National Geographic : 1929 Mar
ON THE BYPATHS OF SPAIN knees, a typical cos tume in this region. They were bound for Oran, in Algeria, where thousands go every year to harvest the rapidly increasing crops of grain. They were all talking loudly and excitedly, but no longer in the soft Andalusian ac cent. Already the harder and more gut tural slurs of the Va lencian and Catalan dialects were in evi dence. They were ges ticulating and pushing wildly, a r m s loaded with bundles, to get aboard their little steamer. The turmoil was deafening. Moored just in front of this vessel was a pretty 900-ton schooner, fresh in white paint with light blue trimmings. Here the scene was so calm and quiet that the con trast was startling. Her stern showed this neat little craft to hail from St. Johns, New foundland. THE On the poop deck, under an awning, reclined the skipper in a large extended deck chair. He was a huge, red-faced sailor from the Banks, dressed in thin whites, with a sun helmet, and ob viously comfortable in his job of checking off the two or three sailors who were swinging up slabs of salt codfish out of the hold and dumping them on the wharf. Salt cod is one of the important items of food all over Spain; Newfoundland and Nor way vie for this trade. In Alicante the main street, Paseo de los Martires, is along the water front, with well-built modern apartment houses, hotels, and open-air cafes on one side facing the sea. The town is dominated by a high rocky hill, much like the Gibral faro in Malaga (see text, page 317), upon Photograph by Angel Rubio BELFRY OF LE6N'S CATHEDRAL the top of which is the old Castillo de Santa Barbara. A VISIT TO THE FAMOUS PALM GROVES OF ELCHE The motor road toward the south was dusty and the land seemed more rocky and parched than in Andalusia, but there were almonds and fruit trees in abun dance, bearing proof of its fertility. We were soon climbing and could look back over the whitewashed, flat-roofed houses of the city, with palm trees sticking up here and there to give a splash of color. It was half an hour's ride to Elche, which is on a flat plain, and long before one enters the town its famous date palms are visible (see Color Plate XXIV).