I have heard of Coca-Cola, Diet cola, even cherry cola, but never Peniscola before I came to Spain.Now before you lot out there start thinking, I wonder how it got its name I will tell you. It’s a local evolution of the word peninsula. Often called Gibraltar of Valencia, or locally known as the city by the sea.
The castle and old town built on a rocky headland about 67 metres high although I never measured this to confirm, but I will take there word for it. It’s only joined by a narrow strip of land which makes it easier to defend. It’s a fortified seaport with a lighthouse, built between 1294 and 1307. It’s them long tea breaks again. It was restored and new walls added in 1960, which is when they filmed the movie El CID starring Sophia Loren and Charlton Heston. I can’t remember the film myself being such a young spring chicken but sure some of you out there can remember it. All the horses and men on the beach with the castle in the background etc.
I am going to have to watch it now. I think the area has changed a bit since then, I can’t see Sophia and Charlton nipping off for tapas and a siesta between shots.
To get too Peniscola we decided to walk. You can walk all along the seafront from the campsite we are on. So up bright and early, well ready to go by 9 30, we are in Spain after all. The idea was to walk there and on the way check out another campsite, walk around, have lunch somewhere and walk back if we felt up to it. We knew the bus run from Peniscola to Benicarlo and stopped near the supermarket in Benicarlo, still a twenty minute walk from there to the campsite. Off we went, it was a bit chilly first thing but we soon warmed up and the sun was out, the sea twinkling, no wind only from Nikki as she gasped for breath so I relized I was walking a bit too fast, so we slowed the pace down a bit. The walkway is lined with palm trees and a low wall and every now and then a board walk on to the beach with information boards. We stopped for a photo shoot every now and then. Reached the campsite we wanted to look at after about an hour and a half. It’s one we though we might return to next year as a stopover. But it was not to be, all the pitches that we would fit on were narrow and would be difficult to get on and the site was not that nice. So we continued on our way to the castle.
All around the castle are beautiful little streets and alleyways with bars and restaurants, all which were closed being out of season, and little souvenir shops with the usual sort of stuff them sort of shops sell… souvenirs.They were open. I had gone onto google street veiw before we came here and found a restaurant that I thought, that’s where I want lunch, overlooking the sea etc. But it was one of them that was closed. We walked up steps, down steps, through little streets. It was very beautiful. We never actually went in the castle as Nikki’s little legs were by now very tired and I did not want to leave her sat outside while I went in for an hour or more. So that’s something I will do on my own another day.
When we left the old town we wandered around part of the new town by the marina and had lunch. Then the big question to Nikki, bus or walk. Before I could finish the sentence the word bus and the look said. We are catching the bus. So we walked to the bus stop, not the nearest one but a couple along because we had time. Off the bus in Benicarlo outside the supermarket, a quick bit of shopping and another twenty minute walk from there to the campsite. Shower, chairs out, cold beer and wine and let the sun go down. We worked it out we walked between ten and eleven miles.