“Lo que pasa en Alicante, se queda en Alicante”
As I woke up at 4am after a 3 hours sleep,I began wondering why I had chosen a 2 week holiday in Alicante.
Of course,it is an amazing city,but I wasn’t really excited at the idea of attending a course to improve my Spanish,even if it was only a 4 hours a day.
These thoughts kept haunting me even at the airport,but as soon as I got onto the plane those feelings disappeared and,after a two hours flight, I eventually landed in Alicante.
I walked outside the airport in order to get on the bus,but my attention was caught by the bus driver,who was asleep behind the steering wheel.
After the let’s-hope-the-driver-won’t-fall-asleep-again journey,I arrived in Plaza De Los Luceros and met my host family,which was also hosting an American and a Danish.
The rest of the morning consisted mainly in unpacking,relaxing and recovering from the three hours sleep.
I then decided to have lunch at the seaside with a few friends.
Unfortunately the happiness of the day was spoiled before dinner when I looked at myself in the mirror and found out I was completely sunburnt.
After dinner I decided to hang out with a bunch of friends and we bumped into the Gay Pride Parade and inevitably ended up in Plaza Del Ayuntamento,where the whole LGBT community was reunited in a very flamboyant open-air disco.
There was a huge stage with dancers,amazing music,rainbow flag everywhere,a guy in a devil costume with red-feathered wings and a red pitchfork and a few people which were wearing red Kilts (although I don’t think they were Scottish people nor they were connected with Scottish culture…).
We decided to stay there and enjoy the music for a bit before realising it was almost 1am and we eventually got home.
Recovering from the lack of sleep and from the journey is one of the most important things to do in order to not fall asleep at a Spanish course. So I decided to spend an entire day relaxing and enjoying myself.
I woke up at 8.30, even if I didn’t get up until 10.40.
At that point,I felt it was too late to have breakfast or to get out of the house, so I decided to wait until lunchtime.
After a cheese and bacon tortilla I decided to spend the rest of the day just
relaxing and going shopping(or it would be fair to say I just walked in and out of shops not buying anything).
The evening was quite chilled: I went with a few friend to a tavern-like pub,which was famous in the entire city for its legendary mojitos. The only problem was its entry door which was about 4.5 feet tall and represented quite an obstacle for a few us.
This was the first day of the Spanish course. This meant I had to wake up at 7.45 in order to get to school on time. Since I wake up at 6.45 for almost 9 months of the year, this should have been a piece of cake. Except it wasn’t.
In fact I didn’t consider it was July and waking up early during summer is one of the hardest things in the world.
Eventually I got out of bed and managed to get to school by 9 am.
When I got out of school the weather was so hot I decided
to spend part of the afternoon relaxing at home instead of going to the beach. At 6 pm I met with my friends and we visited part of the city going to San Fernando Castle and to Plaza De Toros.
The 7.45 wake up started to become less traumatising and eventually I had breakfast and went to school.
After a quick lunch and a bit of relax, I met with my friends at 6 pm to visit Santa Barbara Castle.
This turned out to be quite a hard challenge because to get there, we had to walk a no-shade path for an hour and a half under the sun.
As soon as the Sweaty Nightmare came to an end, we enjoyed the amazing view from the top of the castle.
On the way back home, we walked along a few amazingly greek-like streets.
The dinner consisted in hot dogs and chips and, after that, I went out for a drink with a few friends.
The day began as usual and, after lunch, I met with a group to visit two museums: El Museo De la Fiesta (which is a collection of pictures and statues of the typical
procession which take place in Alicante in June) and El Museo de Los Belenes (which is a collection of nativity scenes of all kind from every part of the world). Surely they weren’t the best museums ever,but at least it was nice to see something different.
After dinner, me and my friends realised we had visited pretty much the entire city and all its pubs.
Although I had an amazing breakfast, I found myself starving right after the first two hours of the Spanish course. Luckily, during the 30 minutes break, I decided to help myself with a local speciality called Tostada… And this is when I had my Food Epifany!
The Tostada consists in toasted bread with chopped tomatoes on top and as I took the first bite, I instantly fell in love with it.
Despite my love story with the Tostada, I finished my daily Spanish course hours and went back home to have lunch.
After that, me and my friends took the 4 o’clock train to Elche to visit the city.
We managed to visit the Museo de la Fiesta “Misteri d’Elx” (Mystery Play of Elche, a Middle Ages liturgical Drama also declared Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO), the Basilica de Santa Maria (where the Mistery Play of Elche is performed thanks to its amazing acoustic) and also the Palmeral De Elche (another World Heritage Site of UNESCO composed of more than 200,000 palms).
In the Basilica de Santa Maria, we had the opportunity to attend a rehearsal of the extraordinary tunes of the Misteri d’Elx before catching the train to Alicante.
As soon as I got home, I realised that the Tostada wouldn’t have been the only Food Epifany of the day.
In fact, the host family cooked Paella, which I have to admit was the best one I had ever eaten.
After lunch I went straight to the beach and laid for a few hours under the sun…which turned out to be a big mistake since I got sunburnt again.
The rest of the day consisted in aching and rubbing cream into my skin.
Saturday consisted in an amazing trip to Guadalest, a small town in the mountains, and to Las Fuentes del Algar(Sources of the Algar river) organised by the school.
We visited the castle and the tiny village for two hours before spending another half an hour on the road driving to Las Fuentes del Algar, which were mainly composed of a series of “natural pools” and small waterfalls. The water is really cold, but once you get used to it, it’s amazing to swim and dive in it.
Sunday is the perfect day to go to the beach and have fun.
I woke up at 10.30 and decided to go to San Juan, which is a town right next to Alicante with an amazing beach.
My host family provided me with 2 sandwiches,an apple and a bottle of water in order to eat lunch at the seaside and I went to the tram station,where I met with my friends.
When I got home, I discovered that the “guest situation” in the house was changed.
In fact, we were no more 2 italians and an american, but we were becoming a joke:”there were 2 italians, 2 americans, 2 brits and a french guy…”. Luckily the house was fitted with a toilet and a bathroom making the living togheter much more simple.
After dinner, I got out with my friends and after a quick drink, we decided to visit the cheap and weird shops of the Barrio.
After school, I had a “siesta” in order to let the temperature cool down to an “accetable level”, which happened at around 5pm.
I went to the beach until dinner time and hung out with my friends for a few hours before getting back home.
Unfortunately I had no aircon nor fan in my bedroom, which made falling asleep very hard for me.
After school, I had lunch at 2 pm, which is earlier than usual, but still later than any other country in Europe.
An hour and a half later, I was visiting the University of Alicante, that is much bigger than I would have ever expected.
At the end of the visit, I went to the beach for a nice swim before suppertime.
After dinner, I met with my friends and we decided to eat dessert at YoYo, the best place to eat a frozen yogurt in Alicante.
The afternoon began quite badly.
In fact, I was supposed to go to the beach right after lunch, but unfortunately I fell asleep and woke up at 5 pm.
Having realised, it was too late for the seaside, I started a frenetic research for the Baci Perugina or any other form of chocolate, which I was starving for.
After my host family had made me a tortilla sandwich, I met with my friends and we had dinner at the Castle of Santa Barbara which offered us an amazing view of the city.
Even if I came home quite late, I woke up at 6 am to see the sunrise on the beach with my friends, but unfortunately it was too cloudy.
I woke up again at 8 to go to school.
After lunch I didn’t do anything until 5.30,when I decided to go shopping,but I ended up buying a shirt and a weird long T-shirt. At least,I had the opportunity to get my feet eaten by fishes as a pedicure.
I woke up at 6 am(again…) to try to see the sunrise(again…) but it was still too cloudy(…again!).
Rather than wasting time laying in bed, I decided to visit the central market before going to school.
I got home at 8.30, having about 15 minutes to shower myself and to get ready to go out for dinner with my friends.
Supper consisted mainly in Paella,other typical spanish dishes and Sangria.
The rest of the evening was spent between pubs and local markets.
We had such an amazing day that I completely forgot to pack and since my flight was at 10 am,I eventually ended up packing at 3 am.
After a 3 hours sleep, I woke up at 6 o’clock and caught the 7.30 bus to the airport.
I checked-in,got through the airport security and had the most expensive and overrated breakfast in the world:8€ for a Kitkat Chunky,a peach juice and a bottle of water!
Since the airplane was packed, I managed to save my hand luggage from the hold.The airplane took off at 10 am and, despite the turbolence, it landed 15 minutes in advance. Unfortunately the lead was lost as all the passengers were recollecting their luggage.