Malaga and Granada in southern Spain 27 August 2013

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September 2nd 2013
Published: September 2nd 2013
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Malaga and Granada in southern Spain 27 August 2013

After a hot night at Torremolinos we always feel good after a shower and good breakfast. We are noticing the numbers of people in the caravan parks are starting to reduce as all European countries head towards 15/9 when most schools go back.

There is usually a breeze blowing as we sit outside the camper under the awning. We were really looking forward to this day as we are in the Iberian Peninsula where the Moores ruled for over 700 years and left very distinctive buildings (palaces, mosques) which the Spanish added to when they ‘reconquered’ the area in the 15th century (1492).

The area we drove through, skirting the Sierra Nevada, was covered in mainly olive trees with a few vineyards. Malaga, a thriving port for many years, has also been known for its sweet wine and in fact in the early times, this was an important part of their economy.

The roads were fantastic and no tolls. We only had 12 kms to drive to get to Malaga. We picked up a map of the city from our last camp site so with this and the GPS we knew where we were going.

All the parking stations were underground which is no good for a 3m high camper and street parking was at a premium even though it was only 9.30am. We decided to drive up to the Castillo de Gibralfaro a 14th century Moorish Castle which was on top of the hill overlooking the city. No problems with parking here although we met a bus coming down the hill and we had to back up because no way would we have both fitted between the high stone walls which lined both sides of the road.

We climbed the ramparts of the castle and looked around the gardens. We then took the 15 minute walk down the hill into the city to see the most incredible 1528 cathedral. It was half built at this time and the other tower was built in 1765 so for those years in between it was known as the La Manquita (‘the one armed one’). The reason why it wasn’t finished was that they ran out of money.

We can’t help but wonder about the cost of these mosques and cathedrals, verses putting more money into the development of other facets of everyday life back then. The magnitude and palatial presentation of these structures are ‘over-the-top’. The power of those at the head of the groups that built these structures, surely dominated the masses who looked towards them for guidance. In other words, they were subservient or subordinate. There is often many horrible paintings of people being beheaded or stabbed etc in these cathedrals so where is the goodness of life being displayed? I would be interested to hear others perspectives of my opinion.

Enough of that!

We then drove onto Granada (130km NE) as we wanted to see the Alhambra which is described as “a magical use of space, light, water and decoration which characterizes this most sensual piece of architecture” built from 1238-1492.

We parked the motor home in a special park for campers and busses and walked to the ticket office and entrada (entry). There were masses of people everywhere. It was packed!! It took us 1 hour to get tickets (ADVICE that will help you if you were planning a trip to Granada – pre-book and pay for your ticket as you will get priority. The tickets to see inside the main Palace were sold out by the time we got the ticket line).

The Alhambra took us nearly 3 hours to walk through so that gives you an idea of how big the area is behind the walls…..and that was without going inside the main Palace. There were a number of sections: military area, Nasrid palaces, General life, and the Partal (gardens, water stairway, baths, towers). The only thing left is for you to view the photos. Amazing.

We finished the walk around with an icecream. There had been drinking fountains of cold water throughout the gardens which was lovely. There was a complex network of water features/outlets etc throughout the area. We nearly got a cold beer (because it was incredibly hot still) but though that it was too early!!!! as we had a bit more driving to do.

We then drove on towards Cordoba arriving at about 7.00pm. The camp site was large and with good facilities. After a much needed shower and cold beer, we walked down the street at 9.00pm where there were several bar restaurants to choose from. We had a light meal (prawn and avocado salad) and beautiful crisp dry white wine. It had been a good day.

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