Dreaming of the Dutch & the Dodo

Oh my God, I am already more than 2 weeks here now and I realized that I don’t manage to write properly about every day, because there is happening so much all the time! I am only in my room for a few hours of sleep each night and the days are very very busy! But in a good way, of course! What am I doing….? Following classes, doing fieldtrips, researching for my project, visiting beaches, doing some sightseeing and having the time of my life with the best host family ever, and an even greater group of students and professors!

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The Summer School group in front of the National Museum of History

There is literally not very much to complain about, and if there was one thing that could be better, then that would be… Having more TIME! So I guess that time flies when you’re having fun, and unfortunately there are only 24 hours each day, so let’s just give you a brief overview of some of the past few days so you get an idea of what exactly makes it so much FUN being here!

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On the road in Mauritius…

The second week started with a second field trip. The theme of this excursion was “Cultural Heritage of Mauritius”. We started the day with a journey from Pointe aux Piments (north west) to Mahébourg (south east), where the sea looked a bit less turqoise blue and the coastline was a bit more rough. We met our guide for the day near the peer. Geoffrey Summers and his wife, Francoise Summers, were living on the island for several years. The Brittish couple knew the island very well, and with archeology as Geoffrey’s specialisation, he knew a lot of things to talk to us about. We got to know a more historical part of the island that we had not heard of before. Interesting!

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Geoffrey Summers (our guide) & Dimitris Xygalatas (our professor) at Mahébourg

After a windy walk on the peer in Grand Port and a quick visit to the restants of some tanks used during World War II, we continued to Fort Frederik Hendrik. It’s a museum which is named after a Dutch guy who had his office here during the 17th century colonisation period by The Netherlands… The historical site became a museum in 1999 and tries to represent both the Dutch and French colonial settlements in Mauritius.

Did you know that the Dutch were the first inhabitants to settle on the island and colonised Mauritius from 1638 – 1710 ? Later it were the French ( 1710 – 1810 ) who colonised the island, and after that came the British rule ( 1810–1968 ), followed by the independence of Mauritius in 1968.

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Students at the peer in Grand Port

After a brief guided visit to the museum, it was time for lunch in the beautiful tropical garden of Fort Frederik Hendrik, surrounded by ruins. The leftovers from the walls of these ruins learned archeologists that French ruins were standing on top of a Dutch fort, so in this regard it is an important place for those who want to get to know Mauritius very well. And I guess that was the aim of this visit, even though I must admit that this historical tour was a bit boring for me.

Maybe more interesting was the Tour des Hollandais, which was founded very funny by me (Flemish) and another Dutch student. This tour is about an old watch tower, used  as a vantage point to observe the bay for any incoming ships, and protect Mauritius from invaders and so on. From this point they could prevent potential attacks from the French and later on from the British.

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Dutch Girls gone Wild…?!

In the afternoon we continued our excursion to Mahébourg, where we visited the National Museum of History. Here we got to know even more facts about the colonial history of Mauritius. But the most magnificent part of this element of the trip, was the beautiful French colonial mansion in which the museum was located. It was built around 1770 and inaugurated in 1998 as a museum by the one and only Prince Maurits of Orange-Nassau, exactly 400 years after the first Dutch landing in Mauritius.

But an even more interesting novelty was the story about the Dodo bird in Mauritius… which explains why this animal is so popular, even though you cannot see it anywere on the island…

  • The dodo (Raphus Cucullatus) is an extinct flightless bird that was endemic to Mauritius
  • The dodo was extinct by the time the Dutch abandoned Mauritius due to extensive hunting
  • The dodo’s appearance in life is evidenced only by drawings, paintings, and written accounts from the 17th century
  • The dodo achieved widespread recognition from its role in the story of Alice in Wonderland
  • The dodo has since become a fixture in popular culture, often as a symbol of extinction and obsolescence

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The famous but extincted Dodo bird…

Okay enough history for today! What else did we do? We also walked to a river where women washed their clothes on stones, saw a place in the lush forest where people practice Black Magic, and visited a grassroots NGO where women do basket weaving… The last stop of the day was in a restaurant, to have some well deserved food after a busy day of educational travel before heading back to our home town!

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Francoise Summers guiding us through the Basket Weaving NGO project

That evening I was very tired, and so were my roommates, from all this traveling around. We had dinner at Nanny’s place, and worked on our computers for a couple of hours before heading back to bed for a good night of sleep.

The schedule of Tuesday mentioned “Cognition and Culture” in the morning and “Religion and Cognition” in the afternoon. These classes were given by both Dimitris and his co-instructors, and were something totally different from what I had heard about Anthropology before. It was interesting, but also very difficult material to relate to in my opinion, so I guess I will better not bother you with the details about this either.

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Another day of classes at the Temple

But don’t think now that this was all very boring, no, not at all! Because just when you think it is getting boring, it is time for a lunch break again, or another few hours between the break at the beach! And this is how we roll: time flies when you’re having fun, so you better make the best out of every day you get here! And so did I do: bought food for lunch at a local ‘Patisserie’ and went straight to the beach to chill out a few hours between Cognition, Culture and Religious classes today…

Another piece of daily wisdom and insight: if you want to be and stay happy, be flexible and always open to changes! Don’t fix your plans, because…. The weather can change, just to give an example! I was actually planning a second visit to Triolet during lunch break, but the weather was so extremely nice that I decided to run home for that bikini, and run back to the beach. Best decision ever! Everyone happy! 🙂

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Me and a colleague-student at Pointe aux Piments beach

Or to rephrase this in a more anthropological way… 

Be stubborn about your goals and flexible about your methods… 😉

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Enjoying our daily lunch break…

In the evening my roommates and I were taken to a local restaurant in Trou aux Biches by our host brother. He invited us to try some of the local food in that place, which was quite a surprise. Some of the dishes were very nice, but others I didn’t like very much. But it was good to try everything, and to be hanging around with a local family member in a not so touristy-spot.

Wednesday was another day of classes. So you see, I am actually very busy studying here! In the morning Dimitris (yes, we call the professors by their first names here) talked about Cognitive Anthropology, one of his specialisations. It is all about addressing the ways in which people conceive of and think about events and objects in the world, while providing a link between human thought processes and the physical and ideational aspects of culture. And yes, I know that this sounds Chinese to you, so that is why I will not go into details again…

After spending lunch break in a local restaurant in the village and a powernap on the beach, together with some other students, it was time for another lecture given by Martin Lang. He gave us an inspiring introduction to Cognition and Quantitative methods, such as surveys, questionnaires, etc. and he also talked about Cultural Consensus.

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Martin Lang talking about Cultural Consensus

I also went to the village to recharge my phone, which is another notable story! Did you notice that I am always online while being in Mauritius? Well, if you reload every week for 100 rupees (+/- 2,5 euros) then you can get a package with Free Internet & Unlimited Facebook for a week here. So my 3G is on most of the time and whether I am in the forest or at the beach, I am always connected… Whether that is such a good thing for an internet addict like me, I am not sure… Because you know what they say: there is no WiFi in the forest, but there is a better “connection”… 😉

That evening I spent most of my time writing a Research Proposal for the project I am going to do here. My subject is now definitive, and I will explore the intertwined relationship between cross-cultural romantic affairs and sex tourism on Mauritius. The fundamental purpose of this study is to explore the question: “What is the difference between sex tourism and romance tourism, and how is it perceived by people who have intercultural relationships in Mauritius?” The objective of this research will be to increase our understanding of this social reality by developing explanations of the phenomena by critically evaluating the interrelation between sex tourism and romantic cross-cultural relationships in Mauritius. So now you finally now what I am doing my fieldwork about!

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Trying out a Sari in the local village’s shop

But oh yes! Before I forget to mention… Apart from working on this, I also went with my host father and host sister to the village to buy a Sari! Sari…What?!

  • A sari is a South Asian female garment, associated with grace and is widely regarded as a symbol of Hindu culture
  • It consists of a drape that is typically wrapped around the waist with one end draped over the shoulder
  • A sari is one of the most common outfits used by the women of India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, …
  • Saris differ from each other on the basis of design, fabric, drapes and colors
  • The length of a sari can vary from 4 to 9 meters

And moreover, that Wednesday evening we (my American host sisters and I) cooked dinner for our host family, after them cooking us dinners so often. We decided to make Mexican food, even though that is not very American or Belgium, because first of all the ingredients were more or less available here in the supermarkets, and second of all… A funny story! Our host family eats “Faratas” all the time, a local flat bread of which you have to use to eat the rest of your dish by wripping of pieces of this piece of bread. But I used to eat it all the time as a Burrito/tortilla, so that is why we decided to learn the locals eat Tortillas stuffed up as burritos. A funny cross-cultural experience in which we exchanged our culinary behaviour and habits! 😛

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Me and my American host sisters cooking Dinner for our Mauritian host family

Unfortunately I must admit that it was more fun for us than for our host family, who was not used to eat Guacomole with cheese and salad in a wrapped up – look a like – Farata flat bread… I am not sure if they really enjoyed this ‘different’ food as they are quite conservative. Also, our Hindu family is vegetarian so they do not eat meat, chicken, fish, eggs, … Therefore we used Tofu – look a like – chicken, which they did appreciate of course.

The evening ended with showing the Saris we had bought to our grandmother and family, and that was a lot of fun! And I worked until the late hours designing some research methods and tools for my research project…

Voilà…. This was another update of my busy days in Mauritius! I hope you liked reading it as much as I liked experiencing it, and I will keep you posted soon with more!

Kisses & Love,

Julie

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The beautiful peer and the view at Grand Port

THE BIG TRIP – Day 3: Granada

TRAVELOGUE – Blogpost 5: Day 3 (30/3/13) – Granada

Saturday, 30th of March 2013. Kim took the train at 11 am, and 5 minutes later my road trip car picked me up already. Talk about perfect timing! Christophe, Hervé and Nafisa left around 8:30 this morning from Gandia to Alicante, to pick me. From here we travelled on to Granada, our destination for the day.

Zaterdag 30 maart 2013. Kim nam om 11 uur de trein, en amper 5 minuten later kwam mijn roadtrip-wagen met reisgezelschap daar al aangereden. Over perfecte timing gesproken! Christophe, Hervé en Nafisa waren deze morgen omstreeks 8u30 vertrokken vanuit Gandia om mij in Alicante op te pikken. Van hieruit zouden we verder reizen naar Granada, ons reisdoel van de dag.

BIG TRIP (1) 507Christophe – Me – Nafisa – Hervé

I just feared that my backpack would not fit in the car because we would all bring baggage, so of five people: Ula’s luggage would also have to added. But the Opel Corsa was capable of more than we thought, and everything was okay. No pasa nada, no stress.

After a super cool week with Kim, I was already pretty well exhausted, so I used this time to take a nap. Occasionally I was awake and I saw the beautiful scenery around me in the car. We saw for example the Sierra Nevada, a mountain range snow on the tops.

Ik had even angst dat mijn rugzak niet meer in de auto zou passen, want we zouden bagage van vijf personen meenemen: Ula’s bagage zou er ook nog bij moeten. Maar de Opel Corsa kon meer aan dan we dachten, en alles was oké. No pasa nada, no stress.

Na een supertoffe week met Kim, was ik wel al redelijk uitgeput, dus gebruikte ik deze tijd om een dutje te doen. Af en toe werd ik wel wakker en dan zag ik de prachtige landschappen om me heen in de wagen. Zo zagen we onder meer de Sierra Nevada, een besneeuwde bergketen.

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It goes without saying that it also referred to colder weather (about 18 °C) compared toAlicante (about 26 °C), made quite a difference.

Het spreekt voor zich dat het hier ook wel kouder was (ongeveer 18°) tegenover Alicante (ongeveer 26°).

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Around 15:30 we reached the hostel where we had reserved for the four of us. Perfect timing, it seemed to us, because at 17:00 we would have access to the Alhambra of Granada. The tickets were booked, which is really needed for this landmark, and so we were perfectly prepared.

Omstreeks 15u30 kwamen we toe in de jeugdherberg waar we gereserveerd hadden voor ons gevieren. Perfecte timing, leek ons, want om 17u zouden we toegang hebben tot het Alhambra. De tickets waren gereserveerd, dat is echt wel nodig voor deze bezienswaardigheid, en dus waren we tot in de puntjes voorbereid.

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Then it began … We decided to drive by car to the Alhambra because it was cheaper and faster than by public transport etcetera. But … Because of Semana Santa and all sorts of circumstances we did not manage to reach the Alhambra. We were TOO LATE!! And I never thought we’d get there in a descent time anymore, because the Alhambra works with very strict time slots.

Toen begon het… We besloten met de wagen tot aan het Alhambra te rijden omdat het goedkoper en sneller zou uitkomen dan met het openbaar vervoer etcetera. Maar… Door Semana Santa en allerlei omstandigheden geraakten we er maar niet. We waren TE LAAT!!! En ik dacht nooit dat we nog binnen zouden geraken, omdat het Alhambra met erg strenge time slots werkt.

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We parked the car somewhere, and eventually we still had to do quite a lot walking and climbing up the hill. The road was very steep and went straight up. Moreover, we also arrived at the wrong entrance and we had to make a detour, everything that could go wrong .. went wrong! But … well that ends well, we finally found the correct entrance gate and heavily over time we managed to get still inside the Alhambra and Nasrid Palacios. A smile does a lot 😉

We parkeerden de wagen ergens, en moesten uiteindelijk toch nog redelijk wat stappen en klimmen. De weg was steil en ging erg recht omhoog. Bovendien vonden we ook nog eens de verkeerde ingang en moesten we nog een omweg maken, alles dat mis kon lopen.. liep mis! Maar… Eind goed al goed, we vonden uiteindelijk de juiste ingang en geraakten zwaar over tijd toch nog binnen in het Alhambra en de Nasrid Palacios. Een glimlach doet veel 😉

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So we had quite an ordeal yet there, straight away as a group, and I must say that the atmosphere among us was very good. We walked through the Alhambra as long as we could … After all, we had access until 8 PM.

Zo hadden we er meteen al een hele beproeving op zitten als reisgroepje, en ik moet zeggen dat de sfeer onderling heel goed mee viel. We wandelden door het Alhambra zolang we konden… We hadden immers toegang tot 20 uur ’s avonds.

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Something about the Alhambra itself now. What is it? The Alhambra in the Spanish city of Granada is one of the main tourist attractions in the world. Every year tourists from all over the world come out to Granada, to visit this fascinating miniature city from the Middle Ages. Inside the fortress walls of the Alhambra, the visitor with get in contact with the grandeur of Arab palaces, the fragrant gardens of the Generalife, the imposing Renaissance Christian churches and medieval towers that bring them back to the 14th century.

Even over het Alhambra zelf nu. Wat is het? Het Alhambra in de Spaanse stad Granada is één van de belangrijkste bezienswaardigheden van de wereld. Jaarlijks komen toeristen uit alle landen naar Granada afgezakt, om een bezoek te brengen aan deze fascinerende miniatuurstad uit de middeleeuwen. Binnen de vestigingsmuren van het Alhambra komt de bezoeker in contact met de prachtig en praal van Arabische paleizen, de geurende tuinen van het Generalife, de imposante Christelijke renaissance kerken en de middeleeuwse torens die je terug in de 14de eeuw brengen.

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The main attractions in the Alhambra are:

  • Alcazaba (fortress and towers for defense)
  • Generalife (The Garden of all Gardens)
  • Nasrid palaces (Mexuar – Comarespalace – Lions Palace)
  • Palace of Charles V (Christian palace)

De belangrijkste bezienswaardigheden in het Alhambra zijn:

  • Alcazaba (Fort en torens als verdediging)
  • Generalife (De tuin der tuinen)
  • Nasridische paleizen (Mexuar – Comarespaleis – Leeuwenpaleis)
  • Paleis Karel V (Christelijk paleis)

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We admired all that, but the Alcazaba we could not visit because it was closed due to circumstances. Such a pitty!

We bewonderden dat alles, maar het Alcazaba konden we niet bezoeken want dat was wegens omstandigheden gesloten. Helaas!

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Als je meer wil lezen over het Alhambra: http://www.viagranada.be/alhambra-in-granada.php

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The Alhambra is a huge complex with a grand yet greater history that lies behind it, and it is really worth to watch this short video if you are interested in this historical treasure:

Het Alhambra is dus een gigantisch groots complex met een nog geweldigere geschiedenis die daarachter schuilt, en het is echt de moeite waard om dit korte filmpje te bekijken, als je geïnteresseerd bent in deze geschiedkundige schatkist:

You can therefore imagine that we, after all that you can admire here, were exhausted. We went back to our hostel after sunset, and on the road somewhere we caught a take-away pizza. After our bellies were filled, it was therefore quickly time to sleep!

Je kan je je dus wel voorstellen dat wij na dat alles bewonderd te hebben, uitgeput waren. We trokken dan ook terug naar onze jeugdherberg na zonsondergang, en pikten onderweg nog ergens een take-away pizza op. Nadat onze buikjes gevuld waren, was het dan ook snel slaaptijd!

Some more pictures of this beautiful monument:

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The next day the weather forecast was just about everywhere in the surrounding areas not so good (rain!) and we would hear of Ula later where exactly in the region we would pick her up.

Eventually the daily schedule was provided as follows: in the morning departure to the Mediterranean city of Malaga, to spend the day there and in the late afternoon we would meet Ula in Ronda, a beautiful village in the middle of Andalusia. Both very different destinations, and not less interesting! So, definitely look forward to the next blog post!

Voor de volgende dag was de weersvoorspelling zowat overal in de omgeving wat minder (regen!) en we zouden van Ula nog te horen krijgen waar exact in de regio we haar zouden oppikken.

Uiteindelijk werd de dagplanning als volgt voorzien: in de ochtend vertrek naar de Mediterraanse stad Malaga, om daar de middag te spenderen, en in de late namiddag zouden we Ula ontmoeten in Ronda, een prachtig dorp in ten midden van Andalucië. Beiden zeer verschillende bestemmingen, en daarom niet minder boeiend! Zeker uitkijken dus, naar de volgende blogpost!

BIG TRIP (1) 664P.S.: this bull you see everywhere on the roads in Spain. Thesy have become a kind of culture icons. They were announcements of an Spanish brandy company (Osborne) and they have been in our roads for around 50 years. I looked this information up…

P.S.: deze stieren zie je overal langs de wegen in Spanje. Ze zijn een soort van cultureel icoon geworden. Ze waren oorspronkelijk advertentieborden van een Spaanse sherry fabriek (Osborne) en staan naar het schijnt al meer dan 50 jaar langs de wegen. Kun je nagaan, via Google ofzo. 

Travelogue structure / Reisverhaal structuur:

  • Blogpost 1: Introduction
  • Blogpost 2: Day 1 (28/3/13) – Altea
  • Blogpost 3: Day 1 (28/3/13) – Benidorm
  • Blogpost 4: Day 2 (29/3/13) – Alicante
  • Blogpost 5: Day 3 (30/3/13) – Granada ==> you are now reading this blogpost!
  • Blogpost 6: Day 4 (31/3/13) – Malaga
  • Blogpost 7: Day 4 (31/3/13) – Ronda
  • Blogpost 8: Day 5 (01/4/13) – Gibraltar
  • Blogpost 9: Day 6 (02/4/13) – Albufeira
  • Blogpost 10: Day 7 (03/4/13) – Lisbon
  • Blogpost 11: Day 8 (04/4/13) – Sintra & Lissabon
  • Blogpost 12: Day 9 (05/4/13) – Fatima & Porto
  • Blogpost 13: Day 10 (06/4/13) – Porto & Braga

THE BIG TRIP – Day 1: Altea

TRAVELOGUE – Blogpost 2: Day 1 (28/3/13) – Altea

At 8.30 it was time! With purse and luggage Kim and I went on the bus … Just for positioning: Who is Kim? Kim is my best friend! I met her in September 2011, when I started my Bachelor in Tourism and Leisure Management in Belgium. Since then we have been inseparable friends and we share joys and sorrows with each other. Now that I’m studying in Spain, we have contact almost every day through social media, and how could it be otherwise than that she would come visit me.

Om 8u30 was het zover! Met pak en zak trokken Kim en ik de bus op… Even ter situering: wie is Kim? Kim is mijn allerbeste vriendin! Ik leerde haar in september 2011 kennen, toen ik begon aan mijn Bachelor in Toerisme en Recreatie Management in België. Sinds toen zijn we onafscheidelijke vriendinnen en delen we lief en leed met mekaar. Nu ik in Spanje studeer, houden we zo goed als elke dag contact via sociale media, en hoe kon het ook anders dan dat zij mij zou komen bezoeken.

DSC_0017On Monday, March 25th Kim arrived in Valencia with a Ryanair flight of 2 hours, and a very nice week was waiting for us! She slept three nights in my apartment in Gandia, together we visited the city of Valencia, and between my lessons we also spent a few hours on the beach: Playa de Gandia. Just a few small photos of them here:

Op maandag 25 maart arriveerde ze in Valencia met een Ryanair-vluchtje van 2 uur, en stond er ons een heel leuk weekje voor de boeg! Ze sliep 3 nachten in mijn appartement in Gandia, we bezochten samen de stad Valencia, en tussen mijn lessen door spendeerden we ook enkele uurtjes aan het strand: Playa de Gandia. Daarvan hier even enkele fotootjes:

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Anyway, now Altea … We arrived around 10:45 am by ALSA bus, a good bus company here in Spain which I highly recommend to anyone who wants to travel affordable through the country. We first searched for the Tourist Info office to get ourselves a city map and to rent a bike. And we had to drop our luggage somewhere for the next few hours, so we didn’t have to carry it all around … By the time we managed to do all of that, it was already 12 noon. Yeah, “Tranquila, estamos en España”, right?

Enfin, maar nu Altea… We arriveerden omstreeks 10u45 ter plaatse met de ALSA-bus, een goede busmaatschappij hier in Spanje die ik ten zeerste aanraadt voor iedereen die betaalbaar wil reizen. We zochten eerst het Toeristisch Info-kantoor op om een stadsplannetje en een fiets te bemachtigen. Én we moesten onze bagage ergens zien te droppen voor de komende uren, zodat we er niet mee hoefden te sleuren… Tegen dat alles gelukt was, was het alweer klokslag 12 uur ’s middags. Tsjah, “Tranquila, estamos en España”, zeker?

BIG TRIP (1) 039But oh, how wonderful that we had that bike! This allowed us to explore every corner of the resort area at our own pace. We drove along the coast and through the hills that led us to the top of the beautiful village.

Maar oh, wat heerlijk dat we die fiets hadden! Daarmee konden we op eigen tempo alle uithoeken van het badplaatsje verkennen. We reden langs de kustlijn en door de heuvels die ons tot de top van het prachtige dorpje leidden.

BIG TRIP (1) 119We had lunch at an Italian restaurant with ocean views and live music by a Peruvian street orchestra. I ordered a pasta with chicken and curry sauce … It tasted delicious! So it could not be better …

We hadden lunch in een Italiaans restaurantje met zicht op zee, live muziek door een Peruaans straat-orkestje. Ik bestelde een pasta met kip en curry-saus… Die smaakte heerlijk! Dus het kon gewoon niet beter zijn…

BIG TRIP (1) 137We then cycled again a little farther, and then stopped again for a snack and a drink … The good life, so it goes always with me and Kim! 😉

We fietsten vervolgens weer een eindje verder, en stopte vervolgens opnieuw voor een hapje en een drankje… Het Bourgondische leven, zo gaat dat altijd met mij en Kim! 😉

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We ate an ice cream and cycled back on. Burned the calories, so you could say.

We aten een ijsje en fietsten weer verder. De calorieën verbranden, zeg maar.

BIG TRIP (1) 101Maybe some more ‘theoretical information’ about Altea here:

Misschien even wat meer ‘theoretische informatie’ geven over Altea:

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Altea is a municipality and town in Spain, located on the Mediterranean coast in the province of Alicante about 50 kilometers north-east of the city of Alicante and about 100 kilometers south of the city of Valencia. Altea has an area of ​​34.43 km ² and is built on a hill. Altea counted about 22,648 inhabitants in early 2007.

Altea is een gemeente en stadje in Spanje, gelegen aan de Middellandse Zee in de provincie Alicante op zo’n 50 kilometer ten noord-oosten van de stad Alicante en zo’n 100 kilometer ten zuiden van de stad Valencia. Altea heeft een oppervlakte van 34,43 km² en is gebouwd op een heuvel. Altea telde begin 2007 zo’n 22.648 inwoners.

BIG TRIP (1) 127An important source of income for Altea is tourism, which has grown since the 50s due to the Mediterranean climate, beaches and the charm of the town.

Een belangrijke bron van inkomsten voor Altea is het toerisme, dat sinds de jaren ‘50 is gegroeid als gevolg van het mediterrane klimaat, stranden en het karakteristieke stadscentrum.

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The coast south of Calpe, has a micro climate making the winters considerably warmer then north of Calpe. This makes Altea and the whole area very attractive to people who want to spend the winter abroad, from countries including the Netherlands, England, Scandinavia and Germany.

De kust ten zuiden van Calpe zou een microklimaat hebben waardoor de winters duidelijk warmer (zouden) zijn dan ten Noorden van Calpe. Dat maakt Altea en de hele omgeving zeer aantrekkelijk voor overwinteraars uit onder andere Nederland, Engeland, Scandinavië en Duitsland.

BIG TRIP (1) 131The city was founded by the Iberians and Romans. In 1244 Altea was reconquered by Jaime I of Aragon. One of the tourist attractions is the church “Virgen del Consuelo”, also called “Nuestra Senora del Consuelo”, which is easily recognizable by the picturesque blue domes. It is built on top of the hill.

De stad is gesticht door de Iberianen en Romeinen. In 1244 is Altea heroverd door Jaime I van Aragón. Een van de toeristische trekpleisters is de kerk “Virgen del Consuelo” of ook wel genoemd “Nuestra Senora del Consuelo” , welke eenvoudig te herkennen is aan de pittoreske blauwe koepels. Deze is gebouwd boven aan de heuvel.

Bron: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altea_(stad)

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Altea is actually a museum itself and it is definitely the most artistic town on the Costa Blanca. It is a place where many (inter)national painters, sculptors, poets, singers and writers have their “Taller” (workshop), and inspiration.

Altea is eigenlijk een museum op zichzelf en het meest artistieke stadje aan de Costa Blanca. Een plaats waar veel (inter)nationale schilders, beeldhouwers, dichters, zangers en schrijvers hun “Taller” (werkplaats) hebben en inspiratie opdoen.

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Artistic ambition and the kind of people that feel attracted by this atmosphere, can be encountered in the narrow whitewashed streets and around the large church with the -with Valencian ceramic tiled- roof the Nuestra Senora del Consuelo, which belongs with its ‘Tower of Galera’ to the Cultural Heritage of Spain.

Kunstzinnigheid en het soort mensen wat zich daardoor aangetrokken voelt, vindt je in de nauwe, witte straatjes en rondom de grote kerk met het -met Valenciaans keramiek betegelde- dak de Nuestra Senora del Consuelo, die o.a. met de Toren van Galera tot het Culturele Erfgoed van Spanje behoort.

Bron: http://costablanca.voorjou.com/altea/

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The reason I wanted to take Kim to Altea is because many Spaniards recommended me the place because of its charm. I was pleasantly surprised and have a very good impression of this resort. I would truely recommend anyone to spend a holiday here …

De reden waarom ik Kim mee naar Altea wilde nemen, is omdat vele Spanjaarden het plekje aanraden omwille van haar charme. Ik was dan ook blij verrast en heb een zeer goede impressie van deze badplaats. Ik zou iedereen dan ook aanraden om hier een vakantie te spenderen…

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But unfortunately our budget did not allow us also to stay here, so at night we continued our trip towards Benidorm. You can read more about it in the next blog post. I will keep you informed, so keep checking this page! 😉

Maar helaas liet ons budget ons niet toe om hier ook te overnachten, en dus trokken wij tegen het vallen van de avond verder richting Benidorm. Hierover leest u meer in de eerstvolgende blogpost. Ik houd u op de hoogte, dus blijf deze pagina checken! 😉

Travelogue structureReisverhaal structuur:

  • Blogpost 1: Introduction
  • Blogpost 2: Day 1 (28/3/13) – Altea ==> you are now reading this blogpost!
  • Blogpost 3: Day 1 (28/3/13) – Benidorm
  • Blogpost 4: Day 2 (29/3/13) – Alicante
  • Blogpost 5: Day 3 (30/3/13) – Granada
  • Blogpost 6: Day 4 (31/3/13) – Malaga
  • Blogpost 7: Day 4 (31/3/13) – Ronda
  • Blogpost 8: Day 5 (01/4/13) – Gibraltar
  • Blogpost 9: Day 6 (02/4/13) – Albufeira
  • Blogpost 10: Day 7 (03/4/13) – Lisbon
  • Blogpost 11: Day 8 (04/4/13) – Sintra & Lissabon
  • Blogpost 12: Day 9 (05/4/13) – Fatima & Porto
  • Blogpost 13: Day 10 (06/4/13) – Porto & Braga