Saturday, December 03, 2011

Calasparra and Sanctuary

On Thursday we had a drive over to Calasparra, it is a pleasant town with a nice square where you can get a good cup of coffee and a pastry or cake, there is meant to be a cheesecake factory in Calasparra but we can never find it, however we did find the Sanctuary of the Nuestra Senora de la Esperanza, our lady of hope - the patron saint of Calasparra, it is several kilometres from Calasparra in a gorge with the Rio Segura running through it, The sanctuary dates back to the 17th century, it is a place of pilgrimage and many people travel here from all over Spain and beyond. The church which is beautiful is set into the cliffs and a mass is held on Sundays and bank holidays at 12:00. There is a gift shop, childrens play area and large restaurant with a varied menu that is very reasonably priced, There are several waymarked walks and a barbeque area down by the river. Entry is free but donations are accepted. On the way from the sanctuary there is a viewpoint where you can look across breathtaking views of the mountains, river and the rice paddy fields that Calaparra is also famous for.

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