The 11th week of our trip is behind us. Step by step, we are approaching Andalusia, stretching along the entire southern coast of Spain, a warm and sunny region. So far, we spent last week in Murcia, where we visited, among others Cartagena, a city whose rich history goes back to ancient times and Bolnuevo – a small town located about 30 km west of Cartagena among the picturesque coastal cliffs and hills.
The entire area from the east and south of the Mediterranean Sea is called Costa Calida, or Warm Coast. And indeed, we quickly learned that this name has a lot to do with reality.
We have chosen Bolnuevo as our base for the past week. We stopped in a large car park near the beach. Taking this opportunity Golf took a bath in the salt water. As you can see, it did not hurt him.
The surroundings of Mazarron and Bolnuevo are very interesting in terms of geology. Literally, a dozen or so meters away from our parking place, we already have the first proof.
The nearby coast abounds with sand rocks, which the erosion process gave an unique shapes. Another characteristic element of the landscape are scattered small stone islands. Often too small and too harsh to allow even the birds to live there.
However, this did not prevent people from settling here. Although the inhabitants in the mountainous areas are few, but some houses are very impressive. Here is an example of one of them, surrounded by a small palm grove, having two terraces overlooking the sea, situated on a quite steep slope descending to the sea.
We took advantage of the beautiful weather and free time, we went further along the coast. From time to time, single tourists passed by on foot or by bicycle, but for the most part of the time we were alone on this uninhabited area.
We came a bit closer to the sea and reached a wild cove hidden among the rocks. It would seem that no-one seems to be here and the place is totally secluded …
However, moving towards, we passed two middle-aged men greet us who did not look like tourists. And as it turned out later, there was a cave in the bay where we found fresh traces of human presence. They had something in the shape of a summer house, with chairs, a primitive table, a bed and a wooden cover from the wind. It is possible that they lived in these spartan conditions in a complete remote area.
Looking from the bay towards the mountains, we can see that the further west, the more wild. If it were not for the single palms that showed the proximity of the sea and salt water, we could easily confuse this landscape with the plains of Mexico or Texas.
The mountainous areas between Bolnuevo and Mazarron have interested us so much that we decided to go on another trip in the following days, this time a typical hiking. Before we did, we went to Cartagena, the largest city in the area.
You can say a lot about his history. Due to the excellent location over the sheltered mountains, deep into the bay, the Phoenicians were already in 227 BC they founded a colony here with a view to further conquest of the Iberian Peninsula. In subsequent centuries, the city passed from hand to hand occupied successively by the Romans, Arabs and finally Spaniards during the reconquest.
A plaque on one of the buildings in the city center best shows the rich history of Cartagena.
On many hills surrounding the city you can still observe the remains of ancient cultures in the form of worse or better preserved ruins. We went to one of them to observe the panorama of the city. We look north, towards the modern part of the city.
And south, towards the bay and port. Due to its excellent location, the port of Cartagena is one of the bases of the Spanish navy to this day. However, it played a key role in previous centuries, when Spain for some time was the largest maritime power in the world.
We are already near the port wharf. As you can see, even whales reach here for the winter. They flow through the Strait of Gibraltar and escape from the cool Atlantic Ocean to the warmer waters of the Mediterranean 😉
We look towards the center. Behind the monument begins Calle Mayor, the most impressive street in the city.
Turning around we see a seaside boulevard surrounded by palm trees. To the right is a harbor full of yachts and catamarans anchored here for the winter. On the left is the boulevard of Alfonso XII, one of the main avenues in the harbor area.
On the left, there is a monument of victims of terrorism built in 2009.
At the quay, we can see one of the representative buildings of the Cartagena Polytechnic.
From the port we move towards to the densely built-up city center. At Calle Mayor, it is a full holiday. There is a Christmas tree, there are Christmas decorations and in the evening the street lights up with hundreds of ornaments hanging in the air.
The town hall also decorated with Christmas accents.
Calle Mayor is the main promenade of the city, a shopping street, a tourist and a large restaurant in one. It is lined with elegant shiny tiles that seem more suited to the interiors of churches and public buildings, but in Spain it is a quite popular solution. In countries with higher rainfall frequency, it probably would not work, but here it fits great and looks really beautiful.
Santa Clauses are already carrying presents. To tell the truth, if it were not Christmas decorations, „Last Christmas” in supermarkets and Christmas fairs, it would be hard for us to find out that Christmas is coming. For the Spaniards, this is normal, but for newcomers like us, both weather conditions and landscapes are more associated with Polish summer than the holiday season.
After returning from Cartagena we went on a planned mountain trip. The area is wild and uninhabited, so we hoped that some animals could be found.
We quickly set off from the stony path and went across to the gentle but difficult to reach slopes. The higher, the more beautiful view behind your back. Sea and mountains in one place. Something in Poland that divides several hundred kilometers, here we have on one photo.
There is a band ahead of us along which we walked for several kilometers. No people, no buildings, mid December and 25 degrees C.
And we finally came across a representative of the Spanish fauna. Giant spider and his web stoped our way along the slope. It’s good that we saw him in advance, because he already had one fly on the web. We would not like to be his next victims.
After these impressions, we came back and healthy to Golf. It turned out that this is not all for today. We had the opportunity to see a spectacular sunset. The horizon looked like it was burning and the sky could not keep up with its dark blue clouds. For a few minutes, we were fascinated by this phenomenon.
That’s all for today. Tomorrow we are leaving to the Almeria region, in eastern Andalusia, where we plan to stay until Christmas.