Travel to Málaga and Carnaval

Sunny Málaga welcomed us to Andalucia. We set off to explore the old city and harbor, to make the most of our one afternoon in the city.IMG_3653

Málaga harbor with cathedral tower.

On our walk, we hear the soft-pop stylings from a singer at an outdoor patio bar, a poor rendition of an Elton John song. She sings for the many British tourists that sometimes stop in Malaga on their way to seaside resort towns of Costa del Sol. As an antidote, we also hear Spanish music from across the water, so we turn our feet in that direction. We listen to five young men singing and playing, similar to Menudo with a flamenco spirit, and we even bend our knees with the beat, our precursor to actual dancing. Alas, they stop for a break which we know will stretch to 30 or 60 minutes and we have other things to see.

Near the cathedral, a young man with a beautiful voice sings opera. The acoustics of the narrow street are great in spite of occasional cars passing within inches of our singer.

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Cathedral

We just miss seeing the Picasso Museum, its doors literally closing as we walk toward it. Fortunately, we discover the ruins of a Roman theater nearby.

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Latin inscriptions on the visitor center exterior, and cool digital interactive panels inside.

Built during the time of Augustus Caesar, the Moors re-purposed the theater’s stones and columns while building the Alcazaba on the hillside above in the 700s. The theater site was rediscovered and excavated in the 1950s. We stroll around the theater and sit in its seats watching the old city’s colors change with the setting sun.

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Teatro Romano and Alcazaba

We also have our first glimpse of the festivities still to come:

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The king and queen of hearts, dressed for Carnaval, at the Teatro Romano.

Oh yes, it’s “El Dia de los Enamorados.” The day of lovers, also known as Valentine’s Day!

We stroll back toward our apartment, but decide to eat first even though it’s quite early for Spaniards. But tapas are available all the time! We spy a cafe with more locals than tourists, and a great name: Taberna Dos Gatos, the two cat tavern. We savor fantastic seafood and tapas and tinto (red wine).

Fortified, we hit the main street for the early stages of Carnaval. Costumed men sing and make important hand motions and some in the crowd join them.

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More than seven dwarfs. They also had stuffed animals tied around their knees.

Young children dress as princesses and pirates and cowboys, and older kids dress as prisoners and wolves.

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A fireman and a princess share a street lamp post.

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Teenagers share the moment on instagram.

Cathedral-like arches illuminate the street and recorded music plays with more characters dancing for family entertainment. The live bands will start later, around midnight.

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Arches over Málaga Carnaval.

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Behind us, there is much dancing and disco music.

We celebrate with the throngs then head back to our apartment. A fine start to our Semana Blanca vacation!

© 2015 by Lisa Howells and Mary Reynolds. All rights reserved.

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