Málaga - Day Trip to Antequera - From an Inauspicious Beginning to a Police Sting!

I'll start with a Public Service Announcement: take the bus not the train from Málaga to Antequera, Spain.  

We did not receive this advice and were a bit puzzled when we exited the Antequera train station and all we could see for miles was pasture and rolling hills.  The train station is a good 20 km from town.  It ended up costing us about 30 euro for the cab ride into town.  We avoid the return fare by booking a ~5 euro bus ticket back to Málaga once we finally arrived in town.  Despite this inauspicious beginning, we liked what we saw.  The taxi dropped us off in front of a central square and large church tower.
Marble fountains burbled nearby.
The main street of Antequera was lined with fecund orange trees.
Sidewalk cafes soaked in the sun nearby.
We popped into the bullfighting ring located near this remnant of a historic gate to the town.
For only one euro, we saw the remains of mighty bulls (some from the early to mid-1800s) who had put up a good fight but finally succumbed to a triumphant matador.
We also took the opportunity to admire the architecture facing the inside of the ring.
One thing that we discovered to our delight was that Antequera is home to a number of artisan polvorone and mantecado producers.  These pulverized treats made from almonds (some with sesame seeds) and held together with lard (or increasingly olive oil) are a delicious treat typically available around Christmas.
I liked this display of Lego people carting around various varieties of polvorones.
La Antequerana Mantecado producers even had a factory store and cafe in town.
What we really appreciated though were the boutique producers from various convents in the area who sold through local bakeries.  In this particular shop, the shopkeeper didn't speak a work of English but we managed to do the transaction through that universal mix of smiles, pointing, and a few words of Spanish on our side.
We really enjoyed having a wander around town to admire the sun-bleached stone buildings.
To our surprise and delight we also stumbled upon this Art Deco movie theatre in the middle of it all.
After climbing to the Alcazaba and doing the audio tour (more on that in our next post!), we stopped at Meson Panero for a spot of lunch.
We tried migas (deep fried bread crumbs) which are popular in this region...
...and a plate of broad beans.
A 'surprise' plate of croquetas was also brought to our table.  We were a bit confused because we hadn't ordered them but figured that our waiter had misunderstood our Spanish.  Rather than trying to send them back, we decided to eat them.  The waiter came out again after about 5 minutes with a confused look on his face.  Apparently, he'd delivered the croquetas to the wrong table.  Oopsy!  Too late...
After lunch, we decided to take a walk out to the dolmens that the area is famous for.  It's a bit of an uphill slog but we decided it would be a good idea for working off the migas!  We passed this lovely neighborhood church en route.
We arrived at the dolmens.  The entrance was not particularly impressive.
We hiked up the hill to the entrance and had a look inside these thousands of years old feats of engineering.
Returning to the train station, we decided to take what turned out to be a fateful detour through a hill-top residential neighborhood.  The streets were mostly quiet but we noticed a few police cars about and a policeman questioning a few folks down one of the side streets.  We didn't think anything of it at the time and kept to our course.  As we were approaching the bottom of a hill and intersection not very different from this one, we were surprised to see a police car turn the wrong way down the one way street and block another car from getting out.  That's funny...I thought.  The policeman is trying to go the wrong way down a one way street.  I wonder who will have to back-up.   I quickly snapped to attention though when the policeman got out of the car, pulled his gun and pointed it at the driver of the car who was not more than 15 feet away from us!  Our immediate reaction was to run as we weren't sure if the driver would pull a gun or surrender peacefully.  We definitely didn't want to be a convenient source of hostages!  We backed away slowly and then faster, eyeballing doorways we could pop into if guns started blazing.  Fortunately, it seems that the driver surrendered peacefully as we retreated up the hill behind us and to safety down a side street.
We never found out what happened.  I scanned the news in English and Spanish when we got back to Málaga, but while this incident caused our hearts to thump wildly, apparently it wasn't particularly newsworthy in this part of the world.  At least we have our own 'news' story to tell from this trip and it fortunately had a happy ending for us!



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Sidewalk Safari: Málaga - Day Trip to Antequera - From an Inauspicious Beginning to a Police Sting!
Málaga - Day Trip to Antequera - From an Inauspicious Beginning to a Police Sting!
Sidewalk Safari
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