Castillo de Gibralfaro


Our second day in Malaga began by watching a protest march through Plaza de Constitution. We figured out that folks were demanding the preservation of public, not privatized, healthcare.

Then, we hiked the steep, stone mountain path to the ruins of the Castillo de Gibralfaro: Built in the 10th century by the Caliph of Cordoba over an earlier Phoenician castle and lighthouse. The independent Muslim enclave of Malaga only submitted to the rule of Spanish Catholic monarchs, Isabel and Ferdinand, when they were surrounded and starved in 1487 (look up Siege of Malaga for more info).

From the castle’s dizzying height, we enjoyed a gorgeous view of the city and port. On the hike up to Gibralfaro, there are several vantage points in which to pause. From one such stop, we were treated to an aerial view of the historic La Malagueta bullfighting arena. Hemingway went to a few matches there. Bullfighting season runs April to September, and reaches its climax during the city festival in August.

The gardens of the Gibralfaro were and are filled with aromatic gardens: Olive trees, cypress, almond trees, lavender, jasmine, sugar cane, pomegranete trees, orange trees, laurel, quince trees, and more. Accompanying signs were fun to translate (with a lot of help from the Colliers pocket dictionary)—especially the Garcia Lorca poem about cypress trees.


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