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Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Leaving Valencia Cartagena, Spain, Friday, 08 March 2013 6:58am

Our first day road tripping! We started out with a tram trip to the central market to pick up some snacks for the road (cheese, olives, fruit, nuts, and bread), and then took the metro to the stop before the airport to pick up our rental car. There was a slight hitch: our tourist metro cards don't work for that stop, so we couldn't get out of the subway station. Oops. Luckily, someone came along who was able to help us.

We picked up the car almost on schedule. Not the car we'd reserved, of course, but an upgrade. It turns out to be a VW Passat, which is pretty nice. I feel better stowing luggage in the huge trunk of that thing, rather than in a hatchback.

Next, we headed back into town to visit the Fallas Museum. It took some searching to locate it, but it turned out to be literally across the street from the bus stop I used to return from the City of Arts and Sciences the other day. It was a fascinating museum, with lots of information about the tradition of Las Fallas, many gorgeous Fallas posters, and all of the ninots that have been saved from burning over the years. I think some of the sculptures from this year are at least as good as the ones from previous years, though I find this year's poster uninspiring.

We retrieved our luggage from our hotel and set out for the coast. Unfortunately, it started raining after a short while, and our first planned stop, hiking at the Peñon de Ifac, didn't work out. The hike is said to be difficult under normal conditions, and it appeared to be closed due to the rain.

We continued on to our next stop, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Alicante (MACA). The museum was created from the personal collection of Eusebio Sempere, a local abstract artist who collected a large amount of other 20th Century art over the course of his career. There were a bunch of fun pieces that used optical effects to create secondary images or visual vibrations.

Leaving the museum, we saw that there was a castle up on the hill. Since Adrienne hadn't gotten in her hiking at the Peñon and wanted to visit a castle, she started up the stairs. I've had enough walking over the past few days, so I headed back into town to find the elevator. The view from the castle was great, with dramatic costal mountains and a clear expanse of the Mediterranean.

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