David's Diary: Sunday, March 3, 2002
Sunday has arrived and we need a break from the boat. There is a narrow gauge railway that runs North from Alicante to various resorts along the coast. We walked over to the train station. We had extra time before our train left, so we went back to the beach. On the beach was a construction of ropes made into a great climbing gym. While Karalee and I watched (you were not allowed on if you were over fifteen), Allen, Kevin, and Jocelyn quickly climbed to the top. We have not seen too many playgrounds in our travels and it was nice to see something specific for the children on the main beach of Alicante.
The coastal train runs between Alicante and Denia. The train runs once an hour, but it doesn't make the entire trip every time. The train makes its way through the suburbs of Alicante and then along the coast. This part of the Spanish coast is heavily developed and any section with any kind of beach has been surrounded by hotels, restaurants, and discos. We were only a third of a way into the trip when the train stopped and all of us were told to get off. We were all herded into buses which took to the highway towards our destination of Benidorm. Along the way we saw that the entire railbed was being rebuilt. Even though it was Sunday, crews were hard at work on the track. No doubt they wanted to be ready for the summer rush where the train runs all night carrying party goers to discos up and down the coast.
We had originally wanted to go to the seaside town of Altea, but the train we got on only went as far as Benidorm. Since it was already 1:00 and the kids were hungry, we found our bearings and walked down to the beach. Restaurants were separated from the beach by a four-lane road. There was little appeal to much of what we saw, but we did find one restaurant where we did have a pleasant, if noisy lunch.
As Karalee and I relaxed with our wine after lunch, the children ran down to the beach. Across from the restaurant was another of the climbing apparatus that we had just seen in Alicante. We then went for a walk along the beach where we were amazed at the intensity of the development. Lining the beach is hotel and apartment towers over thirty stories tall. The huge amount of development makes us wonder if the Spanish might be making too much of a good thing. We couldn't imagine that we, or anyone else, would ever recommend to anyone to make a visit to Benidorm.