Saturday, April 13, 2024

Iberian Voyages 9 - Malaga

Thursday April 11

The sun  a sign of another beautiful day to begin.

Red Team started to walk into town at 8:20 am. Port security never seems to be a big deal. Everybody is always so friendly and helpful. But we had to go zigzag for a while. 

The city looked very inviting and just seemed to wake up.  Yes, we are on vacation but most others are going to work. It is nice that the tourist season has just started.

She ship’s stops are further south every day. We love the blooming flowers of course. 

Our local guide stops when he comes to this poster to talk about the famous Iberian pig. I knew about the black pig which mainly eats acorns which influences the taste of the meat. At sister Ute’s birthday party in Germany last year the Chef Pia told us all about it. 

I am on information overload. All those beautiful buildings which are old, older to ancient. One can only admire. 

Of course, another market. It’s the Spanish/European way of life. 

We went all the way to the other end and outside to admire the window. 

But then we slowly went from fish to cheese to ham (black pig jamon tasting) etc. 

Then we continued to walk through narrow streets. 

A glimpse of the cathedral and the (yellow) bishop’s house  

We reached where our local guide was taking us: Pablo Picasso’s birthplace. It was now a little museum. 

His baptism dress! Of course I tried to figure out whether the lace was handmade or not. The close-up photo is not good enough for me to tell. 

Outside on the plaza was a statue of Picasso on a bench. We were waiting there for the group to assemble so I had fun to talk to other visitors, mainly Germans, and take couple photos for them. 

When everybody was there again we had a little tasting of some Malaga specialties which was very nice, especially the sweet red wine and the cheese. 

Not far was another Roman theater. But we only looked at it from the plaza. 

Our local guide talked a lot about the “Spanish Brotherhood”. It sounded like that he was part of one and I think that must be very important to him. There happen processions all over Spain in Holy Week. A holy statue is being carried from a church through the streets on a gigantic platform made from wood and metal (like silver) which have an enormous weight. 120 to 270 men (lately also sometimes women) have to carry it for many hours. The above link is very interesting. 

Our local guide took us into a special place were we could see two floats and other traditional items. 

After that we walked to the bus which brought us to our home-hosted lunches. We were subdivided into two groups. 

James and I were in a group of 10 and we left the bus first. Thomas picked us up with his dog Cooper and guided us to the apartment of his partner Esperanza (?) who usually is hosting for OAT. She could not be there so he was helping out with the hosts’ best friend Sylvia. 

The apartment was on the 4th floor and there was a lift. Thomas and Sylvia were very nice and we enjoyed our lunch very much. 

First we had boiled eggs stuffed with tuna salad with light or dark bread but also olives etc. 

Thomas was proud of his chicken with rice meal. 

Lovely fruit salad with ice cream as dessert. 

We chatted to the last minute until Thomas had to bring us back down to the street when the bus came. 

Not sure what Cooper was trying to tell me. 

We walked the last bit back to the ship through a park. We wondered about this tree. (?)

As always (I can’t quite remember) probably a beer, maybe some cards, Port Talk and dinner at 7 pm. 

At the end of dinner we had a surprise. A typical group of musicians came to us. I think those groups are called “mundos”. They were very very good and it was a lot of fun. 

Our trip leader Joana invited us all to go out again for a stroll and even galeto but James and I didn’t feel like that and stayed behind with others to chat. 

I think the ship left Malaga around 11 pm. 
Well, time for night night and being rocked to sleep. 

Friday, April 12, 2024

Iberian Voyages 8 - Cartagena

Wednesday April 10

The Clio is supposed to arrive in Cartagena at 8:30 am. Amazing how punctual the captain can do that. 

Breakfast starting at 7:30 am as always. Our red group is leaving today at 9:20. 

The port area is very nice and we don’t need a bus to go into the city. Our local leader is stopping soon at a large map to give us the first inside.

The “El Zulo” is a dramatic bronze sculpture in the harbor plaza by Victor  Ochoa. It’s a 19.5 foot high sculpture of a man sitting with his head buried between his knees. His nakedness represents everyone’s vulnerability to terrorism. 

We crossed the street and we were in the city and walked between some beautiful buildings. 

Soon we came to some new excavations. There is so much history here. It was so interesting. 

Every time I see a massive tree like this I wonder what that tree might have witnessed. 

Back to the Casa Consistorial, or Pakacio Consistorial, which is the Town Hall of Cartagena.

There were some nice cafes and we got a surprise at one. We sat down for a rest and those who wanted it received a “Café Asiatico”. It’s very taste with a bit is alcoholic liqueur. 

And after that we walked to the ruins of a Roman Theater. On the way we passed this painting on some houses. 
We have seen many of these paintings on plain facades. Some are plain or simple, some seem to be just graffiti, and some are near masterpieces. 

The Roman Theater was erected between 5 and 1 BC. Or local guide and our trip leader Joana now so many details and can answer most questions. It was found just a very few years ago by chance because of a garage renovation. Because of new tools like sonar etc these discoveries are just a little easier  

We were back on the ship and at the lunch buffet around 2 pm. 

At 3 pm our ship left the harbor again. James and I had fun watching (as we say “help the captain”).

The pilot boat is picking up the pilot  

We had a very busy day. At 4 pm we attended the chocolate, cheese and wine tasting. It was very interesting.  

Our 4 group trip leaders are such fun people. 

The pairings of wines and bites of cheese/chocolate were very interesting. 

Ah, white Porto.

Dinner usually starts at 7 pm but we were not really hungry. But then, it is always so delicious.

This photo was taken at 8:36 pm.

After dinner the trip leaders held a “Liar’s Club” event. It was a lot of fun  too. 

Time to say “nighty night” again. If you read these reports I wonder what you think about tearing down buildings to excavate older constructions? Leave me a comment on the bottom