Alcossebre, Spain

Take my breath away! Roof Top Pool Sunset at Alcossebre Sea Experience.
Full Moon rising over the Mediterranean reflected in the roof top pool.
Hot Chocolate and Churros is a really good way to start the day!
We are ready to explore the coast along the Natural Park Sierra d’Irta.
The Alcossebre Lighthouse was designed in 1990 by architect Rita Lorite Becarra. Here is an interesting link to Spains’ lighthouses.
Great waves make some nice pockets of sandy beaches.
We continued to enjoy the sun and sea with lunch on the coast.
And what a meal. Everything comes with French Fries even the Grilled Salmon.
We learned about pressing olives in Cervera at the Moli de l’Oli. These 4 massive wood beams are from 1600, as is the building. Men operated this corkscrew which lowered the beams like a teeter totter.
At the other end of the beams, ripe olives go into these baskets, stacked, and the beams crush the olives releasing the olive oil. This technique was developed by the Romans.
Then the olive oil is scooped out, left a specific time to settle, before it is hand scooped out again to leave the sediments behind.
We are not yet tired of sunrises from our balcony!
We returned to Tirig  and the Valltorta Museum to refresh our memory on the levantine cave paintings.
A few miles north, we returned to Peniscola as a pleasant day trip.
Wherever there is a Castle, there is a Dragon!
The walls and area around the Castle have a great view!
All the resorts line the long beach of Peniscola behind this barbarian invader.
Walking the maze of streets in the old town with the hanging balconies.
A friendly gull kept us company on our walk.
Enjoying Alcossebre Sea Experience’s roof top pool for another sunset!

Teruel and Surroundings, Spain

The Roman Aqueduct of Peña Cortada near Cheiva. This is an engineering achievement being 28 KM in length over rugged terrain.
We found the Hanging Bridges of Chulilla over the river Turia. These were originally built as shortcuts by workers building a dam upstream but is now a very scenic hike.
This gives a new meaning to your daily commute!
Our balcony is the lower on left overlooking this lovely Fuente Toran park in Teruel.
We walked across this pedestrian bridge with great views of the valley to explore Old Town.
There was an amazing modernist style Grand Staircase to a park in the valley.
A lovely building in San Juan Square of Teruel.
One of the Mudijar towers of Teruel  – this on the Cathedral.
A gorgeous modernist building on the Torino Square. Notice the very small bull on top of the fountain column. The famous Toro of Teruel.
The nearby village of Albarracin was worth a visit.
Albarracin’s buildings are made of a local pink stone which makes it unique.
We walked to the castle on the hill for a great view.
You can see the walls protecting the city of Albarracin.
Nearby is a hike in the Pinares de Rodeno with this view of the landscape.
There are alcoves with Levantine Petroglyphs like this horse, estimated to be 7,000 years old. Wonderful they are preserved for us to enjoy.
Embassament de Arenos – this is a reservoir we enjoyed on our route back to the Mediterranean coast.

Valencia – City of Arts and Science II

Another day trip to Valencia just for the Calatrava architecture and to explore the city of the arts. Pictures from our visit in 2020.
Museu de les Ciences was first as we waited for the weather to warm a bit from the chilly January day.
Loved the architectural model with the reflection of the window in the glass pond.
Out of this world! Birth of Stars in the Rosette Nebula.
In the music section Henry is the Maestro.
Severo Ochoa was one of 3 Nobel Prize winners for Spain.
This is an exhibit showing Severo Ochoa explaining his theories of DNA.
There is a beautiful glass sculpture depicting our DNA. There is also a really good exhibit explaining each of our chromosomes and their characteristics.
Let’s have a chat and a brew with my Neanderthal Ancestors – probably have some of their DNA.
Ruta 99 is a fun play on Route 66. These are picturesque small towns in the Provence of Valencia with populations of 99 or less.
The next building over is the Agora – as we remember that is Greek for the meeting place.
Inside the Agora is a fun futuristic place to hang out. And sometimes you can see a concert or movie.
Typical of Calatrava’s buildings, there are moving parts of the Agora that can open to let in more or less light.

Central Valencia, Spain

Valencia Cathedral – 13th century – has a wonderful facade.
There were Traditional Dancers with castonettes in the adjacent plaza. There was also a parade as well as a marathon race that caused us some detours to get to the parking garage.
The Palace of the Marquis of Dos Aguas that houses the Ceramic Museum is also a treat to see. The alabaster carvings on either side of the entry signify the 2 rivers that meet here in Valencia.
The history of ceramics and this large gazebo with a rotating globe.
We wandered over to the Plaza de Toro and the Estacion del Norte: Train Station.
Now there is some ceramic work to celebrate! The room on the right is completely finished in tile.
We enjoyed the central Plaza Ayuntamiento after walking around.
We headed underground in the Archeology Museum.
This was an amazingly intricate Roman vase found on the site.
This is a crossroads with Via Augustus where Valencia was born in 138 BC.
There was a mural at the end of the Via Augustus to help visualize what it would look like it 138 BC.
The thermal baths are under a ground level with a reflecting pond above that gives a really nice lighting affect.
You can see the fish scale tile floor and all the places you could sit and soak. Sounds like a good idea!

Tous Reservoir & Xativa Castle, Spain

After enjoying another beautiful sunrise from our balcony
We headed to Tous Reservoir in 3CPO: nickname for our brand new leased Citroen C3 Aircross.
The Embassement de Poble Tous displaced the original town.
This is the twisty road we had to get to the water.
The dam itself is quite interesting and has its own beauty.
We followed the Via Augusta to explore Xativa Castle nearby, a stronghold that dates back to the Iberians BC.
This is the high side and “newer” part of the Xativa Castle. More history info.
It has a Moorish Fountain as well as “grafitti” from that period of occupation.
Some of the walls are still standing. Perhaps this is also dating from the roman time.
There is even a fairy tale chapel with a knight riding on a white horse slaying a dragon. To save a princess? He was in the Roman army but became a Christian martyr. St. George’s Day is celebrated on April 23 — the anniversary of his death in 303 AD.
The lower castle is on the other peak. This is where Hannibal plotted his strategy to take Sagunto from the Iberians in 219 BC. 
Did they ride this road with the elephants? These lead to the Tower of the Queen- the highest point for her to keep an eye on things.
This is the Queen Himilce’s Balcony- Hannibal took Himilce as his wife to seal an alliance between the Carthaginians and Iberians.

Cullera, Spain

Our new apartment in Cullera has this tile work in the lobby.
It must have been inspired by the view from our balcony! That peak in the distance is the lighthouse near Javea/Denia and Calpe is just south of it.
This is the view of Cullera from the balcony at sunrise with the mountains.
We saw a school of Dophins swim by chased by a few gulls.
This is the long Cullera Beach with a great promenade. Our apartment is in one of those tall rise buildings at the end of the harbor.
The apartment is actually closer to the Faro de Cullera than the town proper and there is a nice long beach on this side as well.
Reaching for the stars! The Hands – a sculpture honoring those who took shelter in the Dragut pirate cave during the Spanish Civil War.
Cullera rowing club across the Jucar River in downtown area.
Estany Lake just to the south is a mix of fresh spring water with the open salt water sea that harbors unique fish species.
And of course Cullera has a castle on the hill!
We could always return to enjoy the balcony over the Mediterranean Sea.

Heading north along the Mediterranean

Our last sunrise from our Calpe apartment was a wonderful way to start our travel day to the new apartment in Cullera.
We met with the owner Cristina and gave her apartment a 5 star review.
We walked around the Parc Natural Marjal Pego-Oliva to enjoy the scenery.
We passed on having this for lunch but thought it was funny: Nebraska Burger Angus
We stopped for lunch along the beach in Olivia – a few people out but not enough enjoying this beautiful day here.
There are a lot of Rice Paddies in this area
Which attract a good amount of egrets.
We saw this unique heron fishing at the Natural Parc of L’Albufera.

Elche, Spain

Welcoming 2023 with a beautiful sunrise over the Mediterranean.
The Via Augustus roman road led us to Elche.
Elche has a long history so we headed to the Archeology Museum.
A large sculpture of the Dama de Elche is outside.
The real one is in the National Museum in Madrid but this is the replica. Scholars think it was painted in multiple colors which we saw in another section of the museum.
Elche is also a UNESCO world Heritage site for the ancient groves of date palm trees.
The doves and pigeons seem quite content to make this their home.
A few miles south is the Natural Park El Fondo where we walked over the Salt Marshes.
There were several of these red-knobbed coots – a Eurasian water fowl.
Enjoying the Peñón de Ifach as we near our balcony in Calpe for Wine O’clock.