A Travellerspoint blog

Malaga

sunny 30 °C
View London to Spain on chaosity's travel map.

An early start was needed as the bus leaves Salares at 6.45AM, or thereabouts. But I did promptly fall asleep for most of the 2 hour journey. One of the first things you see in Malaga is the castle, which dominates the skyline. Another, especially for you, Rachel, is the horse-drawn tour carriages around the station and park.
horse-tours

horse-tours


IMG_0227

IMG_0227


IMG_0226

IMG_0226


There's not much happening in the city before 9 so I sat and studied the map over coffee before deciding that I'd climb up to Gibralfaro, the 14th century castle which contains what's left of La Alcazaba- the Muslim castle, dating back another 7 centuries and are built, in turn, on Roman ruins, in the afternoon.
My feet however, an almost mediaeval approach to gaining high ground and possibly an instinct for self-preservation in the heat, over-ruled my brain and an hour later I was walking along the zig-zag ramparts of the castle. I took far too many pictures, even after deleting the worst ones, to put in here, so if you're interested in castles, most of them are in the gallery, with a few examples included here.
Gibalfaro

Gibalfaro

Rampart wall

Rampart wall

ramparts

ramparts

Battlements

Battlements

The welcome cannon

The welcome cannon


Walk up to the castle and the view you get all around and particularly, down, really makes you glad you're not in possession of a suit of armour and a hostile intent. Although I believe the town, including the fort, was taken 3 times, I don't envy the people who had that job.
From the castle, as you would hope, you have a commanding view on all sides, and it's elevation dwarfs the largest buildings in the city.
puerto Malaga

puerto Malaga

malaga cathedral

malaga cathedral

Malaga cathedral and city

Malaga cathedral and city


Including the bull-ring
bullring1

bullring1


bullring2

bullring2


Below the castle, they have excavated a Roman amphitheatre, where they put on productions.
Amphitheatre1

Amphitheatre1

Amphitheatre2

Amphitheatre2


The city has a mixture of Main roads, shopping centres, tiny back-streets, parks, beaches and museums and is packed with things to do and places to eat. Malaga streets

Malaga streets

Malaga backstreets

Malaga backstreets

church

church

Malagueta

Malagueta

Beach1

Beach1


More to follow...

Posted by chaosity 05:53 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

What do you call an idiot with a camera...

sunny 34 °C

So, having locked me out of my account for a couple of days I can finally get back on here, but...
I have no photos today. Definitely none of Velez-Malaga, the fire on the side of the mountain or a herd of goats being led back up the track. And contrary to whatever anyone says, it's not because I took them without putting the card back in the camera. I mean, who'd do that kind of thing? You can imagine, you buy a decent camera, one that almost smirks; " I'm for someone much more professional than you, although I have a few easy modes an idiot like you may just about cope with, like full automatic. If you are such a rank amateur as to forget to take the card back out of your computer for a whole day then I'm certainly not going to do any of those childish things my point and shoot cousins might, like store images internally or flash up big warnings telling you that you forgot to put the memory card back, I'll just show you what you think you've just taken a picture of on my LCD screen before forgetting it for ever. After all, only an idiot would do something like that and I'm clearly not the sort of camera an idiot would buy, am I?"
Or perhaps I've just been reading too much Terry Pratchett lately.
Anyway, It remains hot here (93 degrees) and I'm on my own again. Dad and Wendy have gone off to Granada for the night to celebrate his birthday and the fact that there's someone here to look after the animals. Whuelga and Canella are very well behaved horses and perfectly polite as I've remembered when to feed them and give them their hay.
I made it to the village twice today, to make up for not coming yesterday and it paid off as I got to send an email to travellerspoint pleading that this may be bad but surely can't warrant locking me out forever.
So all I can do is promise some pictures later, though I don't think I'll go to the trouble of finding a firebug to set fire to the mountainside, I may get to photograph the goats again as they get walked by every few days. They already stopped and posed a lot so, having done a rehearsal I hope I'll be able to get some good goat-poses. I may even take the bus down to the coast later in the week and post a piccy of the beach at Torre del mar.
Bis dann.
Oh and here's a link: http://poprules12.travellerspoint.com

Posted by chaosity 09:55 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Mostly windows

sunny 31 °C

Early into the village today, after a day watching the windows slowly take shape. Despite not speaking a word of Spanish I managed to convince the workman to take the glass out of the window before trying to smash the frame out- then had to show him how :)
making it fit

making it fit


Other than that, not a lot to report- was too hot again to sleep well and for me, at least, to swim and lay by the pool so I sat in the middle of the confusion and read. I stuck with the textbooks on teaching for as long as I could but reading them is very tedious, like a novel with a very obvious plot- I always know what they're going to say. It's quite reassuring. I know they will ask whether anyone has teaching experience next month so I worked it out. It will be a bit embarrassing to say about thirteen and a half thousand hours paid and another eight hundred while training, with a total of about four thousand students but...
nero kindling while rome... whatever!

nero kindling while rome... whatever!


Anyway, Rachel, really looking forward to you coming over, so here, for you is Pinto (who is very camera shy and a big worrier for a dog) and Magik, who is a fairly bog-standard cat- she can be a bit fussy but mostly not.
Pinto

Pinto

Magik

Magik


Wendy is playing at a fiesta today on the way to Torre del mar, which I don't envy at all, marching up and down in this heat. It's apparently such a small village, with no facilities, that I chose to stay and help with the builders rather than go down. Another missed photo-opportunity maybe.

Posted by chaosity 09:35 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

A working day

sunny 37 °C

Today the workmen arrived to fit new windows. They were supposed to start 12 days ago and be finished before I got here. I really don't believe in stereotypes but... They arrived just before 9, having promised to start at 8, left by 1.30 and had put the frames for some of the windows in, but no glass (so we have open holes) and they only cemented the 4 fixing pegs in each frame, so there are big gaps all round too. And left all the mess of course, saying they will be back tomorrow as there is a funeral in the village today (which everyone goes to- that I find nice) but I was later told it didn't start til 5! Anyway- we'll see what manana brings (I couldn't tell them I only understood that word from poor comedy sketches about Spanish workmen- real shame my spanish wasn't up tp that!)
But back to the photos:View down the valley

View down the valley


This is the view down the valley my dad lives on, his place is about a mile down on the left. The properties on the right hand side of the ridge (like his) belong to Sedella, the ones on the left belong to Salares. Since the local mayors are in control of most of the property laws and allow/ charge for different things, it must get confusing.
Cacti in the valley

Cacti in the valley


The cacti belong to Sedella. On the other side of the track (Salares side) is the local village cult, complete with Guru (from Wales apparently) called 'Shri haven'. They don't come out of their compound and apparently moan at people walking by if they set their dogs off barking (the dogs don't come out either) but they always bark at me as I pass, I'm quite looking forward to the idea of a welsh guru moaning at me for making her dogs bark by walking along a public road! I usually have my camera with me and think I might introduce myself as a journalist investigating cults, while pointing a long lens at her :)
every village needs a cult

every village needs a cult


But back to the picturesque stuff.
road to Sedella

road to Sedella


As you come up the road from the track you can see Sedella nestling in the hillside. It's not a big village but does curl back round behind the spur and come out 10 minutes further up the road (predictably that's where the bar with internet is!)
Sedella, nestled in the hills

Sedella, nestled in the hills


As you walk up into the village (it's always uphill, wherever you come in from) you pass the old church, where we saw the fiesta the only other time I was here (6 years ago?)
The old church

The old church


and wind up and down narrow, steep streets that really give the place it's 'captured in time' feel.
Streets of Sedella

Streets of Sedella


From Chiringuito's bar you can look out over the mountains as the ground drops til you can't tell if you're looking at the tops of the clouds over Malaga or all the way to the sea but I'm not sure this photo captures it really well.
the sea or the sky

the sea or the sky


I'm glad to say I managed to sort the horses out well, they seem to accept me with no problem and wait placidly while I bring them their feed or straw and put on the fly net.
Now this is cheating a bit, as I still didn't take any pictures of the horses (sorry Rachel) but here are some Sarah took when she was here :)
Canella

Canella

Canella2

Canella2

Whuelga

Whuelga

Whuelga2

Whuelga2

Posted by chaosity 10:42 Archived in Spain Comments (1)

Left in charge

or a day by the pool

sunny 33 °C

Daytime sky colour

Daytime sky colour

So no sooner (almost) as I get here, dad and Wendy take the opportunity to disappear for the day (and night) leaving me in charge of the horse, the mule, the dog, cat, house and (tomorrow) a builder I'll only be able to moan at in English or German. I wonder if he understands either. Pinto, the dog, is very fussy now they've gone and really didn't want me to leave him to come to the village (on my 3rd coffee now). He spent all day with me down at the pool. What I did today <img class='img' src='http://www.travellerspoint.com/Emoticons/icon_smile.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=':)' title='' />

What I did today :)

Where the peace was destroyed by the sound of a rig drilling for water all day (well, 11 til 2 seems to constitute a working day here).
Drilling for water

Drilling for water


Had to clear the pool first so Sarah, if you read this, this is for you- look who I found down there ) Spider by the pool

Spider by the pool


I had a couple of swims and was laying in the sun (33 degrees today (91)) until I got shouted at (well, brayed, at least) by the mule to bring their tea- she was even polite enough to give me 15 minutes warning :)
Rachel, still no horse pictures but here's the stable, snapped from the pool. The stable

The stable


And now a bit you can skip if you don't like sentimental ramblings, but looking at the stars does make you think a bit, so last night I wrote this:-

Time for a bit of reflection, after all, that's one of the reasons for being here. One of the things I find most difficult is not having a sense of control, at least of the basic bits of my life. I know in theory and through discussion that I wouldn’t want to be ‘totally secure’ in my life- that leaves no room for adventure. As I see it, there are only two ways to achieve total security; to lead a very boring, planned life or to be born with a silver spoon in your mouth. I never wanted the kind of job that gets stereotyped in the UK as secure. To be an accountant, a stockbroker or a dentist, although I’m sure I’m deriding those professions unnecessarily. And being born with everything makes you bored so you do stupid things to generate some excitement.
When I was younger I decided that a ‘consider the trees in the fields’ type approach was best- if I couldn’t add an inch to my height by worrying, then what was the point. Between the time I left home at seventeen and the time I was twenty-three I’d had twenty three jobs, lived in five towns in two countries and taken almost every summer off to enjoy myself. The longest I’d held a job was fifteen months (a tie between marine electronics engineer and media sales)and the most jobs I’d had concurrently was three (roofer, general building work and barman) So how did I end up becoming a teacher- training for four years and working for another sixteen years in four schools and a young offenders institute? Becoming a super-planner, semi control-freak and super-stresshead?
Nowadays I find it hard not to worry and the only piece of advice I can give is probably a cliché; don’t look at the big picture, just at the piece of the puzzle you’ve got in front of you right now. In the past I thought I knew what the jigsaw of my life should look like and I spent far too much time figuratively hammering the pieces in to make them fit. This of course resulted in a confusing picture with rough edges and, although the picture was mostly right, it was not a very impressive result.
Over the last five years the picture has been a lot more pleasing, if less predictable. The reason for this is that I spent more time focussing on the events and relationships in my life, less to the ‘things’, and smoothing the edges of the pieces before trying to fit hem in place. Taking more account of how to fit with the people and things that are important to me and not worrying too much about the ones that just don’t fit.
So, if it is a cliché I’m sorry, but however counter-intuitive it seems to me right now I just have to go back to the philosophy I set out for myself twenty-something years ago and focus on the piece I’m dealing with right now, then it will become more detailed and full, and less on the ‘grand scheme of things’. My upbringing involved a lot of religion, before I cut it out completely after seeing the way people hid behind it and still behaved outrageously to each other (and to me). But although I never thought things were down to destiny and I know the simplistic view of Karma in your life is plain nonsense, I have never assumed I have any control over my lifespan and therefore I don’t control how many pieces my puzzle will have or how big the picture will be, so the quality of the individual pieces and the way they fit together has got to be the focus I guess.

Ok, that’s the rant over for now, tomorrow I’ll photograph everything I see 

Posted by chaosity 11:18 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

(Entries 11 - 15 of 18) « Page 1 2 [3] 4 »