After Barcelona, my next Spain stop was Alicante, a small beach town in the south of Spain about four hours away.
It’s always nice to get out of cities once in awhile. I feel like when you’re just in the major cities in each country, you don’t get to really feel the culture.
Our first day in Alicante, we laid on the beach. It was very crowded. There were probably a few thousand people. The water was also dirty compared to the Sea in Croatia and Greece.
The staff at our hostel, X Hostel, were great. The owner was from Miami and gave us some recommendations of what to do and where to go. We headed for the old town area for dinner.
While in Spain, I had to try paella. I had tried it in Barcelona but didn’t really like it so I wanted to give it a second chance. This time was even worse! The chicken paella felt like I was licking a grill. It was awful!
The restaurant staff was distraught that I didn’t like the paella. One man asked in broken English if it was good and I said it was fine. Then another waiter came out and asked if it was bad. Then the first guy came back again and asked if I was sure it was ok and apologized that I didn’t finish it. I’m not from Spain people! I’m sorry paella wasn’t my favorite. The sangria was spot on though!
The next day my friend Mel and I woke up early to climb the Castle of Santa Barbara. We heard it is a tough hike and to do it in the morning before it got hot. I punched it into my Google Maps and we started walking toward it.
As we approached the castle, we could not figure out for the life of us how to get up to the top. We started walking up some pretty steep roads but kept hitting dead ends. Finally, we gave up, found a flat area the furthest to the top we could reach and stopped to enjoy the breakfast we brought.
We later found out that the way to enter the castle is from the beach, not from the back like we did. So unfortunately we never got to the top but the views were still great. There’s also a tram that takes you to the top if you’re not a hiker!
After our hike (if you can call it that), we headed for the beach. We walked down San Francisco Street which had these really funny fake mushroom statues on it. Who wakes up one day and thinks, “Hmm…we should put some really creepy mushroom statues on this street.”
We found a cafe along the beach and sat there for four hours! We had a few coffees and some frozen yogurt before we decided we had over stayed our welcome.
There are a lot of homeless beggars in Alicante. One man grabbed my arm from behind while I was sitting at the cafe and really scared me. Thankfully the waiter shooed him away!
That night we went up to the roof of our hostel to join in some drinking games with fellow hostel dwellers. X Hostel had a really great vibe where everyone went out together. The staff even helped us get discounted drinks at some local bars.
The next morning we were off to Granada! But Alicante was a great, small place to chill out after a few non-stop days in Barcelona.