Mediterranean Cruise

May 2006
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Wednesday, May 17, 2006, Alicante Spain

The trip to Alicante unfortunately wasn't exactly what I had wanted to do. My original plan was to spend the day at the beach in an area where I could rent something such as a sailboat or a sea-kayak. Everything I had read about Alicante said that the city is known for it's wonderful beaches. Unfortunately the beach excursion was canceled due to lack of interest, so instead I opted for the tour of the Alicante countryside and Guadalest.


We started out with a nice drive to the el lobo candy factory in the town of Jijona where they make turron, a nougat made of almonds, honey, and sugar that's very popular during the holidays in Spain, and the 1880 line of candy. When we arrived they took us into a a meeting room where they showed us a video about their candy and it's production. It reminded me of an episode of Unwrapped on The Food Network and wasn't particularly interesting. We then went through a small museum and into the gift shop where many people in the group bought boxes of candy. (I'm sure the tour operators received some type of incentive for this.)


Following the candy factory we got back on the bus and traveled to Guadalest. Along the way we passed a number of areas with a lot of construction. Everywhere you looked highrises were going up along the coast and houses and townhomes where going up further inland. The road we were traveling on had also been recently built and contained numerous fountains each with a different theme.

Guadalest turned out to be a nice small town with interesting shops and a number of restaurants. We hiked around a little bit exploring the town and then stopped for lunch. Just before leaving a few of us decided to tour the torture museum. The museum was very interesting and had many different kinds of torture devices that have been used through the ages throughout Europe. All of them were quite barbaric including the impaling device (I think the pictures explain enough of it's use) and a device pre-dating the guillotine I like to call the block-knocker (since it's used to knock your block off.) Many devices were used more to ridicule rather than kill their victims. For example there was a barrel where they would place drunks who spoke bad about the king and then the townspeople would dump their refuse and excrement on the person in the barrel.

Following Guadalest we drove back to Alicante where we explored the promenade a bit. After seeing what was available at the promenade (nice shops and restaurants) and seeing the beautiful beach, I think I would have been better off doing Alicante on my own and spending the day at the beach. At least I did get to meet a number of interesting people from the group on the bus.

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