Calpe is a small town on the Mediterranean coast of Spain, in the Alicante province near Valencia. It’s most remembered for the Penyal d’Ifach, the northern counterpart to the south’s rock of Gibraltar. This photo was taken as I ascended the Penyal d’Ifach, looking down at the resort and ocean below. The rock is also a protected bird sanctuary, and so the prevalence of birds in nesting season made it impossible to get a picture without a bird in the shot (or, alternatively, dive-bombing me and my tripod). Of course, I was too much of a scaredy-cat to ascend the entire rock, but I was quite content with this view of clear blue skies and even bluer waters.
In the province of Valencia on the Costa Blanca is the touristic town of Calp, visited not only for its long stretch of beaches but also for the iconic Penyal d’Ifach, a massive limestone outcrop emerging from the sea and linked to the shore by rocks. It is often compared to its southern counterpart, the Rock of Gibraltar, and is 332 metres high. You can hike up the Penyal d’Ifach thanks to a tunnel carved into the rock, though the steep cliff face and narrow pathway proves intimidating to some, as are the aggressive birds during nesting season. I chose instead to capture the rock from below, where it rises from the Mediterranean Sea, sheltering and protecting the town below.
I took this photo while I was sprinting between venues at Iceland Airwaves in 2014, from KEX Hostel to Slippbarinn, and an inebriated sprint at that. Following the coastal boardwalk takes you on a direct line from KEX to the Marina Hotel, and even though my mind was focused on getting to the venue in time to see Low Roar, I’m so thankful to have kept my gaze wandering to the ocean as often as was safely possible. For the view of Mount Esja from the shores of Reykjavik is one view I could never tire of. My heart is longing for Iceland again. Maybe because I’m in the midst of planning a trip to somewhere other than Iceland, maybe it’s because I’ve been dutifully checking for any lineup announcements for Airwaves to see if a bucket-list artist will be performing and will force me to book the trip. Either way, I haven’t forgotten you.