Today the Ms Nieuw Amsterdam arrives into her first port of call in the Mediterranean for my cruise. The port city of Malaga is the second port in Spain and the last before the halfway point of the cruise in Barcelona. I had a great view of the sunrise from my cabin as the ship arrived at the port around 7 am. Possibly this has to be one of the best reasons to have a balcony cabin I think.
Gibralfaro Castle & City Tour
I wanted to make the most of the day in port today and booked to be on a tour. The tour I choose would visit Gibralfaro Castle before returning to the city of Malaga for a walking tour. It is going to be fun just hopping on the tour bus and following the tour guide for a change. I do believe the best part of the tour might be the view from Gibralfaro Castle.
The tour departed from the ship, and around 15 minutes later we arrived in the mountains at Gibralfaro Castle. The views from here are just so stunning. I have included a picture below, which looks out over the harbour and you can see the MS Nieuw Amsterdam docked. I do not think you could have asked for a better day to be in port.
There was not a whole lot of interest in the castle. With a small museum which included some pieces of history in the form of clothing and other artefacts. There is also many local plants around the grounds, with some information provided by the tour guide.
City Walking Tour
Once the tour returned to the city, it was time to set out on foot. There are many places that the tour passes by and a couple we got the chance to stop and look at as well.
The first stop was at the Malaga Cathedral; churches do somehow seem to attract my attention. The construction started here in the first half of the 16th century and continued through the 17th and 18th centuries. With work being completed in 1782.
While it ‘s hard to photograph the outside of such a large building within the confines of the streets, I was happy to see we could also go inside. The interior of the cathedral is beyond beautiful, and there is a large selection of paintings, statues and marble work throughout. There is also some different chapels around the outer halls with different purposes and dedications.
Two design features stood out to me. The first was the location of the choir, which was more towards the centre of the church. In other churches, I have visited this was more towards the front. The second was the large and exquisite organ as pictured below.
After leaving the cathedral, the next two landmarks both have a link to Pablo Picasso. The first is The Picasso Museum, where more than 200 pieces of Picasso’s artworks are housed. The second is Merced Square which is a place Picasso spent most of his childhood. He grew up in an apartment that overlooked the square, I believe in the building in the picture below.
The last stop for the tour dated back even further than the others to the 1st century BC. The site of this Roman Theatre is located at the foot of the Alcazaba (The fortified palace of the Muslim ruler’s, which was built int he 11th century). It was only in 1951 while undertaking work to create a garden in the area that the ruins were uncovered. Even though not in great condition the ruins still do resemble a theatre, unlike the one I visited in Cadiz.
Port Of Malaga
Once the tour concluded I made a quick stop at the ship to get something for lunch before a little more exploring. I took a walk around the waterfront of the port, and there are some interesting sights here. As I understand the whole area is relatively new and seems to be quite popular with the locals.
The first building I came across is a relatively small 8 metre by 8 meters, two storey building. The building is The Chapel of Port Malaga and is probably the smallest place of worship I have seen in Europe.
I have enjoyed a fantastic day in Malaga today. The weather was near to perfect, and the city and surrounding countryside are very scenic and easy to enjoy. As I write this post, I am sitting looking out over the water and the beach. Towards the houses climbing the mountainside, with just a couple of clouds in the endless blue sky. It is a place that I think will be on my list to return and explore further one day.
Tomorrow is the first sea day in about a week, so it is going to be nice to relax a little onboard the ship. I will hopefully still get a post out for you, catching up on some of what I did in Lisbon.