Waking up this morning we remembered it was Fiesta de Los Reyes which is the celebration of the Three Kings. This is the day that the kids in Spain get their Christmas presents and families spend the day together. All the shops around are generally closed for this day, but with a beautiful day calling us outside to play we had to go find somewhere new to explore!
We jumped in our van (Pickle) and headed towards the coast. The crystal blue waters of the med was so enticing! We stuck to a costal road and ended up in Villajoysa which is a fair sized town with a beautiful old town. Living in Spain for 3 years now we never realized how big Villajoyosa is!
It was full of life and energy and to our surprise the cafes and bars were brimming over with lots of Spanish happy to be celebrating the holidays.
As we drove to the outskirts of the town Dilly said, “there is meant to be some amazing ruins somewhere out here, but I’m not sure where” before she could even finish her sentence I shouted, “its right up there!!!”. It was literally right in front of us.
The first thing we saw as we swung around the roundabout was this incredible tower perched on the edge of a cliffside. We were so excited to find it that we quickly pulled off the road and started our way up the trail to the ruins.
The views are spectacular! From the start of the trail you have an unbelievable view of the ocean surrounded by beautiful cliffs scattered in pine trees. At one point while we looked back to the mountains behind us we felt like we were somewhere else, like Arizona. The arid landscape with the mountains jutting out in the distance just gave us a sense of somewhere completely different.
Without a doubt what draws you here is the ruins of the Villa Giacomina. It was built in 1910 by Dr. Alfonso Esquerdo. He occupied this house until 1922 when he died. The architecture of the building imitates medieval buildings and is incredible to see. What is so intriguing about this place is what he was trying to say with the way he built it. The facade is of Arabic style with beautiful white and black tiles at the front of it and each window had a star of David. The opposite facade imitates late gothic style and you can really notice all the different aspects of the building. This mix of religions (islamic, christian, jewish) the black and white tiles of the main entrance (symbolizes the equality of races) and the other details are related to masonry. It was so incredible to see and we never realized how close it is to us.
After standing in awe for some time we marched our way up the cliffside path to the tower. The tower that stands at the top of the hill was built by famous psychiatrist and head of the Republican party José Maria Esquerdo, Alfonso’s uncle, to the late 19th c., as a private study.
We didn’t want to leave this place. It had such a magical charm about it and left us feeling full of energy and with massive smiles on our faces. We felt so lucky to have stumbled upon it and are already planning a trip back!