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lunes, 25 de febrero de 2013

A CURIOUS PLACE TO TAKE A WALK: "EL CAU".

 
Central zone of El Cau
 
 

     "El Cau" is placed a few kilometers from Elche (about 10 kms), in the mountains situated to the North of the city. It's an area of old and small quarries, in a semi-desert landscape. The name is a word in Valencian language that means “the burrow”, due to the presence of two small shelters used by quarries workers, excavated in the rocks. 
In El Cau two retired men recently sculpted and painted figures on the rocks, day by day, until the police forbade it. These figures haven't a great artistic value, but are interesting because most of them remember monuments, people and traditions of Elche. Others are simply a result of the imagination of the authors. To see all the sculptures, you must take a look around the central area, because some of them are slightly separated. 
Nowadays El Cau is a place where people go to take a walk, to see the figures, and enjoy with the beautiful views from the higher zones. The way to arrive to El Cau, that has an unpaved part in good condition, is also a perfect route to run or to bike. Of course, in summer it´s recommended to avoid the hottest hours of the day.


Beginning of the walking route, and place to park the car (approximate coordinates): Lat: 38°19'3.59"N Long: 0°41'37.29"O

Beginning of the walking route, and place to park the car (approximate coordinates):
Lat: 38°19'3.59"N Long: 0°41'37.29"O


Here turn on the right path
 


Welcome to El Cau

Welcome to "El Cau"


One of the shelters excavated in the rock

One of the shelters excavated in the rock














“El Cau” route.
 

This part of the road is the most important to keep the right direction

 
 
 

jueves, 14 de febrero de 2013





EATING IN ELCHE: BAGUETTES IN  “VILLALOBOS”,  A SPECIAL  83  YEARS OLD BAR.





In the city center of Elche, two minutes walking from Town Hall, you can find in Empedrat street a special and unique bar: Casa Villalobos. Since 1932,  its eternal specialty are the appetizers and traditional tuna, anchovy and tomato baguette. It´s one of the oldest bars of the city, and currently is managed by the third generation of Villalobos family.



The place is small and old looking, with a few tables. It has the same appearance that it had many years before, and inside it seems that time has stopped. It usually have also tables outside, in a quiet pedestrian street. 

In Villalobos the menu is very short ,only a few appetizers and baguettes (tinned tuna or sardines, ham, cheese, or a spicy pork sausage called “chorizo”). Prices are very cheap, baguettes with very good size from 1,70 to 2,70 euros, pickled olives from 0,60 ,  “tapas” from 0,50 , wood barrel red wine from 0,70 and beer from 1 euro (2013 prices). Another characteristic in Villalobos is that they usually use brown paper to wrap baguettes instead of plates or dishes. 

It is worthy of merit to maintain a bar like a viable business, with a local and a menu as simple and sparse, and also getting recognition and sympathy of most people. 



Casa Villalobos since 1932
Villalobos  entry
Villalobos entry

Typical lunch in Villalobos
Typical lunch in Villalobos

sábado, 9 de febrero de 2013

What do you do in Elche?




Elche (Elx in valencian language), is a 230.000 habitants city, located 20 kms to Alicante town and 12 kms to the International Airport of Alicante.

It´s an optimal basis for outings, because it takes about 15–30 minutes by car arrive to many interesting places in the mediterranean coast.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sb_6snVZXMk


The Lady of Elche, a piece of Iberian sculpture from 4th century BC
The Lady of Elche, a piece of Iberian sculpture from 4th century BC


Elche has 2 World Heritage Sites: One, the Palm, a set of palm groves (over 200,000 palm trees) distributed by the city and its surroundings. Once the palm cultivation was no longer economically profitable, many of the orchards were kept, and some of them have become public parks.
Sunrise in Elche Palm Grove
Sunrise in Elche Palm Grove

UNESCO also declared a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity to the Elche Mystery. It is a sacred-lyric drama, last living witness of the European medieval religious drama, which is rendered from the fifteenth century, each year in August.

-Fiestas de Elche: In August, approximately between the 8th and the 15th. To highlight the Moors and Christians, the representations of Mystery, the fireworks on the night of August 13th (from 23.15 to 00.00 h.), And the night of August 14th (Night of the Roa), the most night influx of people in streets and entertainment throughout the year.


fireworks
Fireworks



-Museums: Elche has small but interesting museums:

Municipal Festa Museum (audiovisual trip through the world of Mystery)
Museum of Archaeology and History of Elche MAHE (chronological tour through the history of the city).
Palm Grove Museum (about the history and culture of Palm Groves of Elche).

Museum of Contemporary Art.
Paleontological Museum of Elche.
Archaeological Park and Museum Alcudia (site of the Iberian culture). Located a few kilometers from the city.
Traditional Culture Center Puçol (Sample on rural life). Very curious. Located a few kilometers from the city. http://www.museopusol.com/es/como-llegar/



-Basilica of Santa Maria.

-Priest´s Orchard (Huerto del Cura).

-Municipal Park.

-Street Markets (“mercadillos”) . For example Monday at the Plaza de Barcelona, Wednesday in Alginet street (neighborhood Altabix), Saturday at St. Anton neighborhood, and Sunday together with the football stadium.

-Elche Tennis Club Http://www.clubdeteniselche.com/donde-estamos/

-Jogging in circuit in the bed of the river.

-Municipal swimming pools.

-Outlet Route: in Industrial Park in Elche, 8 km from the city. Recommended to buy shoes (Mustang, Panama Jack, Pikolinos, Gioseppo, etc).

http://maps.google.es/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&panoid=tKOR85g0xrbjhaEOleLAyQ&oe=UTF8&msa=0&msid=117186567202767408291.00046faa56e5dc43302df#bmb=1


-Transport:
Altet International Airport. A 12 km from town.

Train. At the Train Station Carrús-Elche and Elche-Park, stop trains all line running from Valencia, Alicante, Murcia and Cartagena. In Elche-Parque station, also stop long distance trains, like the Talgo train to Montpellier and Barcelona Arc.

Buses. http://www.auesa.es/web.asp


Public service bicycle hire. http://www.bicielx.es/bicielx/



-Gastronomy. Examples about price:
Normal: Restaurante Persia (Blas Valero Street, 59).
Normal +: Restaurante El Forjador http://restauranteforjador.es/
Medium-high: Meson “El Granaino” (recommended)
http://mesongranaino.com/contacto.php
High: “La Finca”.
http://lafinca.es/
For some foods is a good idea to buy in any of the municipal markets to taste them at home.


-Shopping centers: They are all in the same area (5 minutes by car).

The Aljub, http://www.cclaljub.com/como-llegar