Rumskys Repositioned from the Caribbean to Europe and Back Again travel blog

Beautiful views greet us on our journey to the Caminito del Rey

We're all smiles as we enjoy our hike through the woods

Argh! The hike we were supposed to take!

Our guide detours through some lovely hilltop villages

Spain built this church with New World money but ran out of...

Antonio Banderas carried this icon into this church, and its heavy!

Pablo Picasso was in daycare here...

Now a sheesha bar is across the street!

Glorious Moorish fortress on top of Roman ruins...

Please sir, I need to liquor up these grumpy tourists!

Now we're talking! We thoroughly enjoyed this sweet local wine.

Sigh, Malaga. It is Pablo Picasso’s birthplace and an absolutely beautiful city. Our first touch down on the European continent had to be, sigh, Malaga. I love it but it doesn’t love me. The first time Christopher and I were here, we tried to join a tour to Ceuta. Our bus from our Spanish school, a small town nearby called La Herradura, arrived over two hours late, and then we had to wait over a half hour for a taxi. The tour left without us. Poor Christopher, normally so calm and easy-going, cried as I tried to call them and figure things out. Luckily, I later changed our plans to include a trip to Tangiers from Gibraltar, which was super cool. Where else can you take a day trip across three countries and two different continents? He loved it and I think I made up for the mess. But anyway, back to Malaga.

We paid a lot of money for a ship excursion to Caminito del Rey, an absolutely spectacular hike on a boardwalk perched precariously on a limestone cliff. Just the kind of thing for the Rumskys! Since we have already been to Malaga, we decided it was worth the splurge, especially since there is no easy way to get there (so transportation would have been expensive on our own). We laid the money down and eagerly looked forward to our day.

We made the tour without a hitch, smiles all round. The beautiful trip into the country gave great views, and we started our hike enjoying the brisk breeze and the wildflowers dotting the hillside. After hiking about two miles, we arrived at the start of the Caminito, only to be told that it was closed due to wind. ARG! The wind pushed us all the way back. Really, it was so forceful that to perch on those wooden boards probably would have been dangerous for all these cruise people who, forgive me, have seen fitter days. They were also worried about falling rocks. But ARG! Darn safety standards for these first world countries! Would the Chinese have closed that 2x4 plank in these circumstances or just loaded more people on?

We had to turn around and go back.

Wow, you do not want to be a guide on a day like that. Our poor guide. So instead, we went to the end of the trek, to see the most beautiful part, which gave me a little closure but also made me that much madder that I couldn’t walk on it. We then went through a very picturesque town nearby, and our guide suggested that we see some sights of Malaga. Well, Fran and I attended a presentation about Malaga on the ship and got excited about some things that we hadn’t seen the first time around, so we were all for it. Instead, some of the passengers grumbled about missing first dinner. Others reminded them there was buffet. ARG again.

So our guide decided to take us around, quickly showing us authentic experiences of Malaga, full of tidbits of interesting things. Like, here’s the church where the actor Antonio Banderas dragged this heavy icon all by himself. Here’s the church that was begun by Queen Isabel and King Ferdinand with the money from the new world. Construction continued for 200 years until the Spanish decided to lend the new world money during their revolt against the British. Note the unfinished columns at the top. The Romans built this amphitheater, then the Moors built this fortress, then the Spanish tore part of this mosque down to build a church on top! Here’s the place where Pablo’s dad worked, and the day care where Pablo attended school (now a trendy place to smoke hookah pipes). Here’s a traditional churro (surprisingly not at all sweet) that is eaten with hot chocolate when everyone wakes up from a siesta, before moving into tapas. Finally, here’s a traditional glass of red Malaga wine (which tasted a lot like port, sweet and fortified). That certainly got us smiling. People stopped grumbling about dinner, which by that time was definitely out. Here’s the bus! Here’s the port! And here was the end of our day in Malaga. Well, I suppose they can’t all be perfect.

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