Some of my first wanderings in Alicante involved happening upon another plaza on nearly every new street I explored. There was a plaza with a pagoda bar in the center, a plaza with an aquarium, a plaza filled with palm trees, another with lit water jets splashing up from the ground, and plenty with small parks for children and peaceful seating arrangements. Even after two months, I came across another “new” plaza just yesterday. Here, plazas are everywhere.
And while each plaza has it’s own unique charm, I can say without a doubt that my favorite plaza in Alicante is the Plaza Gabriel Miro. More commonly known as the Plaza de Correos, so named for the post office that forms one of its boundaries, this plaza is conveniently down the street from La Rambla, where I live, and features a fountain, benches, greenery, tiling, and what I have dubbed “The Best Ficus Tree in Alicante.”
Reputedly four or five hundred years old, this massive tree stretches toward the sky and is easily the largest tree I have ever seen. Curiously, this type of tree has an ability to grow not only up from the roots, but also down, sending new shoots back to the earth from its branches. The effect is a messy entanglement of tree stuff with a sometimes indistinguishable transition between roots, trunk, and branches.
This particular ficus tree has enough different pieces that I can walk through it when I’m not too busy staring at it in awe. My friend Julie is included in this picture to give some notion of scale.
Conveniently on the way to this plaza is a pastry shop called Rafelet that sells half a dozen chocolate dipped cookies for less than a euro, which makes the perfect excuse to pick up a snack and dar un paseo – go for a stroll – through this beautiful area.