If you think I was grinning hard enough for my face to be sore the next day while in Alicante, you'd be 1000% right. I LOVE Spain. Whenever I land, I feel a rush of life in my soul and feel like I belong in every sense. Everything about Spain makes my heart sing: the culture, the people, the food, the music, the weather, LITERALLY EVERYTHING. We woke up early on Wednesday to head out of Porto. We could have either spent 11 hours travelling back to Berlin from Porto with a long layover in the Lisbon airport, or spent 12 hours travelling through Spain so we chose the latter option because paella (duh), la gente, 80 degree weather, and horchatas.
There's no bad time to visit Spain! I had never been to Alicante before, but my friend Sabrina did a week long road trip with her family through Valencia in 2017 and said she loved Alicante. Alicante is known for its cliffside white houses, horchata made from tiger nuts, and its gorgeous Costa Blanca. Thankfully, Audrey and I had enough time to experience all three things in our short 5 hour adventure through the Spanish port city. We ordered a paella (more of a risotto if you ask me, but I'm no rice expert like the Alicantinians) with shrimp, octopus, and clams from Arrocería Antón (Av. de los Condes de Soto Ameno, 47, 03005 Alicante, Spain). And yes, I safely transported our leftovers home to Berlin with me.
Afterwards, Audrey and I solidified our BFF status with Spanish flag friendship bracelets and sipped sweet horchatas at Turrones Y Helados Espí (Av. Alfonso El Sabio, 4, 03004 Alicante, Spain). I'm not sure when the next time it'll be 80 degrees in Berlin so I had to snag this picture of Audrey to commemorate our last warm day for a while. Spain, you have my heart. I promise to return for a loooong road trip along your perimeter in 2021. I'm thinking Barcelona (duh) > Pamplona (for the running of the bulls) > Donostia - San Sebastian > Bilbao (for some of the best restaurants in the world) > Leon > Oviedo (Vicky Cristina Barcelona, anyone?) > Sarria > Santiago de Compostela (views!) > Salamanca > Sevilla (for ferria) > Cordoba > Granada (the homeland) > Malaga (beach day) > Valencia > Mallorca > and then back to Barcelona.
[all we really got to do in this beautiful city]
- Arrocería Antón (Av. de los Condes de Soto Ameno, 47, 03005 Alicante, Spain) - This cute little restaurant has some quirky wall décor but the delicious homemade food and kind staff more than make up for it. The waitress served us almost as quickly as she recited the dishes of the day and checked on us constantly which was a welcome change from the service we're used to in Berlin. Everything at this restaurant from the fresh bread with olive oil and aioli, to the arroz, to the cafe con leches to finish the meal off were exactly what we were looking for. I'm recommend coming here if you're looking for authentic food and relaxing yet authentic people watching.
- Horchatería Azul (Carrer Calderón de la Barca, 38, 03004 Alacant, Alicante, Spain) This was where we wanted to go to get horchatas but... - Turrones Y Helados Espí (Av. Alfonso El Sabio, 4, 03004 Alicante, Spain) this is where we ended up going instead. Horchatas in this region of Spain are made from tiger nuts and aren't the rice-milk, cinnamon-y, creamy concoction you'll find in Central America. Our drinks were akin to carrot juice and were very sweet so I'd reckon you could get away with a sugar-free order. The waiter here was also super kind and showed the type of hospitality and genuine kindness that's hard to come by in Berlin.
If you're planning on visiting Alicante, I'd recommend brushing up on your Spanish because I barely heard any English in the city once I left the airport. It's nothing that Google Translate can't solve so don't let it hold you back from visiting this underrated Spanish city!