I dedicate this entry to the beautiful city of Alicante, Spain.
I’ve decided to keep this post mainly picture-oriented, since many of the points I made in my last article about Spain mention the overall highlights of Spanish, which also appeared in Alicante. But I found this coastal city so unique, interesting, and overwhelmingly gorgeous, so I think it deserves its own entry.
First of all, every worthwhile attraction in Alicante is within walking distance, which is super convenient. So in one amazing day, I was able to climb two mountains, explore a castle, nap on the beach, meander through adorable local neighborhoods, walk along the pier, visit all the famous churches, and still have time to get ice cream TWICE.
As I said, two mountains reside right in the middle of the city. Directly behind my hostel was a smaller mountain, which I climbed one night just before 9PM and witnessed a peaceful sunset while sitting in the old ruins of Castell de Sant Ferran.
The next day I climbed the much higher Mount Benacantil, and the constant presence of flowery gardens and terraces greatly enhanced the steep hike. After the first stretch of incline, I found myself in the middle of Barrio de Santa Cruz, a tiny neighborhood filled with the most adorably decorated homes I’ve ever seen. Most houses were painted in solid colors but were decked out in multicolored tiles and mosaics and boasted rows of flowerpots and other embellishments.
After finally reaching the top of Mount Benacantil, and exploring the ruins of the old Santa Barbara castle on the way, I was blown away by the panoramic views of distant mountains, tiny, lego-like clusters of buildings below, and the saturated turquoise of the ocean. Pictures will not do this view justice.
I obviously need to mention the Central Market, but I’ll keep it short to spare readers from listening to another tangent about how much I love food. Just like any other Spanish market hall, Alicante’s Mercado Central had cheap prices, wonderfully fresh fruit, and flaky, sweet, home-cooked pastries. This meal was a million times better than anything from a fancy restaurant.
And last but not least, the Mediterranean Sea was the beautiful blue glue that held this short vacation together. Whether I was gazing at its rich color from above, sticking my feet in the chilly water, relaxing on the rocks around the perimeter of the bay, walking alongside the marina, or admiring the reflection of the soft, delicate sunset in the water, I was thrilled to spend so much quality time with the ocean.