Journal: A Month in Spain

This is the second instalment of my journal about my vacation last summer.

July 21-July 28, 2019

July 22

Today is the first day of my son’s week long sailing camp at the Nautical Club of El Campello. El Campello is about a twenty-five minute drive from my father-in-law’s home in Finestrat. My husband and I spent the morning strolling along the Almadrava beachside, near to the marina where the school is located, and the city center. Along the beachfront promenade, the winds are strong, the waves high and the smell of the salt water is clean and pure.

My real interest was in seeking out a distinctive architectural style or a historical center. I could not find any notable buildings, nor any cute cobbled streets. There are three or four streets in the center with small detached houses that I found interesting, and appeared to be older than most I saw. Unfortunately, they are engulfed by run-of-the mill apartment blocks. A tourist office official later informed me that El Campello has no real old town. The oldest homes date from the early twentieth century, some of which are along the Almadrava beach promenade.

Homes in El Campello, Alicante province
Door in city center of El Campello

Characteristic homes on the Almadrava beachfront, El Campello 

Along the promenade on the stretch of Almadrava beach called the Paseo de la Voramar de les Escultures are three bronze sculptures by artist Vicente Ferrero whose common theme is women: La bañista (the swimmer), Tronco (trunk) and Niña leyendo (girl reading).

Tronco, one of three sculptors by Vicente Ferrero along the Paseo de la Voramar de les Escultures in El Campello, Alicante

The Torre Vigía de la Illeta is located next to the harbour, overlooking the marina. Built between 1554 and 1557, it served as a watchtower to protect the population against Berber pirates. Six meters in diameter at the base and five at the highest point, the entry door is in the middle, so one can only enter with a ladder or a rope. It is a Spanish heritage monument, having received the designation of “Bien de Interés Cultural” (“Cultural Interest Asset”).

Torre Vigía de la Illeta, a sixteenth century defensive tower, El Campello
El Campello, Alicante

We also had time to visit nearby Alicante where we walked around Santa Barbara Castle, a medieval fortress, 166 metres above sea level at the top of the Benacantil Mountain. Built during Muslim domination, in the latter part of the 9th century, it has important Bronze age, Iberian and Roman archaeological remains.

Santa Barbara Castle, Alicante
Grounds of the Santa Barbara Castle, Alicante

July 24, 2019

My husband and I explored Alicante for a few hours while my son attended camp. I have visited the city a few times and I always find that there is not enough time to browse the shops along some of the main streets.

In Zara Home on De Maisonnave, I was struck by the layering of a white linen duvet over a pink linen one, which gave me some ideas about how to layer linen textiles on my own bed. I also find it interesting that there is no fitted sheet but a flat sheet with the ends tucked under the mattress, which I have read is the traditional-and some would argue better-way of dressing a bed, although fitted sheets are now sold widely.

Zara Home, Alicante 

I had time to take a few photos of the striking Provincial Palace of Alicante, (Palacio Provincial de Alicante) which stood out among the unremarkable buildings around it. Designed by the prodigious architect Juan Vidal Ramos, it is in the neoclassical style and was constructed between 1928 and 1931.

Palacio Provincial de Alicante

Alicante port area

The Alicante port is lovely. Unfortunately, some of the nearby building are in disuse.

Alicante port area
Port of Alicante, Spain