Our last day in Alicante had come around all too quickly and it was our final opportunity to enjoy some warm, winter sunshine. We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and then gathered our belongings together so that we could check out of the hotel. Packing was slightly more complicated than usual as we had bought two new small suitcases meeting Ryanair’s baggage size requirements exactly but we also had our soft holdalls with us that we’d set off from home with. It was a bit like a jigsaw puzzle, but somehow we just managed to squeeze everything into the new cases with the additional briefcase and handbag left unzipped and full to overflowing!
Our stay at the Tryp Ciudad hotel had exceeded our expectations in all respects. The location had been perfect, situated one road behind the busy promenade, in a quiet yet central position. Our medium sized room had been recently refurbished and came with a spacious bathroom with rain shower and toiletries. Minor suggestions would be to provide in-room tea making facilities and to affix a mirror in the bedroom as our only one was in the en-suite bathroom, causing delays as I had to wait to be able to comb my hair and apply make-up. Our continental breakfasts had been good with freshly baked croissants, crusty bread, Spanish omelettes, cured ham and cheese. There was also a small selection of hot dishes comprising scrambled eggs, sausages and bacon but we didn’t sample these. The hotel staff were unobtrusive and efficient and everything seemed to work well.
After checking out of our room we had ample time to visit Alicante’s central market hall about a 15 minute walk from the hotel. The market was completed in 1912 on top of the 18th century walls that surrounded Alicante. The building takes its appearance from a Basilica with its semi spherical cupola known as the La Rotonda. The market hall’s main facade is dominated by a huge stairway featuring two protruding figures.
Starting on the upper floor we found dozens of stalls selling meat and general household items. Going down the escalator to the lower floor we explored the fish, fruit and vegetable departments. This basement area is much smaller than the upper floor due to the building being built into a hillside.
Before returning to the airport we enjoyed one last walk along the palm tree lined Esplanada d’Espana which runs parallel to the sea. The esplanade has a beautiful floor composed of 6,600,000 marble tiles which form a wave effect design.
Buses to Alicante airport depart from Plaza Puerta dal Mar every 20 minutes and an adult ticket costs €3.85 (£3.20) which can be purchased either by card or cash from the driver. Please note that the bus follows a circular route so passengers should get on at the same stop as when they arrived and not on the opposite side of the road. We only had to wait a short time for a bus to appear and as we were taking the service from the first stop there was ample room to stow our luggage in the racks provided
The journey to the airport took approximately 30 minutes being 9 km (5.6 miles) south west of Alicante. After quickly passing through security we then had plenty of time for a coffee in one of the airside cafes. The light and airy terminal building was completed in 2011 to meet increased demand. Being wintertime there were few passengers around and we had our choice of places to sit. Our Ryanair flight back to the U.K. departed on time and after a smooth flight taking 2 hours 50 minutes we touched down in Leeds-Bradford and instantly felt the icy chill as soon as the aircraft door was opened.
Alicante was a very pleasant destination for a short break and even visiting in mid winter we had enjoyed temperatures of over 20 degrees. I would definitely recommend adding Alicante to your ever growing list of places to visit – it’s both stylish and sophisticated and authentically Spanish unlike its larger neighbour!
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