"My travels" Aitana's Profile
Alicante is my home city since I was a baby; it is also my father’s city. A good place to live. The size of the city makes it comfortable. The climate and the beaches attract many people from other parts of Spain and also from abroad. Just a few miles inwards there are peaks, valleys and mountain villages in contrast with the coast landscapes.
Cuenca is a small amazing city, perched between the gorges of two rivers, Júcar and Huécar, in the Serranía de Cuenca. The city, an eagle nest 1000 m high, is famous for its Hanging Houses that lodge the Museum of Spanish Abstract Art among other monuments and was declared a World Heritage site in 1996. The nearby Ciudad Encantada completes the magic of this place.
I am discovering this beautiful region, La Rioja, bathed by the Ebro river that contributes to its wealth: the wine production (probably the best wines in Spain are elaborated here). Crossed by the Route to Santiago, a walk around La Rioja and its capital, Logroño, is also a route along the history and culture of Spain.
Along my childhood, travels between Alicante and Cuenca were very frequent. Other travels were to places such as Madrid, Avila, Segovia, Toledo, Granada, Almería, Málaga, Valencia, Murcia…
Apart from the family travels, I had also been to Rome in a school travel.
Then, the student programs Erasmus and Leonardo da Vinci gave me the opportunity of travelling on my own and stay long periods in England and Greece.
In the United Kingdom I had the fortune of knowing other overseas students that also liked knowing places around: the Lake District, the Peak District, Norwich, East Anglia…
Two years later, in Akrata (Achaia), Greece, I had also a good fellow traveler. I won’t say that we traveled all over the country, but in six months we did our best… and we learnt the language, as much as possible in such a short time! This was the beginning of a series of trips to Greece, which is a second home for me.
Afterwards I started to work at the University, first as a PhD student, later as a lecturer. Luckily, congresses and conferences permit to visit some places that one would not imagine to go. These travels are usually short and work is first, but there are always a few hours after the conferences that can be spent knowing the city. In some occasions I've extended these travels to visit other places before coming back.
1995, 1997: Paris
1997: Vilamoura; Warsaw, Krakow
2000: Edinburgh and York
2008: Hersonisos in Crete Island
2011: Albacete, Valencia
Holidays with friends are more relaxed. Good company is very important when travelling, and I have been very lucky. I have travelled with my best friend, like in Prague, and also with a small group of friends. I keep very nice memories of some travels to Greece with a friend, hiring a car and driving along the Peloponnese and Mainland Greece.
1994: Porto, Lisbon, Coimbra.
2000: Jordan: Amman, Jerash, Petra; Syria: Damascus, Alepo, Maalula, Palmyra, Hamah, Krak des Chevaliers.
2004: Istanbul; Cáceres and Lisbon; Dublin.
2003: Athens, Nafplio, Mycenae, Sparta, Mystras, Monemvasia, Volos and Oros Pilion.
2004: Athens, Patras, Akrata, Nafpaktos, Delphi, Olympia.
2005: Patras, Cefalonia, Kerkyra.
2006: Athens, Atalanti, Larisa, Meteora, Thessaloniki.
2012: Nafplio, Olympia, Kerkyra.
My last travels have been quite different: those that I’ve made with my husband. In our honeymoon we visited different places in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, travelling in a cruise. We used to avoid package tours, and indeed we avoided the land excursions, but it is so comfortable and easy to move with the hotel! It is the best way to visit many places without carrying luggage every day. After two days in Rome the cruise took us to Mykonos, Rhodes, Santorini, Istanbul, Constanta, Odessa, Ephesus, Piraeus & Athens, Naples & Pompeii.
We frequently travel to La Rioja, the land of my husband, and stay some days at Logroño, but also visit other places in the region.
Other travels together around Spain:
2007: Santander (Cantabria) and Bilbao; Almagro; Burgos, León and Salamanca
2008: Cabo de Gata (Almería); San Sebastián; Costa Brava: Rosas, Ampurias; Vitoria
2009: Úbeda, Baeza, Sabiote, Sierra de Cazorla, Jaén; Madrid; Galicia
2010: Córdoba; Granada; Galicia; Teruel
Other travels abroad:
2007: Cologne; Florence, Pisa
2008: Crete Island.
2009: London; Cluj-Napoca, Sighisoara, Targu Mures.
2011: Belgium, the Netherlands.
Most recent travels
Recently we have travelled to different places near Alicante with a group of friends, sometimes for trekking (even under the snow, like in Castalla), sometimes for cultural visits, as in Cartagena or Elche.
My father, Vicente, died on June 22, 2007, at the age of 79. He was the best driver. In fact, he really taught me to drive. He had so many qualities: calm, patient, quiet, kindhearted… He was not a prototype of VT traveler; he has never been out of Spain. But he and my mother lived each of my travels, listening to me and watching hundreds of pictures of my trips. She continues enjoying my travels through the pictures and stories.
He used to paint and my parent’s home is full of his paintings. Some of them are based on places that I had visited. The landscape of the picture, Muchavista beach, in Campello, with Puig Campana at the bottom, is the view he had from his summer home. He painted it so many times!
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