Thursday, May 28, 2015

Alicante Morning, Murcia Night

Wednesday, 27 May, 2015:

The day started in warm Alicante and would finish in warmer Murcia. As usual, food was a big part of the festivities.

Breakfast is THE most important
meal of the day

Just hanging out on the
Explanade de España in the a.m.

Colorful pipes simply because
Alicante wanted colorful pipes

It was still too early for
most people to be out and about

The Casino was closed too

Laurie liked this garden/balcony

A Study in Green

I liked the Art Deco style

While eating breakfast,
Laurie noticed these two banners

A vintage Spanish Civil War air raid shelter. We just have to see this exhibit!

I continue to find the Spanish Civil War, 1936-39, a source of fascination. I had been to a similar air raid shelter in Cartagena at the beginning of my stay in Spain and had enjoyed the experience.

It was time to see what Alicante's air raid shelter exhibit had to offer.

"El Espia Oye"
The Spy is Listening

These 40+ air raid shelters in Alicante were open to the public in this Republican stronghold. The fear was that the person next to you in the shelter during any of the 71 bombings over the four years of the war might be a Nationalist spy.

Thus, no talking was allowed during the raids in the shelters. There were cases where people were executed after an air raid for breaking this hard, fast rule.

Laurie would have lasted two air raids, tops!

Alicante was the last Spanish city to surrender to Franco's Fascist troops in 1939. Tough people in this beach city back in the day.

Bombing raid of Alicante, pictures
taken from Nationalist planes

Republican hat

Outdated machine gun that was
produced 20 years earlier for use in WWI

CNT Republican cap

Republican insignia

Gas warfare was a constant fear

Cross of Santiago on what I am guessing
was a Nationalist belt

The Nationalists dropped bombs
the size of Laurie

Typical of what the Alicante F.D.
had to use to put out the fires

Alicante Mercado Massacre
taken from a child's tombstone

The single most devastating bomb raid by the Fascists on Alicante occurred onMay 25, 1938. This tombstone marked the time the bombs began to fall and this child died.

On that day the Fascists planes did not attack from the sea/East as usual, as they came from their base on the island of Mallorca. Instead they circled in a wide arc and came in undetected over land from the West. They chose to bomb a non-military site, Alicante's beautiful Mercado which Laurie and I have enjoyed on our many visits to Alicante.

In the raid, men, women and children were trapped unawares. To add to the problems that day, when the alarms were finally activated, they did not work. 

During the 71 bombing raids over Alicante over the four years of the war, 481 people died on the ground. Of these 481 deaths, 300 occurred during the Mercado bombing of May 25, 1938.

Mickey Mouse was a Republican?

I never knew that.

Pumping Up the Troops

The drawing of the bombing made
by a child who lived through it

This woman spoke of her experiences
during the bombings on an excellent video

Typical entrance to an air raid shelter

Has it stopped?

We had gone through the interesting exhibit hall and were preparing to leave when the caballero at the entrance asked if we wanted to see the actual shelter.

Of course we did but we needed to get our luggage and check out of our hotel first. No problem, he said, just come back when you are ready to descend.

So, off to the hotel we walked.

Argentine Meat Factory

Lots of these gnarly trees in Alicante

A beautiful fountain in a small park

Nice tile work on the Post Office

We made it back to the exhibit in 30 minutes.


Sturdy shelter door

The First aid Station

"The center is the best part of the shelter"

All of the inscriptions on the shelter's walls were first written there during the war.

So how did you know where the sturdy center part of the shelter was located? 

Simple, there are two posts imbedded
in the walls marking the center

"No Smoking"

"Give up your seats to children and old people"

I am 100% behind this thinking.

1,200 people crammed into
this shelter when need be

"Respect the shelter,
it belongs to all of us"

"Keep quiet during the air raid"

"The Spy is Listening"

A small shelter room, this one
had no toilet facilities

The grim totals from the
Alicante Mercado Massacre

The grimmer totals from all
of Alicante's bombings

Fascinating, simply fascinating . . .

We then hopped aboard the 1:05 p.m. train bound for Murcia and arrived without a hitch.

In the evening, we joined Oscar, Rosa and Alberto for some good Italian food.

On the way over to meet them, we saw things . . .

Not another shoe store!

Laurie gave the store a hard look

She turned to me and said, "I don't need any more shoes."

"And Jesus wept . . ."

The Cathedral Tower
looked good tonight

So did the façade over the side entrance

The front was resplendent tonight

These three statues looked imposing

Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera

It is still prominently displayed next to the Cathedral's side entrance. Hard to believe amongst the rest of the Baroque Cathedral's beauty.

Hard to believe.

Our Italian dinner was good as usual even if the owner had no clue what an antipasto salad was. He thought that it was a salad made for people who were against pasta.

You can't make this stuff up.

Reading Is FUNdamental

WOW, it's a doozy!

This was the fourth Zafón book that I have read. They are all set in Barcelona which we love. Zafón is indeed a great Spanish writer with a definitely Gothic bent!

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