Well most would have been fooled that summer was here when I last updated the blog as we had had a spectacular week of sunshine. However, fairly soon after my mum arrived bringing with her a suitcase of wind and rain from the UK for us. I joke but it did cloud over and rain, thankfully mostly overnight though so we still managed to make the most of it, despite it not being quite as sunny as we would have hoped!
As my mums visit coincided with ‘Las Fallas’ in Valencia – and she had hired a car – we decided to drive up the coast on the 15th March (which also happened to be Keith’s birthday) to take in some of the celebrations.
We rented a little Apartment for the night and having dropped off the bags were planning on heading towards the center of Valencia in search of a traditional Valencian Paella – a good bit of Peter rabbit – but didn’t really fancy tackling the crowds on an empty stomach. My mum was saved from us contributing to the culling of the Easter bunnies as the receptionist suggested a little place to eat rice just around the corner (Restaurante Levante) for which we were all very grateful. It was a little more pricey than normal but the tasting menu was exquisite – although my mum and I could have happily stopped after the four starters – the main course was an oven baked rice with black pudding, chicken and sausage and desserts finished us off…..
We were ready to take on the crowds with a slight waddle…
For those of you who haven’t heard of Las Fallas before (and haven’t read my Valencia blog previously) it is one of the biggest festivals in Spain celebrating the end of Winter and the commencement of Spring. Assuming the information I found is correct, historically they used to burn the rustic ‘Parot’ (a wooden device used for lighting) outside the workshops, feeding the fire with strips of old wood and old junk collected from the neighbourhood. The Parot would then be brought to life by old rags, giving it human form. Over the years this has changed dramatically into each area of the city building large clothed mannequin models which until about a decade ago took the form of oversized humans. More recently however, they have become controversial structures carrying a political or social message in cartoon character style – Ronaldo and Trump both were present this year amongst others…. all burnt at mid-night on the 19th March.
Valencia is a beautiful city and well worth a visit whether the Fallas are on or not but over the 24 hours we were there we managed to walk my mother off her feet, see a large number of the Fallas and also take in the atmosphere of the ‘Mascletta’ which is held in the main square at 2pm every day …. 5 minutes of fireworks where the noise bounces off of the buildings. Not one for the faint hearted, but a good experience worth putting up with the crowds for.
The rest of the week whilst my mum was here involved many a market, eating and lots of walking ….. she definately went back home for a rest!
Now that my mum is safely back home the sun has come out again and we have had a couple of days where it has reached 28 degrees. Naturally as everyone has been on holiday for Easter over the last few days it has been a little cooler, windier and more cloudy but it hasn’t stopped people piling onto the beach.
We decided to avoid the crowds and stay local for Easter, cooking a couple of meals for friends in the motorhome and catching up on a bit of admin …..who would have thought, not an Easter bunny or chocolate egg in sight. Perhaps I should have had a go at making hot cross buns though…. heh ho, maybe next Easter!