In Transit – Serra De La Vila – Villena, Spain

We’re on our way to the next stop…Christine’s favorite city in the world, Granada! We’ve rented a car and are taking the scenic route – a 1,000 kilometer drive over two days, with a stop off in the Alicante wine region to tour a few wineries. We like road trips. They’re a great way to see more of a country outside of the big cities. And of course we like wineries.

This part of Spain is unlike anything we would have expected. It’s arid, rocky, mountainous, and outside of the occasional village, unpopulated. You wouldn’t expect this to be a thriving wine region, but it is. It gets plenty of sunshine, and just enough water to grow grapes for wine, olives for olive oil, and almonds.

We spent the night in the small village of Villena. There was one hotel in town, and the owner of the hotel said she’s never had anyone from North America stay with her and she was amazed we found her place. It was a treat for all of us. Just like Valencia and Barcelona, Villena has an old town section with a maze of narrow, winding alleys. It has all the charm, with a fraction of the people. There’s even a big castle right in the middle of town!

Throughout the drive there, Kevin would be pointing to big mountains along the road, saying “that is perfect for climbing!” Lucky for him, Villena sits right next to one of these mountains. “I’m gonna run up that tomorrow morning,” he said over dinner. Christine and Louis had doubts that he could run straight up a mountain. They were right…it was taller than it seemed. But it was good practice. There’s some serious uphill running in Kevin’s near future.