Easter for the non-believers baby: Valencia, Murcia, Palm groves in Elche and Cartagena (Spain)

I’ve just arrived to Barcelona to begin working on my PhD. This is my second time in Spain and since Easter 2017 was just around the corner, Tim and I rented a car and planned an impromptu drive along the south Western coast. These are a few of our impressions along our week-long journey.


Our first stop was Valencia, very well known for its citrus production. We saw fields and fields along the way. There were also all these trees with citrus’ fruits hanging from them. They looked delicious and edible but when we asked our local AirBnB host they said, uhm no, Those are actually just for decoration. What?!


Bright citrus not for eating, what?!

We’d hyped up having a paella in Valencia a lot. Too much. The strip with all the palm trees. I’m not a paella connoisseur true. All fried rice with vegetables and meat/seafood combination is equally delicious for me.

It was a nice day. We had a walk around the city centre, the seaside and saw some medieval towers that protected the old city.


This was meant to be the fruit and vegetable capital of Spain. We did see that! All around we saw plenty of fruit and vegetable cultivars. The AirBnB host here had his own allotment with figs, citruses, nuts. Lovely.

Palm groves in Elche

Since one of the case studies I’ll end up developing for my PhD involves palm trees, I wanted to head out and see one of the biggest plantations of palm trees in Europe. Elche had a quite a few palm tree parks. These are quite the sight. They looked like massive roots that couldn’t stand being buried in the ground any longer and sprouted up and out of the ground with incredible force.


One of the most popular, if not THE most popular destination for tourists in Colombia is Cartagena. During this trip I learned that Spain also has a Cartagena. I was quick to assume that this Cartagena was the ‘original’ Cartagena that had given the Colombian city its name. But! Actually, there’s many other Cartagena’s in the world. The first was Carthage, the capital of the Carthaginian civilisation, in what is now known as Tunisia.

The city was small but nice. It had a roman theatre and lots of restaurants. We saw the Easter procession where people walk in these KKK-look alike outfits. My favourite was the small boat tour we took along the coast.

Aaand this was Easter, lots of memories and first sights of Spain.


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