The first visit “outside”
For the beginning I said to myself that I’d rather stay in Murcia for a while to get to know the city better so I didn’t look up for places to go around. But that changed in the first weekend of October when Maria, one of the teachers from UCAM that I knew from before, invited me to join their town celebration.
I had to choose between taking the bus or the train. I chose the latest as travelling by train always seemed more appealing to me due to the possibility of showing you landscapes that are far better than the ones from the high ways.
I decided to walk until the train station for a bit more active movement – topic of the project, right? Normally it takes around 40 minutes if you walk slowly as I live close to Plaza Circular, the main area of the new centre. Arriving at the station I am to find out that the local trains are called cercanias and cover a vast area of Murcia region, but also connect the nearby ones. I hop on it and start my 30 minutes trip to Alhama de Murcia.
The landscapes are amazing. As you leave Murcia you see vast fields of crops and orchards. Not far after Sierra Espuña appears on the right side with its steep versants covered here and there with green stains of forest. Driven away by the views, I realized as I arrived that I didn’t take any of its photos on the way.
I have to say the train station was in a rather outskirt area of the town and quite isolated. Initially I felt I got off way to soon. I start walking towards the centre of Alhama and if at the beginning of my walk my left and right side wasn’t showing something attractive, as soon as I enter a street leading to the central part, the landscape starts to change.
The place is small, but chic and now as the celebration of Feria is happening, it’s decorated with lights and given the festive look. I get to the town hall where I meet Maria and her family. We take part in the opening festivities and I get the opportunity to walk with them up in the town hall where the mayor was offering presents to the guests of the festival. Not very typical guests, but groups dressed in traditional clothes from areas such as the nearby Valencia or even from the up northern Galicia.
The celebration is based on a religious one in honour of the patron of the town, la Virgen del Rosario, yet in the past few years more activities have been added to it like concerts, open night market, sport events or concerts. Perhaps the most loved activity, or at least that seemed so, was the open market that offered a blend of smells coming from the grill section: chorizo, longaniza, lomo embuchado, salchicon, salchica, butifarra, embutidos de sangre, morcilla and so many others that I cannot even remember their names. You cannot describe the mixture of flavours that intertwine with the smoke of freshly burned coal and wood.
I left Alhama de Murcia with the last train but with the promise to return. There are still things for me to discover there, like the castle, and not to mention the tracks on the way to the mountain and even Sierra Espuña itself.