Aqualandia (2020)

I have been on vacation on the Spanish Costa Blanca for ages. I spent many vacations in my childhood in Torrevieja, after all my family had a small vacation apartment there. Almost always we drove 2400km down there by car and of course our car didn’t have air conditioning. These were exciting road trips including Uriah Heep and CCR, which became quite lively in the Pyrenees. Thereupon we had two weeks of vacation before the game repeated itself. It was a great time, but I didn’t visit many parks during my childhood spent in Spain.

Meanwhile I usually spend my vacations somewhere else. My family has exchanged the vacation apartment in Torrevieja for a nice house near Dénia and I have only been there once for Christmas. Actually I had planned to spend my vacations in Canada this year, but then came Corona. I hadn’t booked anything yet – it was supposed to be a road trip anyway. The stock markets collapsed and all countries were closed down temporarily. After a few months of lock-down some states opened their doors again and just in time for the summer vacations we were able to travel comfortably in Europe. Spontaneously, I joined my father, who, following the old tradition, drove to Spain by car with a colleague – only that I first flew to Madrid and later on I would join them by train.

So the vacation was spontaneous and the cost was quite human. Thanks to the vacation house we stayed mostly among ourselves. Moreover, we did not have to worry about Covid-19; because the Spanish is exemplary in this respect: everywhere, people wear masks and keep their distance from each other. Beaches are empty, cities are deserted and even the amusement and water parks are moderately visited at most. An unparalleled disaster, which even led the Mundomar-Aqualandia Group to decide not to open its Terra Mítica theme park in the first place.

However, Mundomar and the neighboring Aqualandia started into the season.

Just like the Parque Warner theme park, the Aqualandia water park followed a strict hygiene concept. To be honest, I do not know to what extent it makes sense to disinfect swimming tires, which are in constant contact with chlorine anyway. It is also strange to disinfect your hands before each slide under observation of the staff, when the stuff is already washed down completely a few seconds later anyway. Well, at least here in the waterpark your hands don’t necessarily dry out – so it doesn’t bother me that much.P

Since the water park was hardly visited even on weekends, there were no significant waiting times with few exceptions. Due to capacity constraints, the longest waiting times were due to the grouped admission at the multi-lane slide Pistas Blandas. The two tire slides Black Hole and Rápidos, which are located close to the entrance, were also relatively well attended. On the big Tornado slide Cyclon, on the other hand, the hurdle was mostly due to the fact that you were only allowed to slide in groups of four.

In addition to the classic body slides Zig-Zag, the water park convinces above all with its Splash and Big Bang slide towers. The mat slides, like all kamikaze slides, are incredibly fun, but also demand a lot from you. But if you like it even a bit more extreme, you can throw yourself to the ground in VertiGo 28 or 33m with the best view of the city of Benidorm.

 

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Cartagena (2020)

As my father had something to do in Torrevieja, we went on a small road trip to the nearby city of Cartagena, where we had a look onto the old Roman remiscents of the cities past. All in all, the Teatro Romano is an awesome sight and should be seen my anyone nearby. Unfortunately, the Anfiteatro de Cartagena was blocked off for renovations. Instead we had a view into the Civil War Museum next door.

As Cartagena is an important harbour for the Spanish Navy, we also did a small harbour boat trip, where we had a great view onto the harbour and the Bahia de Cartagena.

As it was the case with Madrid a few days before, the city was more or less deserted. All tourist stayed at home and even the Spanish did not spend their time in the city centre. I’m not sure if Spain will ever recover from this, but I hope that it does and that the tourist come back sooner than later.

 

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Dénia (2020)

Starting from the Ermita del Pare Pere in Dénia my aunt and I went on a small hike on the southern side of the Montgó mountain. Here, we visited the Cova de l’Aigua and had a look at the Racó del Bou on our way back. All in all, we spend about three hours on the 5,4 km long trail and enjoyed the view down to the city of Dénia with every step. The paths to the grotto Cova de l’Aigua are slim, but still fine for many Spaniards for jogging up and down – a very interesting activity, which I would not even dare to try. The paths in direction of Racó del Bou are harder to walk on, but still easily manageable, although sometimes quite slippery. On this path you can also start your climb towards the peak of the Montgó.

After our morning hike, we drove down to the sea front to have a nice breakfast in one of the countless cafés. We stopped at the restaurant Movida Dénia at Calle del Pont, which I can recommend.

 

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