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