Sunday, 25 November 2012

23 Nov 1012 – U3A Trip to Novelda

I had never heard of Novelda before we booked for the U3A coach trip.   It’s just over an hour’s drive from Jalon and is near Elche

Our first stop was to the town Casino.   This is not, as the name suggests, a gambling club.  It is a very impressive building established to house meetings of the local businessmen.  Something similar to a Gentlemen’s Club in London.
We arrived too early, and had to wait for the bar to open so that we could get a welcome cup of coffee and a snack.   We passed the time with Mike and Jackie from our Monday Group.
We then had a quick tour around the centre of the old town.
Followed by a visit to the impressive La Casas-Museu Modernista.   This house was built by the first, and most famous, business woman of the town.   It is now, apparently, world famous as an example of this style.
We had an excellent local guide for our tour, and she helped to bring the building and its decoration to life with her descriptions and stories.
Lunch at a three star hotel was included in the cost of the trip, and included a large glass of wine.   It all went down very well, and our guide had her hands full getting us going again.
Our afternoon was to be spent at the impressive St Mary Magdalene’s Sanctuary and nearby La Mola Moorish Castle.
Again our guide explained the history of the castle and its unusual triangle shaped tower
Some were put off by the dark, winding stone steps leading to the top of the tower.......
........but the view made it well worth the climb
Then it was over to the Sanctuary.   It’s a most unusual shape and it came as no surprise to learn that the designer was a pupil of Gaudi who designed the famous Sagrada Familia in Barcelona
Although most famous for its outer appearance, the Sanctuary will soon have the only organ in the world to be made from marble.   We were delighted to be treated to a short demonstration.

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