Posted by: Gary Guertin | November 18, 2011

9. Atlantic/N. Africa/W. Med. Cruise – Port #8 Almeria, Spain

Hi All,

It’s still Wednesday, Nov. 16th, and we’re a few hours out from Barcelona so I’ll start our last port from yesterday, Almeria, Spain.  Again, be sure you read 8. Gibraltar before this.

Even though it was a little cool yesterday, we were back in sunny Spain.  Almeria lies on the eastern edge of Andalusia, and is a province (like our states) of Spain.  It was relatively unknown until movie companies discovered it offered ideal film sets for films such as Lawrence of Arabia and Patton.  Hundreds of westerns have been produced in the local hillsides.  Historically it has been a thriving Mediterranean port, and during the Moorish period, the city ranked among the Cordoba Caliphate’s most important ports. As you will see, it owes much of its architecture today to that period.  The name Almeria comes from the Arabic word “Al-mari-yat” which means watchtower. 

As we approached the port you could not help but see the Alcazaba (citadel), the largest Arab-built fortress in Spain.  It isn’t difficult to see why the area was named after the word “watchtower”.  Inside the triple-walled compound, several palaces and mosques still stand.

Take a look:

IMG_3585 Stitch Stitch Stitch

or up close:

IMG_3585 Stitch Stitch Stitch

Here’s a look at the rest of the port:

IMG_3595 Stitch

Susy and I decided to just take a short walking tour since for the first time I wasn’t feeling to good and Susy didn’t want to hike all the way up to the citadel.  Port sign, try this:


I tried to tag the Maasdam which is that ship in the port map above near the top of the blue water, parallel with the shore, as I took those pictures of the citadel from the side, but it doesn’t work.  Sorry, tagging hasn’t caught up to wordpress (my blog) as yet (maybe some day).

Just down from the ship and what do we find:


As we strolled into the city proper we encountered a lot of the old, narrow, streets:


with ornate balconies:



and some unique streets:


More narrow streets:


Churches and plaza’s:


and finally the new Almeria with wide avenues and plenty of shopping for Susy:


and now for those of us who go from port to port, continually looking for Wi-Fi spots, we found out for the first time, that MacDonald’s now has Wi-Fi in all their places worldwide (at least that’s what a couple told us).  So Susy and I headed for the nearest MacDonald’s:


There were outdoor café’s everywhere, even down the narrow streets:


Second to the citadel, which you saw in the beginning, the other magnificent architectural site of Almeria is the Cathedral.  It was constructed in the 16th Century from a mosque, but as soon as it was finished the port was attached, and it was decided to redesigned the corners to hold cannons.  Can you imagine, what the subsequent invaders must have thought when they encountered canon fire from a church?  The Cathedral:


The corner with cannon turrets:


Unfortunately, the cathedral was closed when we got there, so we couldn’t go inside, but they say it is beautiful.

Well, we are about to arrive in Barcelona, so I’ll close Almeria and get to you next with Barcelona.

Love You All,

Gary (alias Gagu)


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