A 4-day hike in the south of the Iberian Peninsula
From Málaga along the coast to Tarifa. By boat to Africa to the city of Tangier. Back across the British state of Gibraltar. Algeciras to Jardín Botánico-Histórico La Concepción. February 2018
In the center of Andalusia. In the hometown of Pablo Picasso. The children are fine, because before departure it turned out that they have lice, a thing that is quite common in school classes in the Czech Republic in recent years. So we packed things up a little fast. Last glance at the weather – partly cloudy, temperature around 15 degrees.
Day one - from Málaga to Tariff
We had the car arranged from the Czech Republic, we rented it on arrival at the airport at night, we were surprised by the low rental price – 35 Euros, we expect some betrayal when returning it. Accommodation in an apartment booked through booking is a bit of a scare, a „worn out“ caretaker, no draining waste, an apartment probably used for everything possible … but even that should be part of the knowledge for which we are here. Málaga is a historic city, dominated by an 11th-century Moorish fortress called the Alcazaba, which overlooks the entire city. On the way to it you will pass the bullring and the cathedral.
Málaga - category La Manquita
The cathedral „La Manquita“ or „the one-armed one“ has only one completed tower. It was built on the site where the mosque originally stood, the beginning of construction dates back to 1528.
Málaga - view from the fortress on the city and the coast
The way up is a pleasant walk through the garden with alleys and tufts of vegetation. The fortress formed the Arab defense system and was part of the city walls. Harbor view.
Tarifa - coast
The apartment in Tarifa was better than the first one, just arranging with the local accommodation at the time of arrival is quite a problem. The ocean on the Spanish coast was icy, but the children jumped into it anyway. While we waited for the keys to the accommodation, they ran along the beach, gnashing their teeth and carrying seashells.
Day two - move to Morocco
Buying ferry tickets is quite a breeze, it runs every two hours. The move will take about an hour, you just have to be patient while checking documents, scanning luggage and preparing for a different mentality when standing in queues. It is difficult to estimate what percentage of passengers in the opposite direction were refugees, but everything went smoothly. We were greeted on the Moroccan coast by taxi drivers and the indomitable, typical spirit of Africa. Even with children, this dimension can be managed. We stayed in probably the worst place we could, lacked clean sheets and we were cold at night. An evening tour of the old town, walking through the narrow ancient streets of the Medina market to the top of the Kasbah made up for it. A view from the top of the lighted city, shouting local children, the lively bustle and the smell of Arabic cuisine prepared right on the street – this was an experience we wanted to offer and convey to children.
View of the coast of Tangier
The port of Tangier, Tangier or Tangier was founded by the inhabitants of Carthage on the site of the original old Phoenician settlement. After the destruction of Carthage, it passed into the hands of the Romans, was conquered by the Vandals, was part of the Byzantine Empire … its history is truly turbulent. It fell into the hands of the Arabs in 702. In modern times and after great voyages of discovery, it belonged alternately to the Portuguese, Spaniards and also to the English. It became an independent city, or part of Morocco, in 1956. Jack Keroac settled here in the 1950s, at which time the city was a well-known beatnik center and also an important gay center.
Day Three - Gibraltar
In the morning by ferry back to Europe. We will still climb the castle in Tarifa. We get in the car we left here yesterday. The move to Gibraltar took about an hour. We drive along the coast and watch „The rock“. If he climbs there, it gets in my head and later I'll be convinced that I don't. A pedestrian path leads to the top, ie rather a tangle of paths and trails, there is also a cable car. The territory is British, so you cross the border at the entrance, but the check is very fast.
Gibraltar - The Rock
The strategic location allows you to control the entire Strait of Gibraltar. The place fell to the British as a result of the wars over the Spanish heritage and remained in their possession. The area has an area of less than 7 km² and its first inhabitants were Neanderthals.
Gibraltar - The monkey world
Gibraltar has the only European monkey colony. Legend has it that as long as the monkeys live, Gibraltar will be British. Monkeys belong to the species Magot tailless and are cheeky.
Day Four - Algeciras and Jardín Botánico in Malaga
Algeciras is a strategic port from the days of Carthage. In 1906, a conference was held here to decide the fate of Morocco. We stayed in a friendly and clean hostel in the center with a friendly atmosphere and a shared kitchen. We walked through the center, also along the coast, it was quite warm and pleasant to stay for some time on the city beach, completely deserted at this time in the low season. We decided to spend our time before leaving in Malaga – in the giant botanical garden Jardín Botánico – Histórico La Concepción, which was founded in the 19th century by an aristocratic family.
Botanical Garden - Historic La Concepción
A garden with more than a century of tradition. Hundreds of species of tropical, subtropical and indigenous plants, palm trees, bamboos, lemon trees and aquatic plants. A place for relaxing walks where I was completely alone at this time of year.
Map showing the main points of the trip – Málaga, Tarifa, Tangier, Gibraltar.
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