Thursday, 24 June 2010

22 June 2010 - Birthday in Calasparra

During our recent short visit to Calasparra it was Paul’s birthday, and our visit to two good friends Paul and Jean who have just moved to Spain proved and excellent way to celebrate it.

Paul and Jean have just moved to Calasparra from UK.

They were happy to show us around the area, and our first visit was to the Casa de Cristo, a popular picnic site high on the mountain overlooking the small town of Moratalla

The museum and restaurant was closed on a Monday, and the area deserted – except for Jan’s new friend.

After the three hour drive from Parcent to Calasparra it was nice to be able to walk around in the cool mountain breeze and admire the scenery

Paul has promised us a BBQ for my birthday meal, and he did not let us down. He enjoys cooking, and particularly outdoor cooking.

We were very impressed with the BBQ area…

…. and also the excellent meal he cooked us

Our next visit was to The Sanctuary of our Lady of Hope just three miles outside Calasparra is a popular place of pilgrimage.

The church is in a cave carved out of the rock to mark the spot where a shepherd stumbled on a little statue of the Virgin Mary which was so heavy it could not be moved

The altar was covered in flowers, presumably following a recent church service.

The river Segura flows below the church, and there is a large picnic and BBQ area which is very popular with locals and visitors alike on weekends and festival days.

Next to Calasparra itself and up the steep narrow streets to the castle

We had not come prepared for such a poor path, and the Monday Club would not have approved of our footwear.

However the views when we finally reached the castle made the climb worthwhile.

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