January 5, 2012

Málaga, Spain. November, 2010

When our cruise ship docked each day along its Barcelona-Lisbon route, many of our fellow passengers hopped on waiting buses to take advantage of local excursions the cruise line offered. We never did. Our reason, aside from not wanting to be on a tour bus, was that most of the ports we called at were so interesting that it was a pleasure just walking around on our own, getting lost, making discoveries. Take Málaga. Our first stop, as always, the central mercado to revel in the local produce and seafood on display. (We bought two of the most beautiful and delicious bosc pears because good ones are so hard to come by in the States.) Then a visit to the Picasso Museum here in the town of the artist’s birth. (He left at age 10, never to return again.) The museum, unlike the one in Barcelona, is small and uncrowded, filled with an admirable collection that will satisfy but won’t exhaust you. A picnic lunch in a small park, a stroll through backstreet neighborhoods, in one of which we spotted this tiled tribute to the city’s two patron saints, Ciriaco and Paula. Martyrs who refused to renounce their Christianity during the fourth-century Roman (pagan) rule of the region, they were stoned to death on a site not far from this brickwork.

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