Sailing Long Distances


June 2021
Speaking for me, the city of Malaga stands for many pleasant expectations. First is the eponymous name of delicious ice cream with raisins, originating in southern Spain. Second, it stands for warmth and sun, a Mediterranean lifestyle, and an airport as a gateway for tourists. Well, not much admittingly, but I was at least right and could pamper my vanity.
The reality is slightly bigger, a city of 600.000 inhabitants, the sixth-largest in Spain, and home of a university with 40.000 students. In the 1990th the Picasso Museum and the Philharmonic Orchestra were founded. And those guys who call themselves nerd made their way to Malaga as well, to the Parque Tecnológico de Andalucía with six hundred enterprises and 17.000 employees. In short, the IT sector stands for a fifth of the city’s gross product.
It must be awesome to live in a place with the intellectual power of a small silicon valley, with companies like Oracle and a very traditional bullring next door. The Moorish left their marks here too and erected the Alcazaba and Gibralfaro, two fortifications of the eleventh century.
Malaga turned us into high-performance tourists in the days to come, with three keywords: walking, walking, walking. First on the list were the two fortifications that promised marvelous views over the city, the port, and the Mediterranean Sea. And we were not disappointed. Somewhat strange looked the bullring in the middle of highrises. This contradiction left no doubt how much the world has changed over the centuries, an ongoing process to the very day. The closeness of old and modern, its needs and priority of bygone days, and the new challenges are obvious. Yet, the view of the bullring between the houses left me somewhat puzzled. Archaeologists speak of ‘out of place objects’ when they dig something out that doesn’t belong there, like a video of Jesus in a grave of a Roman emperor. Yet, here it is the bullring, ambushed by houses around. One day it might suffer the same destiny as the bulls before in its walls and get killed – demolished; a staircase wit.
No joke is the excellent and inexpensive public transport across the city. We paid one Euro forty for a wild ride to the Jardín Botánico-Histórico La Concepción five kilometers out of the center. The passage at three o’clock in the afternoon was an unwanted revitalization of an almost forgotten time, traffic jams. Anyway, the park was worth every meter of travel. Eighty trees from all over the planet await the visitor, palm trees, cactuses, and carnivorous plants, luckily behind a glass pavilion. Read More