We flew out from Birmingham on the 8:45am flight with Jet2, having enjoyed a breakfast at All Bar One in the airport terminal. The flight was a little bit bumpy and there were some characters onboard!
After our bumpy landing in Alicante we headed through passport control and to collect our luggage. We’d checked in all four of our cases as generally we find it easier when on the aircraft to not fiddle around putting hand luggage in the overhead. Three out of four cases had arrived before the carousel stopped spinning. Panic then set in as the clothes we were going to wear for our time in Alicante and embarking the ship were in the case that had not turned up!
We spoke to the Jet2 rep who couldn’t have been more helpful. There was a case similar in size and material to our missing one, and it looked as if another passenger had mistakenly taken ours. She was polite and helpful and got in contact with the passenger who had indeed taken the wrong case. Within 45 minutes all was resolved and the chap who owned the purple case with black handles and two wheels appeared with my red case with silver handles and four wheels. An easy mistake to make when you’ve had four pints at 11am.
With that issue resolved we caught a taxi to Alicante and to our hotel – the Gran Sol. A high rise building with a sea view convenient for the port and the old town.
At this point I thought “Relax” we’re on holiday, we’re here. The hotel room is pleasant enough if not a little small, but we’re looking forward to watching our cruise ship, the MSC Opera, sailing in tomorrow.
Our room is on the 22nd floor and offers fantastic views of the marina and also the cruise terminal.
After freshening up it was time to explore Alicante. Alicante is a great wine producing region in Spain with it’s own D.O. (Denominación de Origen) which means wines from the area are protected in the same way as Champagne and dear old Cornish Pasties.
A short walk from our hotel we found the palm tree lined boulevard and stopped for a glass of full-bodied red wine at a very inviting bar ‘La Terraza del Gourmet’ – expect to pay about €3,50 per glass of wine in the area
Following our rehydration and a well needed rest we continued our self-guided walking tour and headed towards the central market. The markets in Spain are generally incredible, with fantastic fresh produce and a few stalls selling food to go. Unfortunately for us it was either Siesta time or a non-market day. As such we carried on walking and taking in the architecture and views, including the gorgeous white sandy beach with inviting bright blue water.
Alas as it is only March the water was not inviting enough to tempt me in for a dip!
After sampling another glass of Rioja on the seafront we headed back to our hotel for a well earned siesta before heading out for dinner.
We weren’t sure where to eat, and as such took the lift to the 26th floor of our hotel and had an aperitif in the bar. The bar offers the most stunning views of Alicante, perhaps because you can’t see the brutal monolithic hotel that you’re sat in against the historic castle and marina.
After our libations we headed out for dinner and again had a good walk around the historic town centre. It may be because we are here in the off-season but Alicante feels a very safe town compared to Barcelona where you have to be in constant guard against pickpockets. The town also seems very compact with easy access to all the main attractions.
We deliberated where to eat and think we had some lucky escapes from restaurants we might not have enjoyed.
By chance we walked past the Boca De Vin on Calle de San Nicholas. The menu had a good selection of Spanish dishes. The open plan kitchen and bar set up was very welcoming and as such we decided to eat here and we are so glad we did!
The stylish and comforatable surroundings of Boca De Vin accompanied by friendly staff put this place on to a good start. We sat in the upper bar area and deliberated over the menu whilst enjoying another glass of wine! HIC!
We ordered the mixed platter, sirloin steak with polenta and fois gras and whisky prawns to share between us and wow were we impressed! The attention to detail and the presentation of the food was just exquisite.
The platter of meats and cheeses was varied, with beautiful garnishes and flavours that complimented each other perfectly, accompanied by freshly baked bread.
We were sat by the open-plan kitchen and the care being taken during the preparation of the food oozed of professionalism and care. The final two dishes were presented to us and we both agree that the prawns were our favourite as they were so different to something we’d normally cook. The ‘zing’ of the lime and hotness of the chilli in the sauce added life to a tomato sauce and cut through some of the more bland flavours that can dominate prawn dishes.
A final walk around Alicante and we’re now back at the hotel, ready to board our cruise in the early afternoon tomorrow.
Until tomorrow, buenas noches!