Elche, Spain: Tuesday Photo Challenge is Tourism

Dutch Goes the Photo gave a challenge this week to use the prompt of Tourism. We were asked to share pictures of favorite places you visited and why you enjoyed being there.

For the last three years, Douglas and I have spent from two to six weeks traveling in Europe, in hopes of finding a place to use as a base to travel all of Europe. We planned to live in the chosen place for five years, then move back to America and settle into old age.

After spending time in Spain, Portugal, and Italy, I narrowed the search down to Elche, Spain. It is a small town located near Alicante, Spain in Costa Blanca. Because it doesn’t have a popular beach that attracts scores of tourists in the summer, like Alicante does, it was a perfect place to set up base, getting to know the people and to speak the language.

It had all the things I loved, museums, churches, great srchitecture, kind people, and it was about a 20 minute ride to the Sea. There was a huge botanical garden, named El Huerta del Cura Garden, a palm forest, with nearly 200, 000 date palms and other flora. I loved the huge palm trees, the labeling of flora, and the peace. I would go at least once a week, to see what was new in the garden.

There were my second most loved space, museums, and lots of them. From the Archaeological museum to the Paleontology Museum, and museums of contemporary art and of history of the region.

Paleontology Museum , Elche, Spain
In front of the Paleontology Museum, Elche, Spain
Paleontology Museum, Elche, Spain

There was a large cathedral to explore, and my husband went to the top of it, but I stayed on the ground.

Cathedral in Elche, Spain
On top of the Cathedral in Elche, Spain..
Mary, the Mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and another woman, a sculpture near the Cathedral in Elche, Spain.
Three Disciples near the Cathedral in Elche, Spain. Not sure which are portrayed, but I would guess Peter, John, and James.

Another aspect of Elche that makes it attractive to me is that it is only 6.8 miles from the Mediterranean Sea. We can travel to Alicante, the capital, or to the city of El Campello, with its wonderful harbor. There is also a chocolate factory in Villajoyosa that I would visit quite often, as they give free samples!

Rainbow over a beach in Alicante, Spain.
Beach near Alicante, Spain
Boats, boats, and boats!
El Campello, Spain
Alicante, Spain beach
Alicante Beach
The harbor in Alicante, Spain
Valor Chocolate Factory, Villajoyosa, Spain
Valor Chocolate Factory, Villajoyosa, Spain. You can imagine my joy to discover a logo with an image of someone who looked like me!

Alas, we decided to move closer to children and grandchildren, and simply visit Europe and the rest of the world, as God gives us opportunity. Our kids worried that if one of both of us got sick, we were alone without a support system and Europe was a long way for them to have to come.

But, Elche has stayed on my heart, simply unforgettable. I pray for an opportunity to go back and visit the museums we missed, to participate in festivals and celebrations, and see the changes in the botanical garden. It i my hope!

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