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The city of Valencia is the capital of the autonomous state of Valencia, which used to be the Kingdom of Valencia. That means that there is a whole lot more to being in the area than just a single city. There are incredible communities and historic sites all over the place that are worth exploring.

On one beautiful day between Christmas and New Year’s Day, my friend Cristina and I decided to go to Alicante, a city in the Valencian community south of here. The drive itself was part of the fun, and many of the pictures are from the road, so please forgive my poor photographic skills combined with the inability to stop on the interstate to take a proper photo.

As you will see, Alicante had its own fortifications that still overlook this beautiful beach community, and although we didn’t have time to tour the castle, the day was perfect for strolling, enjoying the sights, and appreciating the town. Upon parking the car, we were presented with a huge Spanish galleon that gives tours… and provides food as a restaurant. There is a proper city around Alicante, but on a scale that is much smaller than the city of Valencia. We were able to take a more scenic route through the area, so some of my pictures are from our wandering driving.

As the day waned, we headed to Benidorm, a resort town, that boasts some incredible scenery and a very British resort-esque environment. Some of the building are simply amazing, but Benidorm is actually a small city that swells during tourist season to accommodate many people seeking a summer resort in España.

You will see two bulls on the hills on the way into and out of the area of Alicante. The toro, which is the national symbol of Spain, is an icon that is hard to resist. I am sure we will discuss more about the bull in the Spanish context in the future, but for now, let’s just say that these two silhouettes are huge and thought-provoking… at least for me.

(Note the orange groves below… these were all near the city of Valencia as we drove south to Alicante.)

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