While waiting for the Corpus Christi parade to start, we strolled through the nearby Botanic Gardens at the University of Valencia. The gardens were full of succulents, cacti, and other tropical plants that grow well in the Valencian climate, with plenty of greenhouses you could walk through as well. The garden even had a small art exhibition space. This poem seemed very appropriate.Continue reading
Mom visits our Mediterranean home
In addition to our trip to Tarragona, mom’s early summer visit included plenty of beach time, trips into the city, and paella. Mom accompanied Dreamer to the nearby city of Vila-real to discount shop at the local football club’s end-of-season sale. After buying a bright yellow scarf, the ladies casually strolled through downtown, where they came across an 18th-century villa with some special inhabitants. Dreamer was thrilled to discover four gigantes, or giant people, in the courtyard of the villa. Built by the family of the man who introduced and promoted the cultivation of mandarin oranges in the region, the CasaContinue reading
Finding Ninot: All aboard the Burriana Fallas Train!
Choo, choo! The fallas train is about to depart and take you all around our town’s different displays! Our small city featured a surprising number of fallas during their namesake festival this March. Yes, there was a real “train” that drove through the streets, taking passengers past each one. And yes, we did wait in line for an hour and a half to ride it. Before we get to the train, let’s take a look at what got us to this point: fallas, you’ll remember, are grand artistic monuments constructed in different cities and towns around the Valencian Community and displayed during the weeklong celebration, at theContinue reading
Hanging Houses of Cuenca
We’ve been fans of Spain’s high-speed rail network, the AVE, since the first time we traveled on one of the trains last fall. After deciding to spend New Year’s Eve with my mom and Jim in Madrid, it made sense to first spend a couple of days in Cuenca, which is an easy stop between Valencia and the capital. Cuenca is most famous for its Casas Colgadas (Hanging Houses), which date back to at least the 15th Century. Unlike uncle Rhino and aunt Saint, these houses were built this way and are in no danger of collapse! Once there were many such houses, butContinue reading
Weekend in Valencia
Rental car in hand, a few weeks ago we decided to finally bite the bullet and spend a weekend in Valencia without worrying about train schedules and such. The big city is so close, yet so far away when dealing with public transit (just 1 hour from us). This time, we got a hotel for a couple of nights so we could really explore. One of the sights we’d been trying to see for a while now was La Lonja de la Seda (Silk Exchange), a mercantile exchange built between 1482 and 1548. The Gothic architecture is pretty stunning. According to Wikipedia (weContinue reading
What’s with all the parades, fancy dresses, and fireworks?
Ever since we moved to the small Spanish city of Burriana, we have been stumbling upon longstanding cultural traditions almost every time we leave our building. Our first week here coincided with an annual festival which includes bulls running through the streets; and while I had promised myself I would never watch any bull spectacles, that resolve quickly disappeared when we needed to go to the city hall, and found bulls running in front of said hall. It was an intense week – even when we stayed home, we could hear cannons, fireworks, music, and general merrymaking from our abode.Continue reading