Thursday, 24th September 2020
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This Month's Magazine



In fairness, much more should have been written about Melilla because in my opinion it truly deserves a broader coverage in the Spanish media.
So few people seem to go to Melilla except for 24hr shopping sprees (It is a duty-free port), rushing from one Indian bazaar to the next filling their bags with portable items, embroidered linen, cheap umbrellas…
It is ideal for long weekend trips. It is only 31/2 hours away on the fast ferry and it costs € 65 per person return, to include a shared double room in a hotel, with breakfast.
Given its geographical location it has spring-like weather even on our colder winter days.
The town is popular for Art Nouveau and Belle Époque enthusiasts. I took a short taxi ride to my appointed apartment in which I was going to stay, passing on the way charming boulevards and avenues of mature trees and more examples of local architecture.
After a good night’s sleep, I visited the tourist office to hire a local guide for the day. They are authorised by the tourist office and are very professional with a deep knowledge of historical value.
We walked through into the town centre with its smart modern building and shops. It was on Avenida Juan Carlos that I noticed a magnificent lilac coloured building with 1915 painted on the window, it was adorned by beautiful, amazing ornaments all over. The guide explained that there were 1,500 of these modern buildings in Melilla, and the reason given for this large number is the fact that a disciple of the famous Catalan architect Gaudi from Barcelona, Enrique Nieto y Nieto, moved to Melilla in 1910 where he stayed until his death in 1954.


Our guide took us also to the visit the "Melilla la Vieja" an assembly of military stone buildings from the 15th and 16th centuries, the Municipal Museum, The Military Museum, The School of Restoration, and the former seat of "La Compañia del Mar".
Christian, Muslims, Jewish and Indians who live in harmony in this town of 69,000 covering an area of only 14.2 km2.It is worth visiting the Caves of the Convent, ("Cuevas del Conventico") where the population endured a 100 days siege by Sultan, Sidi, Mohamed, Ben, Abdullah in the 18th century.
Another interesting feature to be found and worth visiting is "Alhibes" (Water Wells) the town's water supply from 1571 to 1947, which could still function even today. The Parque Hernandez has a paved walkway resembling the famous one that is found in Copacabana Beach, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
International cuisine is exceptionally good featuring mouth watering fish dishes, like Dublin Prawns, Moroccan dishes, and of course Spanish.
Have a good trip I did.

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