2017-08-15 Santa Pola, Spain

Early morning in Marina Miramar in Santa Pola
As we were going to be in the marina for another couple of days we decide we would take the opportunity to visit the city of Alicante which is situated on the coast, north of Santa Pola
Catching a bus to Alicante was an inexpensive and comfortable option of visiting the Alicante for the day
Houses and rice paddies snapped through the bus window on our way to Alicante
There are long stretches of sandy white beaches along the Costa Blanca which is extremely busy at this time of year
We arrive at the bus depot in Alicante, after a trip that took almost an hour due to slow traffic
Leaving the bus terminal on foot we head in the direction of the main port
Arriving at the large port area of the city which has an urban population of around 330,000 people, we see a long waterside promenade and a castle on the hill
The Alicante port has several marinas that cater for motor boats and yachts of all sizes

Adjacent to the port, the very long promenade continues all the way to the beach which almost is in the main centre of the city
The city which has a rich history has been inhabited for the astounding time of 7000 years
Alicante today depends mainly on the tourism industry and has over the recent years seen much new development of  hotels, restaurants and port facilities catering for the many cruise ships visiting every year
As we strolled along the promenade by the port, Ric admired a Fleming motor cruiser berthed in the local marina
An interesting sculpture in the water at the port
Near the main city beach area another quite modern metal sculpture stands out above the crowds
Beach side restaurants are numerous here with outstanding views of the sea
Most cities and towns along the Spanish coast have lovely sandy white beaches virtually in their city centres
We enter the old city beside the Alicante City Hall
Charming street side restaurants are full of visitors to the city

Concatedral de Alicante a San Nicolás de Bari, the main church of Alicante
Lovely open air restaurants can be found in many small plazas of Alicante, such as this one beside the church

The Casanova Restaurant!!
One of the main attractions to Alicante is the hilltop Santa Barbara Castle which stands high above the city on Mount Benacantil at 166 m
As we were unaware there was a lift built into the mountain to take visitors to the castle, we took a taxi (with a very talkative driver who had no English), as it was far too hot to walk to the top!!
The Santa Barbara Castle dates back to the 9th Century
There are magnificent views over the water from the castle
The view over the city was quite impressive too!!
In the other directions is the large port of Alicante

An old wishing well??
Even the visiting Nuns to the castle enjoyed taking selfies!!
The city’s bullfight ring can clearly be seen from the castle
The remains of another castle in the city of Alicante
Once we head back down from the castle we pass the bull fighting ring

We then decide to go and visit the other castle in Alicante, the Castle of San Fernando
The view across to the Castle of Santa Barbara from the Castle of San Fernado is well worth the trip getting there

Unfortunately the Castle of San Fernando has become rundown and has not been made tourist friendly. Rubbish and grafitti can be seen in areas and naturally the radio towers are not the most attractive however the view from the castle is excellent.

The promenade Explanada de España, lined by palm trees, is paved with 6.5 million marble floor tiles creating a wavy form and is one of the most lovely promenades in Spain. The Promenade extends from the Port of Alicante to the Gran Vía and ends at the famous statue of Mark Hersch.
Hotel Amerigo, the luxury 5 star hotel in the heart of Alicante
To quench our thirst after a lot of sightseeing, we stop at one of the cafe bars on the promenade and have a cocktail
It was time to head back to the bus depot in time for a bus to return us to Santa Pola

Should we ever come to the Alicante port in the future we certainly will try the Monastrell Restaurant

Back on the bus we pass many housing developments near Alacante
Along the coast there are wall to wall hotels and apartment buildings

Arriving back in Santa Pola there were many people strolling around the promenades and market areas
After a long day visiting Alicante, we cooked and thoroughly enjoyed our seafood pasta dish with a nice bottle of Spanish red wine

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