A Spanish influence – Valencia and further south.

An English friend of mine recently relocated from a village near me in France to one in Spain. So after she had settled in, up to a point, I took the train to see her.

I took the train from Narbonne to Barcelona, and then onto Valencia. If you haven’t been to the area it has an interesting coastline with plenty of pretty villages and resorts and plenty of historically important sites to keep you entertained.

In Valencia there are two open top bus tours (€17 each) to choose from and these offer a great way to get your bearings. If you can bear the heat and the sunshine, do opt for the top deck, you see so much more and Valencia has a fabulous collection of buildings drawing from various parts of the history of the country and areas designed with the future in mind.

In 1957 the river Turia flooded with a loss of 60 souls, so a diversion was undertaken and the abandoned river bed has been turned into a fabulous city centre  park and a Bio Parc  (this is an animal friendly zoo without cages.)

Valencia, the area, is also said to be the gastronomic centre for Spain. Here a wide range of rice dishes ( not just paella but also a Spanish risotto) are on offer and of course the climate is also perfect for the growth of citrus fruits and olives.The beer is served in glasses straight from the fridge and the wine, if you are a Rosé drinker from France, you might find it a bit dark and on the heavy side, the whites are great and of course the Rioja, hmmm. But beware pichets are not available. The restaurants are similar in price with a good selection. And if you fancy a treat, get a table with a waterside view at Real Club Nautico in Denia and take the €25 menu.

Dénia is a delighful resort where we had a jolly jaunt out on the water and you can get a ferry to Ibiza, Then there was also Gandia, and Altea, where the restaurants are by the water and the boutiques a few streets behind where I was very restrained.

Enjoy my selection of pictures and maybe plan a trip, I’ll be back for sure, that’s if I’m invited !