Alicante

 

Plaza de toros. Alicante

Plaza de toros. Alicante

Alicante in Spain is the second largest city of the province of Valencia.  Situated on the Mediterranean coast, it has a mild climate and long sandy beaches which attract millions of visitors and summer vacationers each year.

We arrived in Alicante by automobile via autopista A-7/N-332 from Barcelona.  Were very worried about not finding our hotel, Hesperia Alicante, which is on the north-east section of the metropolitan area, but we had no other directions on how to get  to the hotel.

By extraordinary luck, we got off the autopista and the local road we decided on, which took you to the beaches, happened to be the correct road!  We came across a large boulevard, and decided to make a right turn onto it looking for a service station to ask for directions, and right there to our right is the Hesperia Alicante in all its magnificent glory.

This hotel is a four-star golf resort.  There is a small man-made pond close to the main building, and there are hundreds of birds of all types around it.  We were surprised to see peacocks right on the balcony of our room.

The fort of Castillo de Santa Barbara, in the middle of the old town is very impressive and worth an afternoon of sightseeing.  This is a rambling medieval fortress with extensive and well -kept gardens around it toward the city side of the promontory on which it stands.  This promontory is quite impressive.    To reach the Castillo from the seaward side, you enter the base of the promontory through a tunnel cut right into the hill.  Then there is an elevator in the heart of the hill, which takes you up about 200 meters to the Castillo de Santa Barbara.  Castillo de Santa Barbara is actually built on the site of Carthaginian and Roman fortifications dating back to around 400 B.C.  Which were later expanded by the Arabs.

The seaward sides of this promontory are almost vertical!  From the top of the Castillo de Santa Barbara you get a breath-taking view of the modern sprawling city including the plaza de toros and the nearby Castillo de San Fernando.  Castillo de Santa Barbara was named thus because the Muslims surrendered the fortress to Alfonso of Castille, later Alfonso X, on December 4, 1248.  This day is celebrated in the Catholic faith as the feast day of the virgin of Santa Barbara.

In the town you find nice open boulevards and the seafront esplanade is especially appealing to anyone interested in “people watching”.  There are many sidewalk cafes, and a wide tree-lined avenue running along the waterfront where locals and visitors alike can take leisurely strolls and watch the life of the city.

 

Alicante, Spain.

Alicante, Spain.

Right in front of the city port you find Paseo Conde de Vallellano.  This wide boulevard contains within it a long strip park with gorgeous majestic trees and lots of beautifully landscaped areas in which to feast your senses.  Continuing along the Paseo Conde de Vallellano, towards the east, you come across the Playa del Postiguet.

This is a large sandy beach area, frequented by both locals and tourists.  Any coming from the Caribbean area will not be much impressed by the Mediterranean beaches, but at least they are expansive and well maintained.