Thursday, August 2, 2012

Alicante. Alicante. Ali-ali-cante.

After two hellish weeks at work for Luke, last weekend we packed up and took a train to the South of Spain stopping in the town of Alicante, where we planned to relax, lay on the beach and catch up on sleep. Under those terms, I'd say the trip was a major success!

It took us about 4.5 hours to get to Alicante from Madrid. Although there are higher speed trains that get you there in about 3 hours, they had already filled up by the time we were ready to book. We got in around 9:15 on Friday night, checked into our hotel and then went out for tapas. We had some amazing tapas at a place called Kategori that we just happened upon. A tosta with bacalao, which is a white fish, and a stuffed zuchinni. I'm not exactly sure what it was stuffed with, but it was tasty. After that, we found a spot to watch some of the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics and then called it a pretty early night so that we'd be up and ready to go early in the morning. (Unfortunately, I didn't manage to take even one worthwhile picture this night. Fail.)

Saturday morning we walked right across the street to a huge mercado. Although this guy looked pretty  appetizing


as did a few of his smaller friends,

Luke and I opted for fruit, tomato, cheese, pan and pistachios for our beachy snacks.  After grabbing those few things at the market, we took a train over to a beach called Playa de San Juan. There is a beach right in the heart of Alicante that we could have walked to; however, one of Luke's co-workers recommended that we check out San Juan because it's a little bigger, prettier and less touristy. Once we made our way to the beach, we staked out our spots for the day and got busy with a bunch of reading, swimming, snorkeling, people watching, pistachio shelling and cat napping. It was perfect (except for the part where I ate 2 kg of nuts. :))

When we were certain that we'd more than surpassed our Vitamin D allowance for the day, we sipped on one beachy drink (mojito for her/pina colada for him) and headed back to the town of Alicante.

After changing out of our sandy suits, we went off to explore the old town, hoping to find an antique store or two. Unfortunately, the only one we saw appeared to be closed down and most of the stores were closed anyway (silly siestas!) so we went back to the hotel to shower and get ready for a dinner out. We happened upon a nice terraza in the middle of a small plaza where we shared a bottle of white wine, calamari, grilled veggies and a seafood paella. It was all delicious!

Luckily, we booked an early evening train on Sunday so we had the majority of the day before heading back to Madrid. In the morning, we hiked up to Castillo de Santa Barbara, which is an old castle in the center of old town Alicante, and because it stands up on a small mountain, there are great views of the town and the Mediterranean.  After that, we got in a couple last hours of more sun and beach before hightailing it back to the train station.  

Although we weren't super impressed with the town of Alicante, we loved the beach and got all we needed out of this weekend get-a-way, including the restoration of my tan which was all but gone (minus the prominent sports bra lines on my back) and some much needed rejuvenation for the hubby.

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