Our 50 Year Anniversary Celebration 2015 travel blog

Castillo de Santa Barbara, Alicante Spain

The Equinox from the castle ramparts

The castle walls

Town with a view

Plaza de Avenida Juan Sanchez Candela

Mass at Concatedral de San Nicolas

Passeig Esplanada d'Espanya

Elvis impersonator playing for tips in one of the cafes

The plan today, a HOHO bus. The first stop was the Castillo de Santa Barbara on top of Mount Benacantil. So we hopped off to explore. The castle is one of the biggest medieval fortresses of Spain. Originally built by the Moors in the 10th century, the castle received its name from the conquest of King Alfonse the Wise that took place on December 4, 1248: Saint Barbara's day. Over the following centuries it was developed and extended leaving it with three main areas all dating from different eras.

We also enjoyed the rest of the ride on the bus in this small but beautiful city. Since it was Sunday we went to Mass at the Concatedral de San Nicolas. The church was built between 1613 and 1662 and was constructed over an ancient mosque. The cathedral has a Latin cross plan, though the transepts are quite short. Flanking the nave are six interconnecting side chapels and an ambulatory around the apse. A blue dome rises 147 feet above the crossing. The chapel of Holy Communion, configured as a small Greek cross-planned temple, is considered to be one of the most beautiful examples of the Spanish Baroque. The external appearance of the cathedral is quite sober. The main facade located on the east side is of the Doric order, and the one built on the south side is of Ionic order.

Of course the service was in Spanish. While the order of the Mass is the same all over, the readings and the sermon are unique. The priest was middle-aged, seemed very enthusiastic as he delivered his sermon but apparently was not humorous as no one laughed.

We had some beer on the Esplanada while listening to the Elvis impersonator. He was really quite good. Richard closely watched his assistant.

But the party is over. Our last night on the ship and we have to pack and be ready for the next adventure tomorrow. It's sad to say goodbye.

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