Darlene Foster's Blog

In Search of Interesting Markets, Almond Blossoms and Big Guns

Posted on: February 25, 2016

We have been going on some amazing day trips lately as we explore the countryside in our part of Spain. There are markets in all the towns but I prefer searching out the more interesting markets. In this pursuit, we found a medieval market in a place called Benissa, one of the oldest towns on the Costa Blanca.


Colourful spices to savour

Teas for everything

Teas for everything

An assortment of cheeses

An assortment of handmade cheeses

Making candy apples

Making candy apples


You never know when you may encounter a knight

You never know when you may encounter a serious knight

or a jester

or a not so serious jester

or a monk and a lady

or a monk and a lady

The market is for all ages

The market is for all ages

The Moors and Christians are both represented

The Moors and Christians, both represented

Another day trip took us through the Jalon Valley, passing gorgeous scenery, quaint villages, beautiful almond blossoms and stopping at a bodega where we sampled the local wine.

gorgeous scenery

Stunning scenery in the Spanish mountains

Almond blossoms

Almond blossoms everywhere


A local Bodega offering free wine samples and wine for sale of course!

Buildings with character

Buildings with character

Water fountains

and interesting water fountains found in quaint villages

One sunny Sunday we went on a quest to find some large guns we had heard about near a place called Mazarron.  The guns were built in 1926 to defend the port of Cartagena and were disbanded in 1993.  The road leading up to the guns, once we found it, was somewhat treacherous but well worth it. The barracks, although built in the 20th century, are very medieval looking. The huge guns facing the Mediterranean were imposing but I was pleased to hear they had never been fired in anger.

The guns of Mazarron


Barracks built in 1926


One big gun beside a watchtower.

Protecting the Meditereanean

Protecting the Mediterranean


The guns of Mazarron

I hope you enjoyed our day trips with us as we look for out of the way and unique places.

Life is either a great adventure or nothing.

Helen Keller

47 Responses to "In Search of Interesting Markets, Almond Blossoms and Big Guns"

Ah, these markets, so colorful and inviting. I could spend a lot of time there–herbs, spices, delicious food, and wine–what more do you need?

That is so true. What more indeed!

Benissa, that was something special wasn’t it? Interesting to hear about the guns.

It was even more special because I went to it with you!!

I repeat….what am I doing here? 🙂 In search of a simple life myself, full of flavour and curiosity. Well done Darlene! Thanks for the peak.

I feel incredibly blessed but still miss Tsawwassen at times. Can’t have it all. Sigh!

You can’t beat a good old-fashioned market! The products you have shared look absolutely delicious, especially the cheeses. Nice costumes too. I look forward to sharing your day trips with you. 😁

There will be more as I decided this post was long enough. I too love the costumes!

I tried to name one of the spices in the first photo and came up with curry for “curcuma.” I have no idea whether I’m right or not.

Your posts are always filled with vivid color. I have a feeling that joy is the color of Spain.

Good for you, you were very close, curcuma is turmeric. Curry is the same in Spanish and English. I take my phrase book with me when I go shopping. Spain is a joyful and colourful place for the most part.

Love the spice market. I’d have to be dragged out of there.
Wonderful pictures. So many fascinating places for you to visit. Thanks so much for sharing. I enjoyed your guided tour. ❤ ❤ 😀

I’m glad you enjoyed the tour. The spices are incredible! I especially love the smoky paprika here.

We have a store called The Bulk Barn which sell everything from oats to rice to nuts and chocolate, spices, tea and coffee and on and on. When I go in there it’s always with a list but always discover something new I want to try. My drug of choice. 😀

We have a store called The Bulk Barn which sell everything from oats to rice to nuts and chocolate, spices, tea and coffee and on and on. When I go in there it’s always with a list but always discover something new I want to try. My drug of choice. 😀

WP wouldn’t send this comment. I had to come to your blog to write this. o_O

I got the comment twice so it must have had a delay of sorts. Who knows! The Bulk Barn sounds like a place I would always find things in too.

Wow you 2 are having fun. Love markets, I think they are the best of traveling! Thanks for sharing!

The markets are so much fun and all different as are the small villages they can be found in. Yes, we are having fun.

Amazing! You make me feel like I’m right there with you!

So pleased you enjoyed the post. Thanks!

That is a big gun! Those are some colorful spices–many I’ve never heard of. So many teas and cheese, so little time. You are finding all kinds of interesting places.

We are having fun exploring and don´t have to go far to find something interesting. The spices are in Spanish so they are familiar, like curcuma is turmeric, pimento is paprika etc. The scents are amazing.

The sunshine and blue sky make me very envious, but I love seeing your photographs.

The weather has been incredible for all of our day trips so far. It starts off a bit cool in the morning and warms up nicely by the time we reach our destination. I often tend to be dressed too warmly.

How true. A big adventure or nothing. We have to make a determined decision on making our lives a grand dream come true. I’m envious of your travels and wish to sample those tea and cheese (not together, though) and to walk past a knight at a market. Wishing won’t get me anywhere, I know. I’m determined to work harder so I’ll get there one day. Thanks for the inspiring photos, Darlene.

It took me a long time to get here but I held on to the dream. Glad you enjoyed the pictures Claudine.

What a delightful guided tour and I’m only on my second cuppa ☺️
I remember once going to a place in England called Tewksbury ( look it up really interesting place ) and everywhere we went people were dressed in medieval outfits …we thought we’d stepped into a stage set or back in time . Obviously we realised the next day the pre was a medievil festival on …so licit had a great day .

Tewksbury sounds like a cool place. I love that European countries have medieval fairs and markets etc. You do feel like you have stepped back in time. Glad you enjoyed my post! ❤

I would have gone crazy in the market with al those glorious spices and cheeses! What another great adventure! And your photos are so beautiful and inspiring!

You would have loved it. It was a feast for the eyes and taste buds for sure. Thanks for sharing this post!

What fun, going to the market with you. Everyone seems to be having a good time. Funny how surprised I was to see candy apple-making. I always thought candy apples were a very ‘American’ thing. Don’t know why. Thanks for educating me in all things Spanish.

Glad you enjoyed the market with me. You are right. According to my research, candy apples were invented in America in the early 20th century but soon became popular in other parts of the world were apples are in abundance, including Europe. I am sure they were not around in medieval times!

But I’m glad that people all over the world can enjoy them now! However, I don’t know about you. I prefer the outside coating to the apple in this treat. I’m allergic to apples, but that doesn’t stop me from licking the good stuff. 🙂

That’s an awesome market! And a big gun! 🙂

The gun is huge and the children love to climb on it! You would enjoy the knights wandering around the market.

Wow! When I saw how big those big guns really were. I imagine they’d shoot for quite a distance and do a lot of damage to a vessel.

The medieval market would have me lost all day; lost from the person I came with because I would wander and wander some more. I’d definitely have bought tea. I love trying new teas.

Canada has history, but Europe has ‘history’. I think what we are missing is the era when more fanciful art was appreciated. Most buildings today are bland, boring boxes. Making something functional is one thing, making it a wonderful sight is another. Both can be achieved with thought and consideration given to beauty.

Thank you for sharing. You make me want to visit Spain and spend a month exploring markets and ruins.

Fortunately the guns were never used and have been disbanded. They are just a place to visit now and since they are hard to find, not many people go there. Spain would be perfect for you, especially the small out of the way places. You would happily get lost.

I thoroughly enjoyed your little adventure…especially that wonderful market that you found. I would come back with lots of little packages from there.

It was good fun and I did bring home a few little packets!

Looks like fun and those are awesome photos!

Thanks! Glad you liked the photos.

I did indeed! Hope your weekend was great!

What a fun day trip…thanks for sharing, Darlene!!

There are so many interesting day trips in our part of Spain. Glad you enjoyed this post Kirt.

Lovely! I could be sorely tempted by all those teas and spices.

You would have loved them!! It was mind boggling there was so much to chose from.

Is that fellow in Crusader garb cooking in his helmet ?

LOL. Fortunately it wasn’t a very hot day. We did see him a bit later with it off and talking on his cell phone!!

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