I had the pleasure of visiting Murcia back in November for a day with Joanne and both our mums. We were staying in Alicante for a few days to break up the long winter, so with the hire car we decided to drive as far as Murcia. I have been going with Joanne to Alicante for years now, and I have always wanted to visit Murcia, it is about an hour's drive from where we stay, so why not! I will tell you why not, in previous years in the back of our minds we may have had a slight fear of going there because of the prospect of another earthquake like the one that happened in 2011. The earthquake primarily hit Lorca a small town in the Murcia region about 50 mins from the main Murcia centre, so maybe we didn't really have much to worry about all this time.
The first thing you notice driving to Murcia it seems more agricultural than the Alicante region, everywhere is covered in orange groves. The Valencian and Murcia regions being some of the biggest exporters of oranges in Spain. The city itself seems large and sprawling at least on the outskirts, and far bigger than I actually imagined. It was fairly simple however to navigate through the city and find parking, deliberately parking in an area that allowed us to stroll in and explore. Walking in to the main cultural area the architecture becomes more and more impressive. The main centre of attraction is the area that surrounds the Cathedral De Murcia (pictured above). The front of the cathedral is in the Baroque style and the impressive interior is of the Gothic style. It is the main Catholic cathedral for the region of Murcia, it is incredible inside. It may be free entry but I would definitely pay to go inside, it would be worth every penny. There is a beautiful plaza/square that surrounds the area of the cathedral and a few more churches like the one below, it is very unassuming for a church named the Palacio Episcopal.
After our visit to the cathedral, we wandered through the streets eventually coming out to the Casa Consistorial, which is the seat of the local government. Everywhere you look you are in absolute awe of the architecture. What I loved was the sheer detail they put in to keeping the area maintained and looking beautiful.
Stunning fountain and gardens outside the Casa Consistorial
Directly across the road from the Casa Consistorial is the river Segura, even the embankment and bridges are impressive and stunning.
On the day we arrived if I remember correctly I think it was a public holiday so a lot of shops were closed but there was a really cool antique flea market on the bank of the river. I love browsing through markets like that as you will never know what you might find. Soon after the market we were getting hungry, and where better to have tapas in Spain than in a city renowned for its tapas. On the stroll around to find somewhere to eat we came across this awesome building, it is the Teatro De Romea. It reminded me for some reason of the Grand Hotel Budapest, which is a cool movie if you want a quirky crazy comedy.
We found a great little tapas bar called the "Bar La Tienda Susano", I will link it below. The food was phenomenal, the pictures speak for themselves, I adore tapas I could eat them all day every day. We left absolutely stuffed, I highly recommend visiting there, it sits just behind the cathedral on the corner of the main shopping street.
Pan Con Tomate
Iberian Black Pig Ham
Fresh deep fried hake
What an absolutely great day out we had, I would recommend visiting Murcia even for just a long weekend. Anytime we go back to Alicante, a day trip to Murcia will be on the list of things to do. It is also easy to get to by plane, Ryanair fly direct from Dublin airport and flights are relatively cheap. Let me know if you have been to Murcia, what you thought of it or if you have any recommendations.
Bar La Tienda Susano : http://www.latiendadesusano.es/
Today's blog was written whilst listening to the Arcade Fire's "The Suburbs".