My short break in Alicante [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Alicante Shopping

stores, such as Zara and Wallis/ Mango, and I browsed around, finding casual shirts and pairs of smart trousers. I also came across an impressive fashion store named Stradivarius, which sells everything from stylish boots which look similar to ones of designer brands, and clothing at reasonable prices. Buying myself a casual purple dress, I left Stradivarius with a spring in my step, ready for some more shopping. I had heard people talking of the large shopping centre in the heart of Alicante, but it took me a while to find Gran Via, which houses department stores and famous high street shops. I caught a bus to the Plaza Mar 2 shopping complex, which has an array of shops, including H&M and again Zara. Buying a pair of black heels from the former, I decided that I had done enough shopping for that day and besides, I had plenty more to see in Alicante yet.

Santa Barbera Castle

Turning towards the Benacantil Mountain, I gazed up at the 10th century castle, which cannot be missed as it overlooks the entire city. I decided to make my way up the mountain to see just what the castle held and what was on the other side of its 10th century walls. I decided to take the elevator entrance seeing as I had left my car on the opposite side of the city. At once I decided that this was entirely the wrong decision: a long, dark tunnel led straight down to the elevator and it felt almost as if I was in a film, such as ‘Back to the Future’ or ‘Labyrinth’. When I found myself enclosed in pitch black, I began to wonder whether I would ever reach the elevator or would forever be walking in eternal darkness. In fact, had anyone ever been seen coming out of this tunnel? Apart from some Spanish tourists behind me, the tunnel was empty. Thankfully we eventually reached the elevator, a shining light at the end of the darkness, and I almost believed that I had died and gone to heaven.

The castle itself was splendid, with a palace room, original cannons, dungeons, a moat and the ruins of a small church; but the views of the city from the castle walls were spectacular. Overlooking Alicante and parts of the Alicante-Elche region, including the sea and over towards nearby El Altet, it seemed as though I was viewing the whole of Spain just from the peak of this hill.  I watched as a poor bird with a broken wing had taken a fatal fall from one of the walls, and found him lying on the ground at the bottom around forty five minutes later. Not wanting to go the same way, I didn’t venture too close to the edge, as the drop to the bottom was too much for my fear of heights, but I was still able to take in the breathtaking, panoramic views.

Alicante Old Town

Taking a tour through the back streets of Alicante, I found it was quite different from the front, mainly because of its small apartment blocks with Juliet balconies and huge air conditioning boxes attached to the fronts of the buildings. It was almost as if it were an entirely different city altogether. I walked on, finding little restaurants selling traditional Spanish food such as paella and tapas. Reading the menu, I was left amused by the way the ...


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