Behind us 6,000 km of our journey. We spent the last pre-holiday week in eastern Andalusia on the Costa Almeria in La Isleta, about 30 km east of the largest city in the area – Almeria.
On Monday, we left Murcia to get to the west by local roads winding among the coastal hills. Choosing national and regional roads instead of highways has two basic advantages – no fees and the opportunity to enjoy great views. Of course, in exchange for this, you sometimes have to make a road or overcome territorial elevations, but nevertheless, from the point of view of our trip it is a much better solution.
Murcia was saying goodbye to us with such views …
… and Andalusia welcomed us like this. We are looking at the town of La Isleta where we have stayed. La Isleta means an ‚island’ in Polish and looking at the photo below it is not difficult to guess where the name came from.
We stopped at a stony parking nearby. From here we were very close to the sea and to the gentle, ideally suited to hiking, unpopulated mountains located from every surrounding us.
On Wednesday we went to San Jose, 11 km from La Isleta – a fishing port, a yacht harbor and a small tourist center. On the way we passed small towns scattered among the hills and single haciendas. Below one of them. The owner has adapted an old windmill for residential needs.
We are already in San Jose.
Characteristically for this part of Andalusia, almost all houses are painted white. Small towns located among picturesque hills, surrounded by palm trees and sandy or pebbly beaches, look really beautiful.
In many places Arabic accents appear, a visible trace of Muslims’ centuries-old presence in these areas. Due to the shape of the terrain, you can get to many houses by overcoming many stone steps.
In addition to architectural monuments, among the city streets you can also find a lot of automotive monuments.
At the end we visited the port of San Jose. The main port buildings are now used as a restaurant. The movement, despite the approaching winter, is quite large. The fishermen unloaded their cutters from freshly caught fish and shrimps, cleaned boats, and cleaned up nets stretched out on the piers, whose tangle for the layman would seem impossible to unravel.
We spent the next day in Almeria. We started the tour around the city from the railway station and more modern buildings in the center.
Moving further towards the medieval center, we arrived in the vicinity of the cathedral. Just next to it, in the photo below on the left, there is the Guitar Museum.
We are already on the cathedral square with a view of the main nave of the cathedral. The central part of the square was taken by a large Christmas bauble, surrounded by a high row of several meters palm trees. Right next to it there is a plaque announcing that in 1970 on this square one of the scenes was shot for „Patton” depicting the fate of World War II by the American point of view. Interestingly, the square was then tightly filled with American tanks and army. It’s hard to imagine looking at how it presents today.
We went on a further walk down the streets of the city center. The further west, the closer to the Arab quarter. The city center is divided into a Spanish part located more or less in the area of the medieval city center and the port, as well as the Arabic one, located near the former Muslim fortress of the Alcazaba. There are differences in construction, cleanliness, smells and, above all, language. Nor can it be concealed that the Arab part seems more animated.
We are in the Spanish part.
We are approaching the Arab quarter.
We reach the foot of the Alcazaba. The area is tightly built, mainly through low ground floor houses of dubious beauty.
From the Arabian quarter we are moving to the seaside boulevard. Next to it is the Christmas tree shown in the first photo. There is also something like an open botanical garden. Boulevards of the boulevard are covered with diverse vegetation from many parts of the world. Each tree has a table with information about which region it comes from.
We are on the port wharf. Almeria is among others a passenger port servicing regular connections to Algeria and Morocco.
The next day we went on a short mountain trip near La Isleta. The area abounds in a multi-kilometer stretch of wild mountains with a beautiful view of the distant, eastern ends of the Sierra Nevada and quite close to the Mediterranean coast. There are also a dozen hiking trails marked out, which does not mean that the journey is easy and pleasant.
Here and there in the valleys are small, like lost and forgotten, settlements.
There are also, like in Murcia, high and precipitous shores at the foot of which you can find wild and hard to reach rocky beaches.
We spend Christmas Eve in La Isleta and on Christmas we set off on a further journey around Andalusia.
Taking this opportunity, we would like to wish all readers of our blog Merry Christmas. Healthy, cheerful and family Christmas!