On Sunday, the 19th of November 2023, 102 people filed onto 2 coaches for the much anticipated ‘Dick Turpin bar’ trip to Cordoba/Sevilla/Jaen.

Due to the success of previous trips, there had been no problem finding individuals wanting to take advantage of this extremely well-organised, economical, educational excursion.

Neil Lloyd and Alison Clark (not forgetting the supporting act of Antonio Vicens and Helen Campbell) were the guys responsible for the sourcing, planning, and executing of this very enjoyable trip.

Such is the popularity of these trips that one couple travelled 107 kilometres from Ondara to take part and another couple a mere 1,504 miles from the UK.

Although Cordoba is an almost 6-hour coach journey from Gran Alacant, the coaches are modern and comfortable and entertainment in the form of quizzes, bingo and films are provided for those who wish to partake.

After 2 refreshment stops en route, our group arrived at Hotel Selu, a recently renovated hotel in the centre of Cordoba, on the edge of the Jewish Quarter.

A swift check in process and a quick freshen up for all was followed by a brief walking tour of the immediate area in order for people to get their bearings for the following day which was free time in the city.

Many of the group then chose to find somewhere to have an evening meal although 2 of the vegetarian ladies admitted to only being able to source egg and chips on their first night due to their lack of mastery of the Spanish language and a reluctance on the part of the Spanish restaurants that were open to provide anything but meat or fish!

Monday, in glorious weather, was a full day of free time and sight-seeing. Many opted for a walk around the Jewish Quarter and visits to the Roman Bridge and the fabulous Mezquita – A unique building with a history spanning eight centuries. Once a Mosque and now a Roman Catholic Cathedral. A world Heritage Site dating back to AD710.

Monday evening saw birthday celebrations. The hotel kindly opened the bar early so that we could all wish Helen a Happy Birthday. Glasses were raised (more than once) and although blue wigs were not compulsory, many joined in to ensure a good night was had by all.

Despite a few sore heads, Tuesday morning saw us travel to Seville, the largest city in the autonomous community of Andalucia and the 4th largest in Spain. The Old Town with an area of 4 square kilometres contains another UNESCO World Heritage site comprising 3 buildings the Alcazar Palace complex, the Cathedral, and the general Archive of the Indies. 

The city is situated in the fertile valley of the river Guadalquivir and Seville Harbour, located 50 miles from the Atlantic Ocean, is the only river port in Spain. 

Tuesday evenings return trip to Cordoba produced hair-raising moments for people on one coach, when a fault developed in the driver’s emergency exit resulting in him having to drive for a time holding the door shut with one hand! Nerves were calmed on the return to the hotel with the help of pats on the back, a few prayers, and the odd tipple!

Prior to returning to Gran Alacant on Wednesday, a short stop off in Jaen was scheduled. This city is known for its Olive Oil production – a mere 66 million Olive trees grow here, and several of the party took advantage of the opportunity to visit an Olive Oil factory to learn about processes and to sample the produce. The temperature in Jaen dropped considerably from our experience in Cordoba and Seville and whilst some were in the Olive Oil factory, others were scrabbling in the Chinese shop for scarves, hats, and gloves!

The return coach trip to Gran Alacant was uneventful and incredibly quiet – everyone exhausted after a fabulous 3 days exploring this wonderful part of Spain. Best news ever – 102 clambered aboard the coaches on Sunday morning and 102 were safely delivered back to Gran Alacant on Wednesday evening. Looking forward already to the next trip.

For further information about upcoming trips please see the Dick Turpin Facebook page.