Thursday, April 2, 2015

Spring Break in Alicante, Day I


Tuesday, 31 March, 2015:

Lots of fun the last few days and we've been off line and pretty much out of communication with the outside world as I left my computer at La Hacienda on purpose and my iPhone  as well by accident.

 Easter Week

That could only mean one thing, Spring Break at a beach city!

 Aboard the train to Alicante

At the end of January I ventured to Alicante by myself on one of my Travel Thursdays and really enjoyed this city and it's beaches by the Mediterranean Sea. I promised Laurie that when she came to Spain and the weather was a bit warmer, we would visit Alicante for a few days.

Well it has been hot in the South of Spain for a few days and it is Easter Week, so it was time.

Also, with all of the pageantry of Semana Santa in Spain and the fact that there are no Serie B games scheduled because of the upcoming Easter weekend, I had decided to give the Senior Cobras the week off the recharge ourselves both physically and mentally before facing the 6-0 Reus Imperials on April 12th.

The round trip train tickets for the 50 mile journey for the two of us cost a mere 13.80 Euros. When you consider that gasoline currently costs about 5.00 Euros/gallon and that we would have had to rent a car, the train was a fantastic option.

From the Alicante Train Station, we strolled along the Avenida Alfonso X el Sabio to our well located new abode, the La Milagrosa Bed and Breakfast.

There were lots of good things to see along this grand boulevard in Alicante.

Unguents for sale that cure EVERYTHING!

Alicante's Mercado Central

FIVE Centuries old

If you are a long suffering fan of this blog, you know that, as a fat guy, I'm a sucker for any and all of these fabulous European marketplaces.

They have Fruits,

 Baked Goods,

Meat,

Seafood,

Semana Santa Penitent Suckers,

 Semana Santa Penitent Cookies,

 and Marinated Peppers

Of course, they also have some off-beat delicacies too.

Goat Head,

All it needs is those cartoon Xs over each eye to be perfect.

 Pig Hooves,

and Pig Snouts

It all worked for me and we even bought a few goodies to consume later by the Med.

We continued our walk . . .

Our son Michael qualifies

 Hey, we beat the Zaragoza Hornets
just last Sunday

The Reus Imperials in a week are a whole different set of problems for us though.

 Sensible shoes on cobbled streets

The Holy Family is BIG in Alicante

Since 1492? That's a LONG time ago!
LOVE IT!!!

Is that a church over there?

No, it is the Concatedral de San Nicolas!

The two Pasos on the left were being
prepped for tonight's Procesión

 This will be a part of the Procesión

As will these and . . .

this too

Shadow in the Concatedral's Courtyard

Riches in the Concatedral's Museo

 LOTS of treasures

 The Devil with St. Michael the Archangel
applying pressure on his back

After leaving the Concatedral, we continued towards our B&B but we still had a few important stops to make.

The THIRD best ice cream store in Spain

This title was bestowed because of a national ice cream contest a few years ago. Numbers one and two are both in Barcelona, so this one is the best ice creamery in Alicante.

We loved it and now must book a trip to Barcelona to contrast and compare!

We do play the Búfals in Barcelona on April 19th in our regular season finale so the opportunity is there.
  
 That's the Med just two blocks away

 A Dalí in the Ayuntamiento
(City Hall)

Laurie's outfit matches these
ancient doors

 Getting closer

Very close

This is our B&B's street

It used to be the Main Street of
Medieval Alicante

Just across from La Milagrosa B&B

Our new home for two nights

La Milagrosa was clean, neat, 35 Euros a night (THANK YOU Venere.com) and only two blocks from the Mediterranean Sea!

 Our B&B was just 20 meters from the
Basilica de Santa Maria and . . .

. . . across the way from Alicante's
Contemporary Art Museun, the MACA

All of these things were of interest to be sure, but our primary reason for visiting Alicante was just a five minute walk from our B&B.

The Playa del Postiguet

 The view from our spot on the playa

 Mega-grape from El Mercado Central

 Sangria from a beach vendor

Wondrous sights everywhere

After three hours of Sun and sea, we opted to not overdue it and go exploring some more.
  
Beach side sculpture

A must walk Paseo near the water

See what I mean

Overlooking the Med and the Paseo

Alcohol masked as a Nazarene

DANGER!!!

Ancient writings on the
Concatedral de San Nicolas

Witches?

Well, indeed!

 All of Alicante was spruced up

I just liked their sign

That is NOT Vanessa's Dad

Wait do they have
Procesións here too? 

 Why, YES, they do!

They are walking towards the
Basilica de Santa Maria

Although this Procesión would assemble at the Basiolica right next to our B&B, it would not start until 7:30 p.m. and I was concerned about the light at that time for taking photos.

 Formal White meets Casual Black

So, instead we opted to trek across town to another Procesión that was scheduled to kickoff at 6:45 p.m. instead.

 But first we had to stop here for
Laurie to check out their wares

She had already bought three more fans earlier in the day, how many more does she need?

Fortunately for me, I don't think that she aided the sagging Spanish economy in this tienda.

The Muy Ilustre Penitencial y Franciscana Confradía del Santisimo Ecce-homo y Nuestra Señora de la Amargura Procesión

We can't help ourselves, these Procesións are fascinating, riveting and a tad addictive. Thus we were off to the Iglesia de San Antonio de Padua to watch Alicante's version of the Semana Santa culture.

Worker Bees

 Love the Hats

Come blow your horn!

Si, of course I lift

 The kid on the right worries me
in his attempt to imitate the Nazarenes

Red Nazarenes this time

Youngsters in training

Nice Lamp

More of the Kiddie Corps

A proper Doña

 A mysterious Doña

A marvelous comb and lace mantilla

Handing out the caramelos

Lots of religious significance

Nazarene toddler

 That's my Dad!

Here comes the first Paso

video
Go slow and easy

Lots of feet INSIDE the Paso

It has got to be HOT inside there as they carry the Paso on its route.

video
Little steps, LOTS of little steps 

Incense is a good touch

video
Here comes the Paso
of the Virgen Maria

She was magnificent!

This one's for you David Lassen

Our favorite Tapas Bar
in the South of Spain

 It's cozy inside

Yum!

The Hermandad de Nuestro
Padre Jesús Procesión

This one started at 9:00 p.m. from the Concatedral de San Nicolas and featured the two Pasos that we had seen earlier in the day. It was also the fourth and final Procesión scheduled for the evening.

 A band, you HAVE to have a band

 Purple with a gold cord

Exquisite lamp

Not losing his child
in the crowd tonight!

Kids and Candles

Paso of
Christ Carrying the Cross

video
Heavy, VERY heavy

Jesus up close

video
The Jesus Paso is amazing 

video
Paso of the Virgen Maria

Glorious Paso with women
doing the work

What a GREAT first day in Alicante!!!

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