... and with that also my very first time in Spain (though, with Seville and Barcelona to follow within the next few months, this will definitely be my 'Spanish year'). The 'city of lights' was ultimately a pleasant surprise, although, to start with the lows, I thought it was already too hot for this time of the year--however, evenings were perfect--, the architecture of the city is really not my very favourite (I recall here an earlier post of Andy on Alacant--he was way more negative on the city looks-- while I think there are also some nice spots), and if you happen to stay in one of the fancy hotels next to the Casino, the music/noise will not stop until 4:30 AM, only to restart at 7:30 AM with the hyperactive hotel housekeeping ladies... :-).
BUT: an early morning walk along the beach, dining in such fine places as La Taberna del Gourmet and César Anca (there are a couple of others I will surely have to try out with my next visit there, but Marco did not miss at all choosing these two, this time)--- tip: try any seafood dishes in either and don't miss the black rice in the first, plus the selection of white wines in these places is really beyond expectation in quality, try e.g. some of the Rueda or the new Penedés vineyards in the lists, to take two very distinct but very fine types--, or a walk through the city center in the evening (evoking here and there images of Tuscany, if you were to ask me for an analogy) should be on your to-do list, if you happen to visit. And did I already mention that the wine/food prices are just lovely (especially if you come from Scandinavia) ? :-).
Oh, I almost forgot: my primary reason for visiting Alicante was to give a seminar at the Fundamentos del Análisis Económico, Universidad de Alicante. Great audience, nice people, charming university campus: I totally enjoyed my visit there!