Moraira

Ack – I’m so behind on the blog this week! I have two posts about our adventures in Seville and Granada in the works, but while I finalize them, I thought I would tell you about a Costa Blanca outing we had a couple of weeks back…

We don’t always have time for big sightseeing activities on top of work, but whenever possible, we try to fit in little adventures throughout the week. Before running away to Seville, we took a drive down the coast to Moraira and Calpe to get some fresh air and see what we might find along the way.

One thing I will say about Spain is that every community works hard to distinguish their personality – even the many neighboring small towns that form a dotted line along the coast. Be it through their historical monuments or modern art displays, each area manages to highlight its unique claim to fame. So, it’s kind of fun to see what the next town will bring.

Most Costa Blanca communities began as small fishing villages hundreds of years ago…some, thousands. Many had some form of Moorish rule over the years. Quite a few were even raided by pirates. These days, it’s typical to subsist on tourism. The marinas in both Moraira and Calpe house many more sailboats than fishing boats – or pirate ships – but there are still a few tip offs to their true beginnings, like the fish packing plant in Calpe where we stood to watch the sunset.

We were greeting in Moraira by GIANT pineapple palms along a lovely waterfront promenade…

pineapple palms

These happy faces awaited as we walked up towards the beach…

faces

As did this memorial. I’m still reading up on Chester B. Himes, but have learned that he was an African American mystery writer who settled in France in the 50s, then lived with his second wife Leslie in Moraira from 1969 to 1984, where he succumbed to Parkinson’s.

Chester

Every Spanish town worth its salt has a Castillo; Moraira is no different. The Castillo de Moraira is an 18th Century fortress that sits on a rocky outcropping. Visiting hours are VERY limited…like, the second full moon of an even month kind of limited, so plan ahead if you want to check out the interior.

Castle

Across from the Castillo is a cross.

Cross

Also common are large tile murals depicting a town’s history or origins. This one seemed a bit odd until I learned that there are farms and vineyards in the hills above Moraira’s beaches.

Tile Mural

There is a large park set back from the beach with a small pond full of ducks, including this quirky guy! We had a nice chat.

Ducks

As the sun began to set over the bay in Moraira, we decided to venture on to Calpe…

Moraira Sunset

…but not without saying goodbye to a few old friends!

faces 2

Calpe is presided over by the Peñón de Ifach, a 332 meter high calcareous rock. (Yeah, I don’t know what that means either. Big? And rocky?) Though one of the smallest nature reserves in Europe, this massive rock attracts nearly 100,000 visitors each year! I can understand why – it was very impressive. And beautiful in the sunset. But remember that fish packing plant? It was behind us in this photo…and super stinky!!

The Rock

Thank goodness there was plenty of beauty to distract us!

Bay Pano.JPG

As the sun made its final descent over the horizon, we realized that we could see the Benidorm skyline.  Another adventure for another day…

Benidorm.JPG

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