looking down on the Mediterranean

up in Mijas

If you’ve been here a while, you know I like climbing. This blog didn’t exist last year during hiking season but if it had, there would’ve been many posts of mountains I’d climbed. Something to look forward to if you like that sort of thing.

When I was in Nice at New Year’s, I wrote about this fascination of mine in going up up up. Some insist on dividing others into either one sort of person or another? You’re either a cat person or a dog person. Either you prefer eating sweets or you like meat dishes? I’ve always thought this was ridiculous. Although I’ve had dogs most of my life, I really enjoy cats. And the food question? If you tried to make be decide which one I liked more (savoury main course or sugary dessert), my immediate response would be: I want both.

I’ve heard the same sort of question about either mountains or the beach. My suspicion is that this is some sort of personality test nonsense. Do you like mountains? Yes, very much. Do you like the beach? Well, I like walking on the beach. I’m not one for laying around on the sand, but I like watching the waves.

My answer is that I want both. I want to be high up in the mountains but be able to look out at the ocean. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

would you let this guy pull you around?

Arrived in Mijas (outside of Málaga) up in the hills above Fuengirola, and the first thing I saw was an Ass-taxi. That search term is going to bring some disappointed viewers. Here’s the Ass-taxi:

the story is that sometime back in the early 1960s, some workers were on their way home riding their donkeys. Some (probably inebriated) tourists insisted on taking photos of themselves on the donkeys. The amount in tips the tourists gave was more than the donkey-riding locals had been making working the land, so a new career was born. Ass-taxi entrepreneur.

view of the Mediterranean from Mijas

The village itself was gorgeous. Tonnes of tourists, but what do you expect when a place is so beautiful? Yes, there was a great view of the Mediterranean and it felt somehow cooler up here than it was back on the coast (I don’t think it actually was). If you walked as far away from the main square as you could, you could see a bit of what the place might’ve been like before tourism (aside from the no parking signs and satellite dishes). Here’s a nice shot I got of that part of the village:

view of Andalusian white village

It’s not written with a particularly great command of English, but if you want to know more about this little village of Mijas, here’s the Wikipedia article about it. The history of the resistance of the local villagers when the Spanish conquerors had already taken Málaga and surrounding regions was quite intriguing. As I often say, I reserve the right to come back and explore this topic in a future blogpost. It certainly wouldn’t be difficult to hold my attention.

solving at least one mystery of the sixteenth century

Genovese fountain in Málaga

Reviewing the information I had on Málaga before I my trip, I happened upon some information that very well might interest some of you. It’s a mystery. One that’ll be solved right here. First of all, I’ll let the Málaga tourist office’s website set the scene. Here’s the description:

‘PERIOD 16th – 17th century DESCRIPTION The Carlos V Fountain, which dates back to the 16th century and is also known as the Genovese Fountain, is a gracious example of Italian Renaissance architecture. This marble fountain has been traditionally considered of Genovese origin, and although how it arrived in Málaga is not very clear, there is documental proof that the Town Hall paid 1,000 Ducats for it. It is decorated with aquatic motifs, nymphs and children with dolphins, etc. It has a huge twelve-sided bowl, decorated with grooves and the column that rises from the centre is divided into several sections. At the bottom there are three mermaid figures with their tails linked together holding crowns and flowers; above these there are another three half-naked female figures, possibly nymphs, with dolphins, whilst around the upper part there is another bowl edged with figureheads spouting water from their mouths. The final part, a pedestal that rises up from this last bowl, has another three figures, also intertwined, which seem to represent Neptune and a small bowl, very much worn away, in which the remains of the heads of cherubs can be seen, as well as a final column decorated with the figures of children with dolphins on their shoulders. An eagle tops the whole ensemble.’

Did you catch that? A sixteenth century whodunit.

how it arrived in Málaga is not very clear

Well, I can’t keep my secret any longer. It was me. Back then I was rather altruistic.

Rather magnanimous of me, wasn’t it?

You’re welcome Málaga. Twas my pleasure.