Alicante, Spain


Alicante with Castillo de Santa Barbara in the background


old and new buildings with wrought iron balconies - facing the ocean

May 8, 2005 - Sunday Finally got to sleep in a bit. Arrived in Alicante around noon. Alicante is in the province of Valencia and on the Mediterranean coast of Spain - Costa Blanca - so named for all the limestone.

Our tour guide, Jesus (he said "Come to Jesus" whenever he called the group together), was quite bold and we made a dash for the Cathedral which closed at 1 pm. At 1 minute after 1 pm we managed to walk through the doors, sit for 5 minutes, and then left. When we left they were beginning their service with singing - fabulous acoustics.


Cathedral of Saint Nicolas de Bari


gothic revival - built mid 19th C on the site of a prior Cathedral and even earlier mosque

The Cathedral is located in the old quarter of town. They are making a concerted effort at preserving at least the fascade of the historic buildings. We walked through the narrow streets and around buildings with wonderful wrought iron balconies; each with something growing on them.

After touring the city, old and new, we drove to their new museum of archeology. We had a quick walk through the museum. It was quite fascinating with its various wings - prehistoric (the area actually has Neanderthal roots), Iberian, Roman and Medieval (12th C). Then there was a small area with a reproduction of an early sailing ship. Sorry no pictures in the museum and the book was disappointing.


The Castillo looms above the town.


An internal defense tower.

Then off to tour the Castillo de Santa Barbara. In the 16th C, a number of Castillos were build to protect the coastline from invaders (Sir Francis Drake). Will took a walk to the top of the fortification. It was a steep walk with lots of outlook points. Some of it was rebuilt or added onto in the 18th and 19th C.

The Castillo was built on the site of a Roman fort, a little of which remains. Today they use it as a park and mini-ampitheater. -- lots more pictures when we return.


A sentry post watches over the sea approaches.


Buildings along Esplanada de Espana.

Lastly they took us to the Esplanada which fronts the beach. Since it was Sunday, lot of people were on the beach or walking along the Esplanada. Side streets had vendors and it was hard not to stop and shop for antiques on our way to the Esplanada. There were also a lot of people flying large and fantastical kits.

Despite the lack of waterfall, their streets have lush vegetation including this row of palm trees. The Esplanada is bordered with roadway on each side. The walkway is done in a wavy mosaic pattern. At the foot is a large waterfall.




and Will on Esplande de Espana.

They took us to a kiosk which had seating. They gave us a glass of Horchata which is a nut milk made from tiger nuts. It was originally introduced to Spain by the Moors and we found it a lovely refreshing drink.

Then back to the ship for a 5 pm sailing. Since it was Mother's Day, the ship had arranged to had a carnation to each woman as she came back on board.

The after dinner entertainment was a cabaret singer who was pretty good. She had a VOICE and a wide ranging repetoire.

Tomorrow - Barcelona.

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All text and photos copyright Robin Berry and William Ringer 2005.