Last weekend Mr. A and I had a wonderful time in Spain visiting my Dad and Stepmum (who I will now call D&G to save my little fingers!).
We flew out on Thursday afternoon and as the flight was about 2 and a half hours it gave me a chance to crack on with some knitting 🙂
Spain is an hour ahead of the UK so it was quite late when we landed into Murcia. D&G met us at the airport; they have been living out there for nearly 2 years now but this is the first time we have been able to get over to see them. They live just over 40 miles south of the airport, near Mazarron on the South East coast.
We woke up to warm sunshine on Friday which was most welcome. As D&G are active members of the local community they had a few commitments in the morning so Mr. A and I went for an explore and breakfast al fresco.
As it happens this weekend was also the weekend of the UK Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace (Ally Pally). Although I was unable to go this year we did stumble across this place – not quite the same as the knitting mecca but they did do a good breakfast!
We also found the most amazing shop that sold just about everything you could ever wish for – here I found my perfect wine glass!
There was some amazing stuff in there but I restrained myself and just came out with these cute little jars which I am now using to store beads in.
Time flew by and before we knew it it was early afternoon; time to meet back up with D&G and make our way down to the coast to see the amazing sand sculptures at Bolnuevo.
Formed by wind erosion the sculptures have occurred naturally over millions of years.
It was a pretty spectacular sight!
From here we headed into Peutro de Mazarron for a menu del dia (menu of the day). The menu del dia was introduced by General Franco as a way of providing affordable and nutritious meals for Spanish workers during the week. It continues to this day with many restaurants and bars offering a 3 course lunchtime menu, with a choice of 2 or 3 dishes for each course (including bread and drinks). D&G knew of a lovely place by the harbour – the food really was delicious and the entire bill came to just over €40 for the 4 of us!
Suitably full we took a stroll down by the seafront before heading back to the Villa.
On Friday evening we headed to a local bar for a few drinks, they had a Status Quo tribute duo on. I can’t remember the name of them but they were pretty good!
On Saturday we traveled inland to a pretty hilltop town called Aledo, located near the Espuna Mountains. One of the main features of the town is the remains of an 11th Century tower (Torre del homenaje) which luckily for us was open for viewing.
The part of the fort that still remains (also known as the Keep) is sectioned over 3 floors. The ground floor doubles up as a tourist office and the guide there explained how the Keep was used in the 15th Century. The ground floor was where water was stored, 1st floor was the storage of arms, 2nd floor was grains and wood and the 3rd floor opens up to a viewing platform.
View from the top of the Keep.
I love this picture Mr A took from the top – he used a model village effect on it!
When we came back down the guide told us about another place close by that was worth a visit – the ‘estrecho’ or gorge. It wasn’t very far and D&G had never been so we decided to check it out. On arrival it looked like a picnic area but we saw some steps heading down and it lead to this…
We walked quite a way before coming to a trickier part that involved a bit of climbing, we sent Mr. A on ahead to see if it was do-able in flip flops but the verdict wasn’t clear cut so we decided not to go on.
Some of the rock formations were quite spooky – Mr. A saw a skeleton in this one (right hand side, just above the middle) where as I saw a creepy monster face with an upturned nose. I wouldn’t like to be down there after dark that’s for sure!
When we got back to the clearing D&G headed back up to the top but Mr A and I decided to venture round the corner to see what was on the other side. There was a well established path that followed the side of the mountain which we followed for a while, before coming to an aqueduct across the gorge. Mr. A was a lot braver than me and walked out a little way on the narrow ledge, before I panicked and called him back!
Opposite the aqueduct was an abandoned house. I have a bit of a fascination with abandoned buildings so although it was a bit of a steep climb I just had to go and check it out…
What you can’t see very clearly is that above the door there is a number ’16’?!
As always with these places I like to imagine the kind of person that would have lived here. It looked like the house had been abandoned for many, many years and it must have been a pretty remote existence.
We made our way back to the top and found a place for lunch. There was no menu del dia today as it was a Saturday, so instead we had a selection of traditional Spanish tapas.
After lunch D&G took us to the Espuna National park where we drove up the side of the mountain taking in some exceptional views.
It was a lovely day of walking and sightseeing.
On Saturday evening we went for a curry at the local Indian restaurant and then to the Club House to watch a live band. We flopped into bed exhausted that night!
Our flight home was on Sunday afternoon so we just had a lazy morning at the Villa, soaking up the last rays of the sun and going for a lovely Sunday carvery at the Club House. D&G dropped us back off at the airport in plenty of time for us to catch our flight back home…the whole weekend went so quickly, I wish we had been able to stay an extra day or 2!