Thursday, March 13, 2014


There’s a lower class, semi-industrial suburb in Perth called Malaga, but it’s pronounced MalAga, and is entirely unlike the delightful city in southern Spain, which is pronounced MALaga.

If not with gold, the streets of Old Malaga are at least paved with marble, either in plain square tiles or in patterns of stripes and chevrons, occasionally inset with brass detailing. Naturally when one is trotting around at 9.45am absolutely nothing is open, except for a few cafes specialising in the tourist trade, and thus attuned to the unreasonably early hours of Germans and other industrious people.

There wasn’t an option to wait for a more civilised hour to be wandering around Malaga, because once again the cruise line has diddled the passengers, giving us a scant five and a half hours in Malaga. But that was long enough for me to find a café with wi-fi to check my emails, visit the Picasso Museum, and indulge in some traditional Spanish churros with hot chocolate.

I started in a street café drinking what was quite possibly the worst cappuccino in the history of coffee production, in the shade of the ubiquitous orange trees that line the streets of Malaga and are currently both fruiting and blooming, making the very air smell wonderful, and no doubt ensuring that, whatever other travails the homeless may face, at least they’re getting their vitamin C.

Then it was time for the Picasso Museum. Malaga was the birthplace of Pablo Picasso, although he took off at the age of 19 and never returned. Even so, he and his family were keen for a museum of his work to be established in Malaga, and so the Museo Picasso is housed in a handsome and beautifully maintained old hacienda. Inside one can view hundreds of paintings of women with their noses on the side of their heads and pottery of various horned animals. Horned animals and strange women were two of Picasso’s passions, not necessarily in that order.

Lastly, it came time for churros and hot chocolate.Admiral Ackbar was very excited by the churros.

But he was even more excited by the traditional Spanish hot chocolate, which is so thick that it’s more like a hot chocolate custard than a drink. After much begging, I allowed him to have the last of my cup.

With predictable results.

I can’t take him anywhere.


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