Alicante, Spain (2) – Castillo de Santa Barbara

The Castillo de Santa Barbara is located on Mount Benacantil beside the Mediterranean Sea.  The walk through the remains of this huge castle area was quite surreal.  Well maintained to keep that historic feel, we see things that existed back in the Bronze Age.  It was very thought provoking.

 

The slow climb up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ruinas de la Ermita de Santa Barbara

 

 

 

 

 

Inside the main entrance, wall displays different coat of arms that presided

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Palm Fig

 

 

 

 

 

There was a sign that says this was the oven in the kitchen

 

 

Ruinas de la Tahona – the grain mill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A wonderful outdoor resting place where we took a break with a cool drink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Macho del Castillo

 

 

 

 

 

Tunnel to the elevator that would take us to the Beach

 

 

 

Alicante, Spain (1) – From Mount Benacantil

Unlike our past holidays where we would partake in about half dozen days trips, Alicante was the only day-trip we took this time around.  A short two hour train ride south of Valencia, it was no brainer to visit this community.  However, what I thought was going to be a small lazy village along the Mediterranean ended up being a large city full of active life.

The slow climb on Mount Benacantil to Castillo de Santa Barbara awarded us with stunning views of Alicante.  We start by looking northwest and working around clock-wise 360 degrees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The yard of Castell de la Santa Barbara in the immediate foreground and the neighborhood of Cap de l’Horta in the distance

 

 

A solitary boat against a gorgeous turquoise mediterranean

 

 

At first we thought these were surfboards, later to discover they are kites

 

 

Tall residential highrises along the beach

 

 

There are a number of casinos along the marina…fancy boats and gambling

 

 

Behind the tall tower (which is the Estudiotel Hotel) is the train terminal.  That is where we started the visit and that is where we will end the visit.  It was a 14km day for us that included a climb equivalent to 34 floors (at least that’s what my phone says).

 

 

 

 

 

Valencia, Spain (7) – Cruising

We walked about 45 kilometers through the streets of Valencia over a three day period.   We love cruising and exploring the different areas.  Even though the tourist sites has things to offer, we appreciate the residential neighborhoods.  It allows us to be immersed in the local culture and rub shoulders with the citizens of this wonderful city.

(For a larger view, just click on the photo)

 

Valencia, Spain (6) – Ciutat Vella

Ciutat Vella is a neighborhood located in central Valencia.  Most of what is considered Old Town resides in this area.  You will not find as many historical buildings as other major European cities, but there was enough to keep my camera going.

Post Office

 

 

Esglesia de Sant Joan del Mercat

 

 

La Seu de Valencia

 

 

Esglesia de Santa Caterina

 

 

Torres de Quart – 15th-century gothic towers

 

 

Casa “Punt de Ganxo” 1906

 

 

Esglesia de Sant Joan del Mercat (l) and The Central Market (r)

 

 

Valencia Nord – one of the two main train stations

 

 

Bullring of Valencia

 

 

Post Office

 

 

City Hall

 

 

Iglesia de San Agustin

 

 

Torres de Serranos

 

 

Valencia, Spain (5) – Jardines del Turia

Jardines del Turia is the largest urban park (110 hectares) in Spain.  The dried up Turia stream that once passed through the city, was intended to be an urban highway until the protest of the inhabitants changed it to a beautiful park.  Nine kilometres of greenery that stretches Northwest/Southeast with the Bioparc Zoo in the top end to the Aquarium at the bottom end and includes the Ciutat les Arts (see past post).  There are 18 bridges from different periods of time and architecture styles.  I appreciated the unique design of each of the bridges we walked under.

Close to our hotel, we were able to visit the park twice.  Our first introduction to Valencia started at the park (day photos) and our last evening in Valencia (night photos).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even the dead foliage is pretty

 

 

Palau de la Musica de Valencia

 

 

The empty fountain was under maintenance so we didn’t get to experience the waterworks in operation.

 

 

Parc Gulliver is a children’s playground.  The large structure resembles Gulliver stretched out on his back.

 

 

 

 

 

I love the small added details on the bridgework

 

 

Palau de la Musica de Valencia

 

 

The fountain now has water but still not in operation

 

 

Pont de la Mar

 

 

Pont de les Flors

 

 

During the summer, there would be a carnival located in this large empty area

 

 

Pont de l’Exposicio

 

 

 

 

 

Where there is a park, there will be a soccer field

 

 

A large playground area

 

 

Valencia, Spain (4) – La Malvarrosa Beach

La Malvarrosa Beach is the closet beach to central Valencia and is most popular with the locals.  A wonderful promenade is lined with palm trees and has many eateries and bars overlooking the Mediterranean.  The largest beach I have ever seen,  I couldn’t get over how beautiful the sand was…powdery and soft.

Rod’s detailed shoeprint is evident of how fine the sand is

 

 

Being February, the beach is quite deserted.

 

 

A small stretch of resorts is located on the southern end of the beach.  The large white structure is the Hotel Balneario.

 

 

 

 

 

Volleyball club

 

 

A couple displays their physical agility

 

 

A fisherman waiting patiently for his catch

 

 

A great dog run

 

 

Family activities

 

 

Long promenade with palm trees to the left and wonderful restaurants to the right

 

 

 

 

 

Sitting on a bench to the right (beside the bikes) was a busker entertained with lots of tunes from the Beatles 60s roster.  Once in a while some of the restaurant patrons (mostly a men’s volleyball team) would burst into a sing-along if they knew the tune.

 

 

Valencia beach apartments

 

 

 

 

 

Marina Real

 

 

One last look at the beach from the Marina before heading away

 

 

Valencia, Spain (3) – Mercat Central

Mercat Central that was originally an open air market, received its’ cover in 1928.  Over two floors, the 8,000 square metres space is home to wonderful fresh fruit, meats , cheeses, vegetables and souvenirs.  The style of modern Valencian Art Nouveau was  designed by Alejandro Soler March and Francisco Guardia Vial.