Monday, 2 November 2015

I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside

I just got back last night from my first weekend away here in Spain.  After class on Thursday afternoon I dashed off to Granada for a chiro appointment and I figured, while I'm on the road, let's go somewhere different for the weekend.  So on Friday morning I hopped on a bus to the nearest coastal city, Almería.

It's been months since I've seen the ocean - in fact, unless you count a morning in Greenwich, I haven't seen the coast since Italy three months ago - and as a sailor it's weird and even a little painful for me not to hear the waves and feel the salty breeze in my hair every so often.  I spent a lot of my time down by the beach or the port just staring out at the water, enjoying the sight and sound of the ocean.  I really have missed it - and watching the ferries arriving and leaving from ports in Africa made me wish I could jump aboard!

I also asked around about any tall ships in the area, but about the best anyone could offer me was a small private yacht, and as I've explained many times, when it comes to computers, ships and hot chocolates, I always say bigger is better!  So Almería at least is off the cards for sailing, but thankfully there's more to Spain than Almería!

On Saturday morning I walked up to the Alcazaba, which I was curious about because there's a ruined Alcazaba in Baza that I stumbled across a few weeks back with no idea what it was.  As I understand it, Alcazaba is an Arabic word for 'castle', and refers to the Moorish fortresses now scattered across southern Spain.  The Alcazaba in Almería is quite extensive and impressive, a proper royal hall with defensive capabilities and large landscaped gardens.

The actual buildings are currently undergoing archaeological restoration and excavation, but the gardens were great.  There's a Moorish fascination with water features that I've seen in all the architecture, often featuring a series of connected pools, and frequently surrounded by greenery.  Of course, the other major draw of the Alcazaba is the view.  As a defensive fortress, it's built on the nearest hill overlooking Almería, so for the price of walking up the hill I could see halfway to Africa!

Travel guide perfect anyone?

My first walk down to the beach

Sunset from the port

The lighthouse at the end of the pier

"Sunset over the beaches..."

Artistically blurry shoreline photo

Could this be California, perhaps?

The Almería Cathedral

Plaza de la Cathedral

Streets in the old town

More streetscapes

Views over Almería

Me in Almería - hi!

Almería again

The Alcazaba gardens

Staircase waterworks

Landscaped gardens

More fountains

Looking down through the Alcazaba

The bell tower

Reflecting pools

The archaeological works

Courtyard of the upper buildings

Eastern Almería - the old town

Looking out from the gun tower!

I'm in a castle!

The other side of the hill

The Alcazaba from the south tower

I love the blue building!

Beachside sunsets

Looking across the water

The old pier

Glowing sun

I really, really love that lighthouse

Am I leaving California??

More pretty buildings

Artistic photos of Spain According to Firefly

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