Almeria, Spain

DSC03879 -82 C2 La Alcazaba Stitch

Almeria is on the south coast of Spain in the region of Andalucía.  The Alcazaba is a fabulous castle on a hill above the city.  It is the largest fortress built by the Moors in Spain.  

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DSC03895 C  DSC03896 C La Alcazaba

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We headed up to the castle before the temperature heated up.  It’s a climb but worth every step.  The first fort was built in 995 and was added on to and adapted over the years. Today the Alcazaba consists of two Islamic enclosures and a Christian castle.  This has been an archaeological site for many years.  The first systematic recording of the structures was done in 1953.  

In Islamic times there were streets and houses where these gardens are now.  A complex water supply network of wells with waterwheels, cisterns and channels has been excavated and preserved.

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An earthquake in 1487 caused a lot of damage and soon after, in 1489, Almeria fell to the Christians.  By the16th century better defenses were needed and a new castle was built over the Islamic palace.  Excavations continue and some areas were roped off.

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DSC03952 -3 C La Alcazaba Stitch

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We spent quite a lot of time wandering around the Alcazaba but we still had time to do some wondering through town. 

The Cathedral was originally a mosque.  It was destroyed in an earthquake in 1522 and rebuilt in 1524.

DSC03886 C the Cathedral

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DSC03980 C  DSC03981 C Las Tiendas pedetrian street

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DSC03986 C Santiago church  DSC03987 C Puerta Purchena

DSC03990 C  DSC03995 C Puerta del Mar

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DSC03973 C  We were not quite as impressed with the city of Almeria compared to Alicante, but we would rank the Alcazaba near the top of all the castles we’ve visited.

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Alicante, Spain

DSC03865 -68 C Stitch (2)

Alicante is on the south east coast of Spain. 

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The port is conveniently right in the middle of town and the city has great beaches running along it’s shores.

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The Castle of Santa Barbara sits above the city on Mount Benacantil.   We took a Hop on-Hop off bus up to the top.

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Great views!

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We spotted the bull ring.

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This castle is pretty barren except for the soldiers posted around the ramparts to defend against invaders.

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Here is a wall of pot shards found in excavations.

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We hopped off the bus downtown to see the Mercado Central.

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Then we stopped for lunch where we had a nice view of the Plaza de Luceros.

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Fried calamari, croquettes and potatas bravas.  This potatas bravas was home made potato chips with a tomato type sauce.  Different regions have there own styles.  My favorite was near Barcelona – fried cubed potatoes with more of an aioli sauce. 

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More pics of Plaza de Luceros.

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We walked past the Ayuntamiento (town hall).

DSC03859 C1 Town Hall  DSC03841 C

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Inside there is a plaque showing how far from sea level different cities in Spain are.  Alicante, of course, is near “0”.

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The Basilica of Santa Maria was built between 1721 and 1728.

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We wrapped up our visit with a stroll along the lovely Paseo Explanada de Espana.  It is paved with 6.5 million marble tiles.

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DSC03835 C La Explanada de Espana  DSC03836 C

This beautiful day called for gelato!

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