Day to day in the sun
Trip Start May 30, 2013
21Trip End Nov 25, 2013
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Today we took the little Suzuki car into Alcala de Xivert, the next village from here , where there is a large Post Office. We wanted to offload some excess weight of clothing , due to the baggage debacle with Air France, we had finished up with too much weight , once our bags turned up again, Fortunately Air France have since compensated us nicely for our inconvenience.
With no English between the 2 Spaniards behind the counter , it took very little time to arrange to send a parcel of our clothes to NZ...having been told by a local, to take our lunch if we wanted to do any business with them.(the Spanish NEVER hurry!!) Very impressed by their helpfullness ...while there, we looked around a VERY old large church with stone above the entry showing year of building 1784
On the way back we did our first major grocery shop for Spain - hopefully enough food including veges, wine ,fruit, meat and fish to last for 3 weeks for total of 80 Euros ...we think very reasonable for the amount of things we purchased.
2 days of swims in the pool, walking the promenade along the beach into town and taking in all the local sights - including meeting several English couples staying nearby,with whom we have had 2 nights out . One a quiz night , then last evening went to a bar showing a film about the history of Peniscola (featured in our last blog). The streets were lined for the first of the evening weekly 'town markets' for the summer and we enjoyed strolling through the hundreds of stalls set up on the road and oceanside, on our way to the evening lecture and film.
We feel inadequate with our language skills - many people here speak several languages fluently - the lady who narrated for the film was Arabic and spoke Italian,Spanish, French was learning German , and gave her speech in her 3rd language of English..
Today (Wednesday) we decided to venture inland by car.........,having been told of several places we should not miss. The roads were all switchback , through mountains and valleys....
first stop was Sant Mateu- a 14th century historic town (again, another impressive church) or you will all be saying... ABC). The local information tells of fields of olive trees, some of which are thousands of years old ...We did purchase a bag of plump cherries in the Plaza, height of the season here with the cherry parade last week,... with the language barrier - and with the grower waving his arms about , we think it meant they were spray free and YUM!!! and explored the old part of town on foot munching the fat red cherries - impressive town walls still intact, and swallows dipping and diving at us as we walked . Garry was lucky enough to have one christen his shirt!!!
Then onto our mission for the day - Castle of Morella.........62km's inland , and a Muslim town from the 11th century. Morella is a historical medieval fortress that dominates the countryside for miles, with a perfectly preserved ring of ancient walls with 16 towers . One of these towers is the main entry into the town - rising from the valley floor and crowned by a tall rocky spur with an impregnable castle atopwww.morella.net for those who wish to view better pics.
Once inside the walls we had a tiring climb. After making our way through the lower narrow streets we entered the castle grounds through what had been the Sant Francescan Monks church- beautiful vaulted ceilings and arcs of great architectural beauty .Again climbing ever skywards , and thinking we were at the top, we realised we still had 98 steps to reach the peak, looking down over the Monastery, bullring, town walls and the remains of an aquaduct , which once supplied the towns water. Views for miles- nobody was going to sneak up and attack this village!!!
Completing our trip on our drive home on the steep switch back roads , we passed through valleys of very old olive trees and huge rocky terrain...passing .the last village (called Ares del Maestre) , we were only able to look back at this amazing village hanging on to the edge of the rocky hillside,as we drove back down through the rocky landscape..... , it was already 6pm and we had been out all day. Home to a very inviting cool swim in the pool at 7pm