Posts byJuan

Home Turf March 2024

Los cerros de Úbeda: a wander through Spain´s golden age Our parents’ golden wedding anniversary offered the opportunity to take the entire family on an adventure into one of the most beautiful yet lesser known southern Spanish cities: Úbeda. Only three and a half hours drive away from Gran Alacant, this small city in Jaén
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Music in the gardens

Late summer took us a little further than usual from our “home turf”. In September we met up with old friends for a musical night out in a very special venue; the Alhambra Palace in Granada. Tucked away in the historic gardens of the Generalife Palace is a small walled open air stage. This stage
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New visions for the future

In October we attended the EcoAltea festival hosted by the town of Altea and the Miguel Hernandez University at their campus in Altea. This weekend event brings together people interested in a wide range of ecological and environmental issues and projects. The annual festival was established in 2008 with the motto of “Think locally –
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Home Turf – Perfect autumn day in Gandia

Spain’s history has been much influenced by the power and culture of the Roman Catholic church and the Spanish aristocracy. The direct power of these two groups is today much reduced, although they do retain some of their former cultural influence and cachet. Both the church and nobility had a passion for building and their
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Home Turf – Water babies

In the heat of the Spanish summer there is nothing better than being immersed in cool water. Although swimming pools and the sea have their fans, for us the very best place to seek out watery bliss is in Spain’s precious rivers. In July we spent a few days on the border of Murcia and
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Home Turf – Beachcombing

The signature features of our region are surely its beaches. Nothing attracts visitors to Alicante more than the broad sandy beaches that are scattered along the Costa Blanca. However, our coastline also includes secluded rocky coves (called “calas” in Spanish) hedged around with steep cliffs.  We felt that it was time for us to write
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Valencia, leading by example

A couple of months ago we wrote about the participation of Santa Pola Council in the Urban GreenUp programme.  This programme aims to develop nature based tools and solutions to improve the urban environment. Our council’s  involvement in the programme requires it to commit to learning from the Urban GreenUp programme with an aim to
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Water, water everywhere

A drive inland from Alicante is an area of great beauty and history; Tibi. This craggy district was formerly the boundary between the kingdoms of Aragon and Castille and is still a linguistic watershed between Castilian Spanish and Valenciano speakers. Its even earlier history is marked by the Islamic period castle whose remains can still
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Reto global. Acción local?

Mientras escribimos este artículo, los líderes mundiales se reúnen en Egipto en la cumbre COP 27 donde se van a discutir medidas para abordar el desafío del cambio climático global. El cambio climático es uno de varios problemas interrelacionados que amenazan el mundo natural y la civilización humana: la extinción de especies, la desertificación, la
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Playa del Albir, just a perfect day

Now that spring has arrived we thought that it was time to turn our attention to the crowning glory of our neighbourhood – the magnificent coastline with its wide beaches and plunging cliffs. As the weather turns warmer and the sea settles people will return to the delights of our world famous Costa Blanca. Time
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HOME TURF: Turballos – A Place Apart

The village of Turballos is a little over 50 minutes drive inland from Gran Alacant but is a step into a different world. Technically the small collection of houses and a church that make up the settlement are part of the Town of Muro de Alcoy in the Condado de Concentaina, in reality the village
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Home Turf – First year in Spain

2021 was our first full year living in Spain and writing about our travels around the Alicante area and a little beyond. To wrap up the year we thought we’d bring things home and remind ourselves of the wonderful things that there are to see and do on our doorstep.  The defining characteristic of Gran
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Bocairente – a slice of medieval Spain

A visit from friends from Finland gave an excuse to revisit one of the most intriguing local towns; Bocairente. This little town lies just over the border into Valencia Province and is situated in a mountainous region of high peaks and steep gorges. It sits atop a rocky spur of land with sheer drops down
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Home Turf, November 2021: Afternoon Tea Anyone?

The small town of Crevillente lies about 40 minutes drive inland from Gran Alacant. It is pleasant and known for its carpet weavers but otherwise nondescript. However, situated in the countryside outside of the town is a place of magic and enchantment; the Carmen Del Campillo Teteria or also known as “Tetería Crevillente” or Crevillente
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OASIS IN THE DESERT

The River Segura is one of the largest and most important rivers in Southern Spain; it runs through the provinces of Albacete, Murcia and into Alicante province, all the way to Guardamar. It brings life in abundance to the land surrounding its valley. Amongst the gifts it bestows are natural springs that have been enjoyed
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Home Turf: Wine Country

Did you know that Alicante has the oldest remains of wine production in the Iberian Peninsula and one of the oldest wineries in Europe? The Alicante region is home to a wine producing tradition that stretches back over thousands of years. The province is home to vineyards and bodegas with a growing reputation at the
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HOME TURF – MANHATTAN ON THE MED

On our doorstep is possibly the most famous holiday resort in Europe: Benidorm!  This vacation city built up from a quiet port over the last 60 years enjoys some  quite breathtaking statistics, highest number of skyscrapers per citizen in the world, second to New York in number of skyscrapers per square metre, the city contains
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A Valley of Moros y Cristianos

The weekend before Easter brought a surprise birthday treat in the form of a journey through the magnificent landscape of the Valls d’Alcoi valley surrounded by the magnificent Sierra de Aitana mountain. This mountain can be appreciated from Gran Alacant, lying behind the city of Alicante and capped with snow a couple of times a
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The anteroom of the Borgias …

From the Kennedys to the Kardashians family sagas can fascinate, entertain and occasionally appal. Amongst the most colourful and notorious family stories is that of the Borgias recently brought back to life by a lavish Netflix blockbuster.  The Borgia family famously used the church as their route to power, fame and wealth. The family produced
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Works of a master …

During lockdown number 1, stuck in our flat in London, we sought out pastimes that didn’t involve simply staring at a screen. Baking bread and yoga with Adriene became regular parts of our lives. Prompted by a sponsored post on Instagram we ordered a jigsaw. This jigsaw however was not one of a historic scene
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