February 5

Day Trip: Alicante

The city of Valencia is the capital of the autonomous state of Valencia, which used to be the Kingdom of Valencia. That means that there is a whole lot more to being in the area than just a single city. There are incredible communities and historic sites all over the place that are worth exploring.

On one beautiful day between Christmas and New Year’s Day, my friend Cristina and I decided to go to Alicante, a city in the Valencian community south of here. The drive itself was part of the fun, and many of the pictures are from the road, so please forgive my poor photographic skills combined with the inability to stop on the interstate to take a proper photo.

As you will see, Alicante had its own fortifications that still overlook this beautiful beach community, and although we didn’t have time to tour the castle, the day was perfect for strolling, enjoying the sights, and appreciating the town. Upon parking the car, we were presented with a huge Spanish galleon that gives tours… and provides food as a restaurant. There is a proper city around Alicante, but on a scale that is much smaller than the city of Valencia. We were able to take a more scenic route through the area, so some of my pictures are from our wandering driving.

As the day waned, we headed to Benidorm, a resort town, that boasts some incredible scenery and a very British resort-esque environment. Some of the building are simply amazing, but Benidorm is actually a small city that swells during tourist season to accommodate many people seeking a summer resort in España.

You will see two bulls on the hills on the way into and out of the area of Alicante. The toro, which is the national symbol of Spain, is an icon that is hard to resist. I am sure we will discuss more about the bull in the Spanish context in the future, but for now, let’s just say that these two silhouettes are huge and thought-provoking… at least for me.

(Note the orange groves below… these were all near the city of Valencia as we drove south to Alicante.)

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Alicante, Benidorm, Toro

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  1. The picture of the orange groves is stunning! And I particularly love the picture of the bull at sunset too! I’m glad you are having so many awesome adventures.

    1. Hi, Jill! Yes, that was an incredible day. Getting out and seeing new things is easy here, because the culture here is very outdoors-oriented. Tours, hikes, walks, and exhibitions are easy to find and usually either free or less than 10euros!

  2. Christopher…following your adventures makes my mouth water! Your trip to Africa sounded wonderful, and I know seeing your daughter was a special treat…and these pictures are outstanding!! All I remember about Spain was a bullfight I attended with my dad. I was 7 or 8 and of course rooted for the bull…I cried buckets at the end. Are. There still bullfights in Spain?

    1. Hi, Sandy, there are still bullfights in Spain, but I am not tuned into when they are held. There is a very prominent Plaza del Toros here in Valencia next to the train station, but I have not been by when there is a fight. Instead, while the bull is the national symbol of the country, a growing movement to prevent bullfights is making the sport (if you want to call it that) more politically charged. I, too, would be rooting for the bull!

  3. Christopher,
    Thanks for sharing such astonishing photos – you have nothing to apologize for regarding their image quality.
    And congratulations on three months in Spain. I am so glad you are happy and well.

    1. Thanks for the input, Maurice. Sometines it frustrates me that I can’t create images that more accurately express what I am seeing due to low light, my inability to use my camera in a more advanced way, or even the camera itself. I can’t complain, though… I am very pleased with 95% of the results!!!

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