Spain, January / February 2017 - 2. South-East - L'Albir/Altea, Cartagena and Granada.

L'Albir/ Altea

These two holiday towns are just around the corner from Benidorm but are very different in character as they don't have the British pubs and clubs that abound in Benidorm. We spent a week here and, apart from the last day, had great weather so were able to get out and do lots of cycling.

We visited the L'Albir lighthouse which has a cycle/walking track all the way from the town. We had great views across the bay toward Calpe.

Below the track we could see the remains of ochre mines so on another day we walked down to have a look at them.

Ochre mines entrance.

The remains of buildings where miners lived.

Altea adjoins L'Albir and has an old town at the top of a hill with lots of narrow street and steps - not for the faint-hearted!

 

After 21/2 weeks of sunshine the weather changed and for the rest of our trip we had quite a bit of rain, wind and even some snow - almost unheard of in the South of Spain - but we managed to visit more places on the sunny days.

Cartagena

This town has one of the best, most protected harbours in the Western Mediterranean, has always been an important port in Spain and has been in existence since Roman Times.

During the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) it was a stronghold of the Republican Government and was the last city to surrender to Franco. The siege tunnels that were built during that period are now a museum. We visited them and learned a bit about the Civil War.

Kevin making friends with a cat on the church steps.

The Roman Amphitheatre.

Part of the Roman Forum District which has been excavated.

Bateria de Castillitos

I'd read about these Batteries which are not far from Cartagena so we took the opportunity of a sunny day to visit them. After travelling for some time along a single track road with just a few passing places and great views across the bay towards Cartagena we arrived at the car park and then spent about 4 hours exploring the Batteries - free entry. They were constructed between 1926 and 1933, part of the defence network around Cartagena.

This is the view of the Batteries from the car park, there are more buildings further away as well.

 

Don't know why they decided on a 'Disney Castle ' theme for the buildings!

One of a pair of huge guns.

One of 3 smaller guns. There are a couple of shell hoists to the right.

The bottom of the shell hoists, underneath the gun emplacements.

We took the opportunity of a few fine days to do some cycling around Isla-La-Planta, to the SW of Cartagena.

Following a track up into the hills.

There were cycle tracks by the coast.

 

Granada

As soon as we decided to go to Spain visiting The Alhambra in Granada was a must and we were lucky enough to be able to get tickets only the day before we visited, thanks to the receptionists at the campsite we stayed. It's expensive (14 Euros for adults) but well worth it. We spent nearly 5 hours there and could happily have stayed longer but you're only allowed to visit for half a day. Visiting the Gereralife gardens is also included in the admission.

The Alhambra is a fortification and palace on a hilltop in Granada. The Roman ruins were rebuilt in the mid 13th century by the Moors and later altered by the Spanish Royal family. The Islamic architecture is amazing.

The view of the Alhambra from the Gereralife Gardens.

The Alcazaba fortress is the oldest part of the Alhambra and has several towers which overlook the town.

The Nasrid Palaces are the highlight of the Alhambra complex. They consist of rooms and courtyards with intricate carvings and plasterwork.

 

1. East Coast: Ebre Delta, Sagunto, the Albufera Natural Park and Valencia

2. SE Spain: L'Albir,/Altea, Cartagena and Granada

3. Gibraltar to Santander via Seville and Cacares.

 

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The terraced gardens outside the Nasrid Palaces which were created in the early 20th century.