor stood on her balcony enjoying the sight as we were. ML gestured to take her picture and the woman gave her a big smile and wave. We strolled down twisting lanes and straight shopping streets till we were back to the ship for lunch and some time in the sun.
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