Sunday, May 1, 2011

Drivin' on the freeway with a dark cloud above me...

View of the Port from Castello in Aguilas

The Castle/ Fort itself

Another view of the Castle - A little over-restored, I think

View towards the port

Aguilas - a cacophany of roofs and buildings - a great cubist painting!

Villacordas Port
After the parade
Plaza Mayor, Vera in the rain, Easter Sunday morning

Blog – Day trip to Aguilas

We followed our first release from the residency with another day trip in the car. It was Easter Sunday and despite spending hours on Google the night before, trying to find where exactly the processions were and at what time - without success -we hoped to catch an amazing procession at Vera, the site where other residents had seen something spectacular on Good Friday. Well- we should’a been there then. A mass with Confirmations was all that was on offer, a quick stroll around the Plaza mayor and the town didn’t tempt us, so we headed off up the coast.

Spanish seaside towns are not attractive when entered by car, as we discovered. They tend to turn themselves towards the sea, and all the high rise development extends further and further from the playa to the roadside. So, the traveller sees the backs of multi -storeyed buildings with lots of washing and unsightly balconies stuffed with forgotten or broken household remnants, but we learnt to ignore this as a sign of the “ciudad” to come.

We discovered where the rich built their houses, as villas lined the playa a few beaches north of Garrucha, and a wide beachfront allowed the convenient positioning of a few cafeteria restaurants on a quiet plot.

We landed at a beach near Villacardos, intending to stroll the playa, until we heard the strands of a band and decided we may yet catch an Easter procession. We “should’a been there an hour ago”. We caught the aftermath of an obviously successful gig, with band members shedding their uniforms (eye candy!) and horsing around on the street. Women in black lace (still no mantilla!) lunched by the paved corridors lined with red plastic chairs and gay umbrellas, filled with friendly locals. The lunch of seafood Paella and Alahmbra beer (fast becoming a favourite) was the best we had tasted and the view over the fishing port pleasant. We spent a good hour and a half enjoying our Easter Sunday and conversation, before fortuitously deciding to continue the trip north along the coast to Aguilas.

I have noticed that the countryside changes quickly in Andalucia – from flat topped hills with obvious geological striation nearer to Mojacar, to volcanic mounds tumbling on top of themselves, to majestic taller mountains lining the road and providing a wonderful view of the ever pleasant sparkling sea nearer Aguilas.This is a great road for driving, as the hairpin turns of the previous day iron out to allow a constant view of the sea and its occasional islands.

Again, the entry into Agilas wasn’t promising, but we discovered a wonderful town with a thriving “Urbano historica” and the Castle at its pinnacle. (But beware, the lift has NEVER worked, so find the road winding to almost the top, otherwise you are in for stairs and more stairs, as we were (so fit!)). The Castillo was the defence centre for the whole of the area around Murcia, so it provides panoramic views over the whole area.

The drive home was just as spectacular – we were so glad we took the journey!

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