Wednesday, July 6, 2016
After a long drive in Morfor's new Ford, we had reached the mountains, humongous slabs of bare rock jutting into the clear blue sky, with only sparse brush covering the top halves. Villages crept up the mountains as far as the trees did, as we wended our way through an ever rising road. We'd often spot single homes far up the rock, and Morfor's would wonder how they got water up there. We spotted a structure far up a mountain, it was the entrance to the caves! The caves were flanked by the inevitable cafe and gift store. The gift store, however, was filled with minerals, far below the cost in Portsmouth, so Max picked a few choice pieces. Prices in general were cheaper than prices in the states. While we waited for the tour to begin, I tried to remember our trip here nine years ago, but surprise surprise, the details were a bit foggy. Finally we were off! After a long, man made tunnel, we stepped into the immense cavern and a sense of awe washed over us. No one spoke for a god minute. I chose not to speak at all, and try to take it all in. The beauty within was greater than any human could ever produce. Sweeping expanses of stone here, tiny bubbles of rock in this corner, a group of stalactites surrounding the hole where the bats roost, monstrous stalagmites, looking like melted rocks heaped on top of each other, but the coup de gras to me was a giant stalagmite by the side of the cave. This structure was reminiscent of early Yes album covers. Bulbous pools of rock spilled over in hundreds of tiny rock rivers to the pool below, and spilled yet again, over and over. A huge dome of rock sprouting out the side formed a helmet-like structure with many small rivers flowing down its face. All this was on the ground floor! As we walked deeper, we discovered more and more features. Up above was the natural cave entrance, the rusty gate barring it covered with graffiti. When it was time to go we climbed into the Ford and struck forth to new adventures. Maybe this blog will help me remember better this time.
Thursday, June 30, 2016
From Morfor's living room, on a clear day, you can see a large "mountain" seemingly jutting right out of the sea. Unbeknownst to me, one of our trips led us right to the base of it. The landscape of the area around us is arid. Sure, in the various "urbanizations," due to frequent watering, there is lush foliage. Elsewhere there are tufts of pointy grasses clinging to barren hills, very large hills! There are very large hills everywhere, most of them tiered for agriculture, others tiered, but crumbling and abandoned, and still others, usually the largest, pointing straight up in the sky, covered with chain link fencing, so that boulders won't tumble down onto the roads. The roads snake and rise and fall by the coast, leading to stunning views of the Mediteranean at one turn, and picturesque villages clinging to the hillside on the next. After several kilometers, we see the giant rock looming in front of us. "Calpe," as all the tourists call it, however it's real name is Peñon de I'fach, the massive cliff faces the town below it. We stopped in a shop for coffee right at it's base, and saw that it was connected to the land. I would call it bare, white, rock, other than the obligatory spiky grass clumps cling to the side, seemingly defying gravity. It's immensity dwarfs the buildings below us. You can actually climb to the top?! It is closed however for repair. Anna, who has done the climb mentions a dank tunnel, as well as a very narrow cliff walk, sans guardrail, with an 80 meter fall for the unlucky. We were happy to gaze at it's immensity for an hour or so, before heading out on our next adventure.
Morfar loves excursions and he had found us this amazing beach nestled below some steep cliffs. The road to get there was windy with stunning views of the Mediterranean. Not for faint hearted to drive there. once we got there we were well rewarded with a stunning beach, coves and pebbled beach!
The moors ruled the Spanish peninsula for more than 700 years. They where good rulers, tolerant ones and they allowed all religions to flourish underneath them. Eventually the Catholic Church rallied enough troops together to get the moors overturned and run out of the country. This event is celebrated all over Spain in a festival calls Moors vs Christians. The festival includes let's of parades, all the different armies and moorish tribes marches in the parades. It is usually includes re enactments of the great battles and lots of fireworks of course. We got lucky that the small city of Rojales celebrated their moors vs Christian festival while we where here, Rojales is a small City with a population of 18000 people of them 9000 comes from Britain. That does not stop the city from going all out in their festival celebrating. All the Spanish ladies gets all decked out in their nicest dresses. The kids hairs gets water combed in place. The Spanish even has a word for us "ill dressed" foreigners. The call us " blab bla bla" We went to Rojales twice, first for the Flwer parade, then back for the solemn parade in honor of San Pedro .
Monday, June 27, 2016
We made it to the market for the obligatory Churros feast!
Yum, just like fried dough with sugar sprinkled in top of it!
No visit is complete with out the purchase of some knock off sunglasses! It's amazing how cheap things are here, Beat headphones for €10, The price dropped quickly to €8 then name your price as I was walking away!
Lots of smelly dried fish.
Saturday, June 25, 2016
Knowledge of the Spanish language was not necessary to understand that the "Guardia Civil" (the police officer) stationed by the security check in Madrid wanted to know who the wallet belonged to. He looked sternly at Gene who shook his head and pointed to Max. A look of surprise swept over the police officers face as he motioned to Max to follow him to the backroom for a security check. Sure enough, tucked in to the wallet was Max's pride and joy, the very thin "Credit Card" knife he had purchased the previous summer at scout camp. The knife made it through Boston Security check un noticed but it did not pass the stern eyes of Spanish security personnel. The knife was confiscated and Max was allowed to join us to continue our travel to Alicante. Other than this little snafu, the plane ride went incredibly smooth. Iberia offered a myriad of movies to choose from as well as computer games, music and more. A six hour plane ride from Boston to Madrid, with a one and a half hour of layover in Madrid until we boarded the 1 hour long plane ride to Alicante. It doesn't get much easier than that. The food was yummy and everyone felt it was one of the easier trip we had taken.
Bye bye Boston,,
Selfie of the boys in the plane!'
Night Time in an airplane..
A fast game of fussball at Madrid Airport
I love the architecture at Madrid Airport, the ceiling is shaped like a wave and if you look closely on the support pillars they are in the shades of the rainbow!'
Morfar met us in Alicante!