Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Summer In Spain - Day 5

Stop 11 - Villajoyosa: We started our day off heading to Villajoyosa, a cute little coastal town known for their many chocolate manufacturers. The town was absolutely beautiful with narrow roads winding down to the beach and colorful fisherman's houses lining the boardwalk. We stopped and had lunch at a little cafe along the beach and enjoyed the smells and sounds of the ocean.

Stop 12 - Valor Chocolate Factory: With Villajoyosa being one of the major ports for cocoa beans from Africa, the small town at one time had over 30 chocolate manufacturers. These days it has only 3 factories but is still known to be the "Chocolate City" in Spain. Consequently, we figured that no trip to Villajoyosa would be complete without a chocolate factory tour. The largest of the 3 manufacturer's, Valor Chocolate, offers free tours throughout the day. We didn't make it in time for the English version of the tour so we did our best to understand what they were saying in Spanish. We were a bit surprised by how provocative Valor's ads were but really enjoyed getting to learn about their chocolate making process. And of course, the best part was the free samples at the end!

Stop 13 - Laguna Salada de Torrevieja: Just weeks before our trip I stumbled upon a picture of Laguna Salada de Torrevieja. When I realized that it was along our route to Cartegena, I knew we had to make a stop. The lake is actually pink due to a particular species of algae that resides in it. Maeli thought it was amazing and dubbed it, "Lake Pinkalicious." 

Stop 14 - Roman Theatre at Cartegena: You might think that a huge Roman theater in a city would be easy to find...but it wasn't. Although it's massive, the theater is nestled in the center of the city, surrounded by modern buildings. We were literally standing 100 feet from the entrance and had to ask someone where it was. We are always amazed to see how structures from so long ago can withstand the test of time so well. The kids loved walking up and down the stairs and Maeli graced us with a performance of "Let It Go" from center stage.

Stop 15 - Cartegena: We finished off the day with dinner at a corner cafe on the streets of Cartegena. This was definitely one of the highlights of the trip for me personally. Getting to sit outside in perfect weather, in a beautiful city with my favorite people in the world truly made me thankful for this opportunity we have to make all of these special memories as a family. 


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