Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Monday 13th May 2013 - Wednesday 15th May 2013

Monday, leave Gandia, and drive the 50 miles or so to Valencia.

Valencia, Pinedo, Coll Vert (N39 23'47" W0 19' 58"), is extremely well placed for visiting Valencia, you can cycle there, on a dedicated cycle track (about 4 miles), or, get the bus from just outside the campsite.

Tuesday, it is raining when we wake up!

But, by the time breakfast is over, the sun is out again, and off we go to Valencia on our bicycles.

First along the beach, then past the container port, we are soon in the "Jardin del Turia".

This area of Valencia is amazing.

It was formerly the course of the River Turia. But, after several disasterous floods, the river was diverted, (in the 1960's or thereabouts), and the old river bed, which cuts through the middle of the city, has been converted into a park area.

At the end nearest the sea, they have built many enormous modern buildings, including an enormous aquarium.

The area is laid out with footpaths and cycletracks, plus, water features and fountains.

All very people friendly, although, personally, I prefer the park area, which is criss crossed with bridges,

from the days when it was a river.

The traffic passes above, while you can make your way right through the heart of the city, either on foot, or on a bicycle.

It is not really what I would call a "formal" park, although it is kept very neat and tidy, considering it's city centre location.

There are some quite stunning displays of flowers.

Also, some rather impressive displays of trees in bloom, spring is clearly the best time to see them.

But, you will have to take my word for it, because, I omitted to take a photograph.

Another feature, which we have seen

in other parts of Spain, is the provision of free exercise equipment, for public use, in the parks, and even in the streets.

Kathleen cannot resist having a go.

These areas appear to much used, but do not appear to be abused or vandalised, as you would expect in the UK.

Of course, given that Valencia dates back to Roman times, there is an "old quarter".

Not much evidence of Roman buildings, that I am aware of, but, lots of the narrow streets and courtyards which I believe are a legacy of the Moors.

There is of course, an impressive Cathederal, which incorporates parts of an earlier Mosque.

The Germans might have paid for all of the smart new buildings, with their Euro, but, I think the inside of the Cathederal must have been paid for by the Aztecs and Incas, when the
Spaniards plundered the "New World".

We stop for lunch, and Kathleen, not the most adventerous person when it comes to trying different food, is very pleased to learn that her choice (Tortilla con patatas, or Spanish Omelete as we would call it), is actually included in the list of Tapas, so, now she can say, she has eaten at least one Tapa!

Tuesday ends with a thunderstorm, but, not before we make it back to the van!

The area we are staying in is called "l'albufera Natural Park". There is a large salt water lagoon, just a short distance away. It is, if my memory of "Google Facts" is correct, the second largest lake in Spain.

Wednesday, we cycle to El Palmar, on the shore of the lagoon.

It is a town which seems to consist of houses, lots of restaurants, (and I mean lots, there are streets of them) and one shop.

The building which once appears to have been the church, is now, yes, you guessed, a restaurant!

We cycle back, to complete 14 miles, just before the rain and thunder starts again!

Fortunately, it is gone as quickly as it came, and the sun is soon shining again.

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