The Burial of the Anchovy

No, this isn’t the title of Jigsaw’s latest play, following the success of ‘Cat on a Long Thin Lead’, nor have we found a long lost Shakespeare, it actually marks the tragic end of our Malaga Carnival Season and the traditional start of Lent.

Many places in Spain burn a sardine, Malaga maybe likes to be different, but the parade, consisting of official mourners dressed in widow’s weeds and weeping, is a sight, and sound, to behold. A giant ‘boquerón’ is paraded, whose end comes on a huge bonfire on La Malagueta beach. The 8 day carnival season has seen parades of Gods and Goddesses, amazing Drag Queens and lots of colour and vibrancy around the streets. Lots of satirical street performers (there’s a competition for the best) command their audiences from mini stages. All in the name of satire, it’s unlikely some of it would be ‘allowed’ in so many places these days. So much to see and observe, girls having a paddy, locals turning out in costume and an all round sense of fun. Anyhow, we consumed the carnival with a passion, being part of the cultural traditions is fun and always enlightening. Really not sure about the ladies in green (see below) but it appears that in Spain, a bit like the musical, ‘Anything Goes’!

We’d not managed to visit the Alcazaba or the Gibralfaro Castle on previous visits, they were shut for obvious reasons. This time we donned our walking shoes but still didn’t manage to get enough steps in, to rival a certain lady (you know who you are!) The Alcazaba (I don’t know the difference between the ‘r’ and the ‘ba’ sorry) was typically Moorish, courtyards and calm spaces, with lots of carved stone and colour. A bit like the Alhambra’s very little sister it was a lovely explore. Back in the day the Alcazaba was joined to the Castle by a walled walkway, a ‘caracha’, for the safe travel between the two. This Nasrid Kingdom was totally surrounded by the Kingdom of Castille and seemingly, felt vulnerable for a long time. The Siege of Malaga of 1487 saw its downfall from Muslim rule into the hands of the Spanish Monarchy. The views from the top were worth the hike, and I mean hike. Looking down onto the port area and the fancy pants boats, the magnificent Town Hall and the splendid Bullring where we could see Matadors practicing with their Muleta’s, was fun. The bullfighting thing, not so fun, thankfully none of that.

Spending more time around Malaga we’ve explored different areas. Soho (like it’s London namesake to a degree) is a vibrant, up and coming area, smart restaurants rub up against quirky cafes and shops and some fun graffiti. The latter is becoming a tourist draw (no pun intended!) We spent a time seeking it out, some, we couldn’t miss due to scale. Soho is borne out of the old port trading zone so the architecture is grand and ornate, fanciful but not too ‘drag’! (I forgot to take pic’s!)

Having a cheap rental car meant freedom when the weather was a tad off so we visited lots of shopping centres (kidding) and Mercadonas…. Actually, we were venturing to new places and generally keeping to a slow pace of life. Approx an hour north of Malaga is a fabulous nature reserve, Laguna de Fuente de Piedra, a national reserve full of Flemenco’s (Flamingo’s to you and I) Being the twitting twitchers that we are, we also saw cranes, stonechat and shell ducks nesting and numerous others that without our RSPB book for reference, remain nameless.

Another outing was to Archidona, a small town known for a really unusual Octagonal Square (yeah, I know its an Oxymoron) or Plaza to the locals. Equally rare, it has a triangular shaped (3 sided!) bell tower. The Iglesia Parroquial de Santa Ana, of the triangles, is a lovely airy space. A quiet town that came to life a little bit after their siesta, we spotted a queue at an NHS doctors surgery. We knew it was the NHS because it had a fax machine, and a manual typewriter. The Fortress Castle, up a long and winding road that John Lennon would’ve been proud of gave us superb vistas out across the town and surrounding area, with the hue of the pink almond blossom petals, fluttering in the breeze…. ah. Back down in the town we

As it’s a common past time to talk about weather, we had a small Saharan dust shower but worse than that, strong winds that reshaped the coastline. We’d never seen diggers on the beach (not the bucket and spade type) moving sand into mini dunes, to protect the buildings. After a sand blast facial, we retired to La Calma, our favourite bar, and watched the sea let rip as the sun set. It was wild!

So anyhow, we are back on the move. Jigsaw waved her paw at the group of people at the Rincon campsite who came to say adios to her. She made so many friends there, we’d often hear her chatting with anyone who walked past. We also met a fabulous couple, May and Richard (Rincon seems to do that to us) great fun, super company and so well travelled, we were green with envy! We possibly drunk them out of Cava but they still ‘step shamed’ us with their early morning walks pre dawn such that Nick is trying to fit a mini gym in the boot!

5 thoughts on “The Burial of the Anchovy”

  1. What a great blog… I’m really inspired to ‘do Malaga’, but just know we’ll be somewhat disappointed as won’t see the incredible sights of Carnival Season. But there’s always another year.
    BTW It took me a while to realise the arched window image next to the bull ring photo was a tree not a giant green ice-cream, as in the young woman/old woman illusion.

    Liked by 1 person

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