June 29, 2018

That Time I Went to Malaga...

Of all the cruise ports we have visited, this was the longest time span we've had to explore, due to the closeness of the following port: 9am-9pm. We took advantage of this opportunity to be in port later in the day so that we could have local food for dinner, and spent the morning on board and headed off after lunch....

The walk into town was a bit of a hike from the ship. 
Along the way, we came across a sculpture (?) that was colorful and cool so we took a photo with it.
"Incubated" by Daniel Buren
Here it is after we'd walked a bit farther.
We walked along the road further into town where there were a bunch of Birds of Paradise plants, which happens to be my favorite napkin fold.
There were also some hibicus plants: my favorite flower. Since it's bad to pick wild flowers (casuse if everyone did, there wouldn't be any left), I had to put it behind my ear while still on the plant.
We found our way to "Europe's largest ferris wheel" and hopped on (after buying the 10€ tickets).
Husband was excited to find that the cabins were air conditioned.
You can see our ship over my shoulder.
And we saw some great views of the city.

After we got off we found a supermarket which is one of my favorite places to visit in other countries. We found American Burger sauce (essentially McD's special sauce).
And picked up a bottle of champagne for 2.15€.
Not the worst champagne I've ever had.
On our way out, the cashier decided to make an example out of us because Husband had his open can of Coke that we brought in with us. She made no attempt to communicate with us in English, just kept yelling in Spanish and doing charades. We completely understood what she was miming but due to the ridiculousness of her accusing us of stealing... or at least for not listening to her that we needed to check it at the entrance,*  so I just kept saying "no hablo Espanol" until she got over it.

Oh and we were purchasing the bottle of champagne, a reusable bag (it folds up nice and tiny), and a can of beer when she decided to be a b*&#% to us, which is why we didn't feel compelled to be apologetic. I wished I could have said to her, "don't worry, we already weren't coming back because our cruise ship leaves in 5 hours, but now we REALLY won't be coming back to spend money in your store because you are the worst..." but I really just wanted to stop holding up the line. She probably wanted to yell make an example of us for bringing our bag in, but once it was our turn to check out, I walked to the end of the conveyor belt, and opened up my bag to put our purchases in it, invalidating the potential for us to be using it to shoplift.

I'm not sure the 3.65€ in items was worth that debacle, but I do enjoy telling the story. Shout out to the girl who finally translated the yelling for us which finally difused the situation because only then did Husband finally say "okay? so charge me the .15€ for it?" (she didn't... so clearly just trying to make an example out of us)

*I heard someone (probably her) say something to us in Spanish from behind when we walked in, but no one walked up to us to tap us on the shoulder and be like "you have to put your book-bag and soda in one of those lockers" so I kept walking. I knew exactly what the issue was when she started yelling because when we were in line to check out, I saw her yell at someone who was trying to come in with bags to put their bags in a locker- but those people understood Spanish.

After our lovely experience with an angry check-out lady, we walked to the Alcazaba and Gibralfaro castles which are next to each other. Husband wanted to see the former, but we couldn't figure out how to get in, and in trying to find the entrance, enstead found how to get up to the top of the latter. So we ended up visiting the Gibralfaro Castle.
We saw some great views on the way up. Better for some photos than from the top because of the angle and not as far up.
You can see our house (the ship) from here too!
We paid our admission (very cheap, but I don't remember exactly how much),  and headed straight to the bar (yes, "bar") to recover from our hike (yes, it's actually a semi-intensive hike). The bar is not enclosed so no A/C but on a mild day you can escape from the sun and it's quite breezy so high up. 

Just before the bar are some very clean (that day at least) bathrooms and a large ficus tree. 
 The tree asks that you don't climb it.
They don't have wi-fi at the bar, but you do have the ability to talk to the people you traveled all that way with.
They pretty much only had beer and some stuff that comes in plastic (aka environment poison), so I got a glass of a local wine. I did not enjoy it. And here it is so that you know what not to buy.
The greenery around the cafe was very pretty and there is a guy who looks confused (he might not be there when you go).
After our drinks, we went to the tiny Museum of Something I Cant Remember (something about translating or stuff that's written down or something?), where there are tiny soldiers,
A tiny cannon which I think is actually an artifact not a replica, and some other stuff I didn't take photos of and therefore don't remember.

We finally ventured to the castle walls and found a hidey hole that we had to take a photo in,
 And saw some great views that really show off how enormous the Carnival Horizon is.
Our house! Again!

We were hungry and still wanted to get dinner before going back to the ship, so we headed back down into town.

Along the way, a creepy dude had some clippings from some kind of evergreen tree that he insisted on giving to us. He didn't speak any English either. We conceded to taking a piece each and then he mimed that we needed to give him money for them. We said "no" and tried to hand them back. He wouldn't take them back, but insisted he needed money from us. I said we didn't have any money "no dinero" and he "said" no, this guy that is with you has to pay. I sort of tried again to say no, but he was aggressively insistent.

To make him go away, Husband took some change out of his pocket. Dude then went to put another clipping of tree in Husband's pocket. The whole time this was happening, my perception was that the dude was creepy and crazy, but Husband was on the up and up and knew the guy was looking to pick-pocket us, and when dude tried to put something in Husband's pocket, he was really going for his wallet. Husband grabbed dude's hand as it was putting the piece-of-tree in his pocket, pushed it away, and sternly said no. Dude finally left us alone with the change that Husband had given him.

Moral of the story: if something like this happens to you, drop the christmas-tree-stem and walk away. And also that Malaga is known for pick-pocketing, so be very aware of your stuff. Carry your backpack on your front even, and purses in front for your arm instead of behind.

Husband selected a spot for tapas using his pre-downloaded google maps and we headed through town. Along the way, we found the door to Jumanji (look closely)
 And a weird fountain...
...that was even weirder on the other side.

We enjoyed our tapas at Casa Lola which may-or-may-not-have given Husband food poisoning** (!!!) and began the long walk back to the ship. We made good time and were able to stop and offer to take a photo for a couple who were trying to take a selfie with the ship, who in turn took a lovely photo for us.

More on cruises :)
More cruise ports

**We're pretty sure it was food poisoning from the tapas; he suddenly felt sick around 10pm and then was up sick all night but fine-albeit-in-need-of-recovering the next morning. The only food we ate on board was around noon and we ate the exact same thing then so I really don't think it was what we had for lunch on board. 

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