Blue water, blue skies

Trip Start Apr 10, 2012
Trip End Jul 13, 2012

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Flag of Spain  , Valencian Country,
Saturday, May 12, 2012

The countryside is changing. We see more and more olive groves. They are mostly very old trees with thick twisted trunks. Also here are orange orchards. Lots of them. There are almond trees, and lots of fields with artichokes growing from spiny bushes. 
 The mountains in the distance are rocky. The ocean is never far away, which is a nice thought, as today was 30 degrees. We travel from one beautiful or interesting old town to another, and in between we see some very ordinary ones. Even some less than ordinary ones. Lots of factories. Hard to understand why unemployment is high.
On the agenda today is Peniscola. The old part of this town stands on a rocky outcrop 64 metres above the sea. At the very top is an old castle  which has a long history. It was a Templar fortress after being an Arab stronghold and eventually became the residence of Pope Benedicto XIII (who was not actually a pope).

There are some massive and well maintained city walls, and various other historic buildings which make this old town now a popular site for tourists. It is certainly a very attractive village, and the white walls and blue trims of many of the houses, cafes and shops are a perfect foil for the very clear blue of the water views.
An isthmus joins the old town to the much larger new town and beach area.  We had no idea how large the town was until we looked back from the old city walls. The breeze by the water was beautiful, so after a drink by the beach, we drove a few more kilometres to our stop tonight by the beach at Oropesa.
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