Prime spot in the Marina Alicante
After we had the lightning strike we had to go to Alicante. Waiting to receive new instruments which we lost, for Robbert to built in again.
The skies today were amazing again, but as usual, no wind at all! We had to motor all the way. This is something we both do not like about the MED. We never thought that you are motoring many more hours than sailing. Probably when you study the weather patterns it’s quite normal, I don’t know, but we made a lot of motoring hours already! It took us about 4 hours from Santa Pola to Alicante. We had a prime spot at the jetty where you have to report when entering the marina. Right in front of the marina office. From the backside of the boat, we were looking at the head office of the Volvo Ocean Race organisation. On the side of the boat were at the walking area, shops and restaurants in the marina. We could see the Castle Santa Barbara on the high hill, which is beautifully illuminated in the night. Very close to town where you can find some supermarkets for your daily groceries. But also restaurants, bars, shops. Even the beach is 5 minutes walking from the marina! Perfect place! It also felt good to stay in 1 place for a few days after we have been moving on all the time. A bit of chilling! Robbert could easily give the boat a good wash and fix some other minor things. And now it was waiting for the instruments to arrive. But Spain is Spain and no one ever turned up. We did receive the instruments though. But when Robbert wanted to see anyone for the inverters issue, the Spaniards still have to give him a call!  In the afternoon we went to town. Alicante is a really nice place. I was more than pleasantly surprised. Never thought the town would feel so friendly and green, and also with lots of beautiful typical Spanish buildings. Even one of the Volvo boats is on display right in the middle of town. The marina is packed. Not even 1 free berth left for the winter. That means that there must be a good vibe in the marina! And sure there was! We were invited for drinks and vice versa. We met some really nice Dutch people and had a lot of drinks and pizza etc. And like a lot of people they were curious to see what a cat looks like on the inside. And I think they were pleasantly surprised! Anyway, we had a really nice time in Alicante. Sure we will come back when leaving the MED!

The city of Alicante is located in the region of Valencia. The Valencian name for Alicante is Alacant. You will find this name in the region on signposts, you will mostly encounter the name Alicante as a tourist. The city has about 330 thousand inhabitants, which is comparable to the Dutch city of Utrecht. However, Alicante is twice as big in area. Alicante is the largest city in the popular Costa Blanca holiday region. The international airport of Alicante is an easy way to come and go to the boat as well. The hill we are looking at from the boat is the 166 meters high Monte Benacantil hill. It towers far above the city.  On the Monte Benacantil is the Castle of Santa Barbara (Castillo de Santa Bárbara) that originated in the ninth century AD. On the hill, however, remains have been found of people who lived in the hill long before there was a castle. For example, utensils from the Bronze Age have been found and it is certain that both the earlier Hispanics and the Romans lived and worked here. The castle was built by the Muslims who ruled here during the Moorish period. The Castle is even more pretty at night when all the lights are on!
 The beauty of Alicante is really that the city lies directly on the coast. That means beach, boulevards and a beautiful marina. One can combine shopping, going out and sightseeing with the wonderful beach life that Alicante has to offer. Alicante is not only a holiday destination but also simply a city where people live, study and work. Alicante has much more authenticity than many other coastal towns on the Costa Blanca. To get a glimpse of the city look at this nice film made by Spain-Holidays!