Even twenty-four hours of nonstop travel couldn’t deter my excitement to experience my first European city. As soon as I landed in Alicante I felt rejuvenated. Not only was I in my first foreign country, but I was finally reunited with my love after his month long study abroad program! We then spent four days of perfection together in the lovely Costa Blanca.
LODGING: We stayed at AC Hotel Alicante by Marriott. The accommodations were fresh and modern, the perfect cure for my jet lag. There was a rooftop pool with a panoramic view of Alicante.
TRANSPORTATION: We were able to get around the city by foot or bus with no problem.
FOOD: Being a city along the Mediterranean Coast, Alicante’s specialty is seafood. I dislike seafood, but fortunately I was able to eat lots of paella which has its roots in this region. I really enjoyed going to the open markets and buying fruit. The oranges were fresh from Valencia, which is a short distance away. Tyler also introduced me to horchata, a delicious drink made of ground almonds.
HIGHLIGHTS: The highlight of Spain was experiencing the Spanish culture itself. I loved being able to see the Moorish influence in the older parts of Alicante. We walked through these areas on our way to the Castillo de Santa Bárbara. This castle is perched atop the “face in the mountain” and dates back to the 10th century. The climb to the top of this castle was worth it for the amazing views of the city, mountains, and coast. We visited a few beaches along the coast. It was fun to experience a Mediterranean beach lined with mountains rather than the Florida coastlines I am accustomed to visiting. We also loved walking down la rambla and checking out all of the handmade goods. For our last dinner in Alicante, we ate in the top of Tryp Gran Sol where we were able to see the entire city at night.
REGRETS: We had hoped to visit either Ibiza or Isla de Tabarca, but we simply ran out of time.
My first trip to Spain left me wanting more. This country has so many diverse regions to explore; I’m particularly interested in visiting Andalucía some time in the near future. One day, Tyler and I would love to be able to call this beautiful country home.