Archive | November, 2016

A Bit Inclement 

28 Nov

The sun doesn’t always shine on the Costa Blanca

Watching the storm coming in

And here it is (photo by Linda Ferguson)

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Valencia 

18 Nov

 

The U3A here in Jàvea do an annual trip to Valencia at this time of year. It’s hugely popular probably because it is the easiest and cheapest way to visit the city and results in fierce queueing when the tickets become available. We’d got in there early, with about a dozen people in front of us, but only just managed to secure a place in the second coach amid mutterings of block bookings and raised hackles.

The weather had been a bit, shall we say, disappointing the last few days with rain and high winds, the clouds thwarting any chance to see the much hyped supermoon. It still didn’t look very promising for our trip despite a sunny forecast. Cue much dithering on my part about what to wear, finally settling on the uninspiring jeans and t-shirt along with the northern European old faithful – a fleece jacket. A practical choice, I suppose, but yelling “tourist” in the trendy Spanish city.

Alighting close to the old town between the ornate railway station and the bullring, the station’s facilities were our first port of call, although spending a penny there now costs €0.60 each but you get what you pay for at a much needed time! Suitably relieved, the urge for refreshments now took priority so we headed into the old town in search of a pavement cafe in the sun, which had made a welcome appearance, and picking up a map along the way.

With the sun shining and after studying the map we decided to spend the morning walking along what used to be the river bed and is now a green and welcoming park where parakeets fly freely overhead. An inspired bit of town planning, the park has both sunny and shady paths to suit all weathers and attracts walkers, joggers and cyclists as well as tourists like us, all clutching maps and heading for the extraordinary City of Arts and Sciences.

Valencia has many old and beautiful buildings but the futuristic architecture of the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias is probably the “must see” area. Consisting of a science museum, IMAX cinema, planetarium, sculpture garden and opera house as well as the largest aquarium in Europe, you don’t have to actually go in but you have to see the spectacular buildings.

Our dose of culture and exercise complete and with limited time left before our coach pick up, we doubled back to the old city in search of a leisurely lunch which, to be honest, is what we came for. Spoilt for choice but eventually stumbling on a little place in the dappled shade we settled down and savoured the atmosphere as well as the food, watching the world go by. Now this is what life in Spain is all about.