Sunday, 31 January 2016

Our Spanish Dream PART 38 Finally seeing the Imperial Pal


Our Spanish Dream PART 38 Finally seeing the Imperial Palm
Our second attempt at seeing the famous Huerto del Cura was much more successful.  On a beautiful spring day we headed back to Elche and again parked near the hospital as we knew that was close to the gardens.  This time we followed the route the other way round so we got there within a few minutes.  We paid a reasonable entry fee and spent a couple of hours wandering around the beautiful gardens.  Well laid out with information on the plants and their origins it is a place that will interest non-gardeners too.  It’s not a huge area but the way the paths meander between the flower beds, ponds, fountains, sculptures and palms gives the impression that it is a much larger garden.
There are many ancient palms within the gardens, varieties I have seen nowhere else.  Beautiful tropical flowers and a real sense of being away from it all even though it’s in the centre of a bustling city.  The history surrounding the gardens is evident and yet it felt timeless.  The famous Imperial Palm itself is supported by a lot of metalwork.  I’m told that normally this type of palm develops shoots at a young age, so effectively at the base of the tree.  This tree, now around 170 years old, did things a little differently and was a single trunk until about 60 years old so the new shoots sprouted at a height of 2 meters up the trunk.   The seven trucks radiating out from the ‘father’ trunk are themselves now over 100 years old and it is these that are supported to stop them breaking away under their own weight.  The strange arrangement of the trunks looks a little like a giant palm candelabra.
Definitely a place worth a visit, but allow plenty of time to find it!

Friday, 29 January 2016

Property of the week 3


Property of the Week 3

REF: TCS9764
Type: Villa / Detached
Area: Costa Blanca South
Town: Pinar De Campoverde
Beds: 6
Baths: 9
Pool: Yes
Price: €1,300,000
Description: A truly stunning south facing Spanish style villa that has to be viewed to obtain the full detail of this fabulous house. Totally enclosed, surrounded by pine trees and set amongs the beautiful countryside yet only 15 minutes from the beach and a 10 minute drive to the golf course. The village of Campoverde is just 5 minutes away with its many bars, restaurants, shops, banks and medical facilities etc.
Gym, Sauna, Games room,
Summer kitchen with oven & BBQ
Double garage
Workshop / Storeroom
Private swimming pool with Jacuzzi / hot tub
Impressive entrance with large driveway,fountains and statues
Outstanding views over the countryside to the sea

Our Spanish Dream Part 37 Hunting for the Imperial Palm

Our Spanish Dream Part 37 Hunting for the Imperial Palm

Hunting for the Imperial Palm
Spain has some amazing tourist attractions, but finding them isn’t always that easy.  We decided to visit the lovely city of Elche, specifically to walk through the palm gardens and seek out the oldest palm tree, the Imperial Palm.  Stupidly we assumed the famous gardens in which it stands, Huerto del Cura, would be sign-posted.
Elche is a modern metropolis but with a very different feel.  Thousands of palm trees fill the gaps between the buildings and in the centre if the city is a huge date palm grove of over 70,000 trees, although there are thought to be over 200,000 in the city as a whole.  Most of it is open to the public free of charge, but one area has been cultivated into a tropical paradise and contains the Imperial Palm.  The Palm Grove in the city is a World Heritage Site and all palms are protected by Spanish law, you need permission to remove a palm tree even if it is in your garden.
Our first attempt to see the Hueto del Cura was unsuccessful.  Seeing no signs we parked up near the city hospital and started to follow the circular walk marked on the pavement and pathways around the palm grove.  It was a lovely walk and eventually, when almost back to where we started, we found in a small side street a gate with a plague announcing we had reached our intended destination.  But the rain clouds had been gathering during the afternoon and at that moment the heavens opened.  We ran for cover into the small gift shop and there we stayed.  Of all the items we could have purchased we only bought one item, a small Christmas bell which opened to show individually crafted silver nativity figures, so absolutely nothing to do with palm trees!  Next to the gift shop is a beautiful but tiny chapel.  
Eventually the rain eased and we headed the few minutes back to the car, just making it there before the next heavy downpour.  We figured that at least we now knew the location so would come another day.