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Location - Western Europe; Capital - Madrid; Population - 46 million; Currency - Euro MORE SPAIN

From La Linea on the Gibraltar border it's a 2 hour coach ride to the beach resort of Fuengirola, where I spent a year working back in the 90s. Then it was to Madrid via Malaga, an underrated city on the Costa del Sol - October 2011.


euroSpain is part of the Euro-zone










spain300Heading for the bus station at La Linea, the Spanish town on the border with Gibraltar $600 Bonus


spain302Fuengirola beach on the Costa del Sol














spain309 The resort has a pedestrian-only street full of restaurants which gets busy in the evening - Fuengirola















spain310The church at Plaza Constitucion - Fuengirola



spain311Boats at the small marina in Fuengirola




spain362A café on Puerta del Mar, a street in the old town - Malaga















spain365The old town's Plaza de la Merced - Malaga















spain366The birthplace of artist Pablo Picasso is on the corner of Plaza de la Merced - Malaga



spain367The old town is a picturesque area full of shops, galleries, museums, bars, restaurants and nightclubs - Malaga



spain369In the heart of the old town is the cathedral - Malaga















spain374Plaza del Obispo, in front of the cathedral, has a few outdoor bars from which to admire the view - Malaga















spain376More bars and cafés in the old town - Malaga



spain391The pedestrian shopping street of Calle Marques de Larios - Malaga



spain379 The street expands into Plaza de la Constitucion - Malaga















spain380More nightlife in Malaga















spain390A German-style beer festival had come to town for a few days; this is the main tent - Malaga



spain397To get to the city beach head along Parque de los Curas - Malaga



spain400..Or along Paseo del Parque. The Alcalde Pedro Ruiz Alonso Gardens lie between the two walkways - Malaga













spain398Playa Malagueta is only a few minutes from the centre - Malaga















spain326It's well worth taking the trail up to Gibralfaro Castle - Malaga



spain319Take in Malaga Port and the city from the trail - Malaga



spain316..And a brilliant view of the bull ring, Plaza de Toros de la Malagueta - Malaga















spain340There's not much left of Gibralfaro Castle except for the ramparts - Malaga















spain332Malaga is the gateway to the Costa del Sol but merits a visit in itself



spain330The yellow(ish) Ayuntamiento (Town Hall, front left) and Malaga Cathedral (back right) as seen from the castle walls - Malaga



spain334Malaga Cathedral - Malaga
















spain338Mountainous scenery lies away from the city - Malaga















spain336A bird's eye view of the old town's Plaza de la Merced - Malaga



spain355Down from the castle, and linked to it, is the Alcazaba - Malaga



spain343The 11th century Alcazaba was a Moorish fortress - Malaga















spain346The gardens of the Alcazaba are substantial - Malaga















spain347Reflections of the Alcazaba's Palacio Nazari - Malaga



spain358Below the Alcazaba are the remains of a Roman theatre - Malaga



spain403 A lively place of an evening in Madrid are the streets off Plaza Santa Ana















spain401The ME Madrid Reina Victoria Hotel on Plaza Santa Ana - Madrid















spain404The Gran Via is a major boulevard in the city centre. The clock face belongs to the Telefonica building - Madrid



spain409Further along the Gran Via is the Metropolis building, topped by a winged statue - Madrid



spain405Opposite the Metropolis building and overlooking the Plaza de la Cibeles, is the Palacio de Communicaciones (Post Office) - Madrid














spain411Head south from the plaza, down Paseo del Prado, to Madrid's famous art museums















spain413The Museo del Prado is Madrid's premier tourist attraction and one of the top art galleries in the world. Apparently. I didn't go in.



spain415When it was built the 18th century Puerta de Alcala was Europe's biggest city gate - Madrid



spain417Boating on Parque del Buen Retiro's lake - Madrid















spain418330-acre Parque del Buen Retiro was created in the 17th century - Madrid















spain420The Crystal Palace at Parque del Buen Retiro - Madrid



spain422Peaking through a waterfall - Madrid



spain425Plaza de la Puerta del Sol, where Madrilenos mass to see in the new year.
Recently it's also been the scene of protests in 2011 - Madrid














spain426Some demonstrators against education cuts congregate in the Plaza Mayor - Madrid















spain429Plaza Mayor originally dates back to the 17th century, though it has been reconstructed since. It's the tourist centre of Madrid and packed with bars and restaurants



spain430Calle de Toledo leads off the Plaza Mayor - Madrid



spain433Mercado de San Miguel is an indoor market behind the Plaza Mayor - Madrid














spain435The 17th century former Ayuntamiento (Town Hall) is on Plaza de la Villa - Madrid















spain437Calle del Arenal is a pedestrian shopping street leading off the Plaza de la Puerta del Sol. It opens into the Plaza de Isabel II, site of the Teatro Real, Madrid's opera house



spain439The opera house also looks on to the Plaza de Oriente, shown here with the statue of King Felipe IV - Madrid



spain443This street musician was quite spooky. He played guitar but his head and torso were packed away somewhere, replaced with a mask - Madrid














spain444The 18th century Palacio Real (Royal Palace) - Madrid



















spain441Next to the Royal Palace are Jardines de Sabatini - Madrid



spain445The Nuestra Senora de la Almudena Cathedral - Madrid



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