Trip Start Jun 01, 2008
1Trip End Aug 22, 2008
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Thought it was about time I started this thing. Didnīt until now as Iīm not sure how entertaining īgot up, went to school, came home, ate paella, went to bedī for 28 days would be to you all! Anyway, here we go with a short(ish) ramble of what Iīve been up to since I left īsunnyī England.
After a hectic few days before I left, seeing people, finishing work, selling car at the very last minute, shopping, it was a bit of a relief to be on the plane! A bit sad too, but at least Iīm coming home in August for a few days and then I can see everyone. I arrived in Valencia with my stuffed to the brim backpack (I will never learn to travel light - I can cary it and thatīs what matters!) and had to find the office with the keys to the apartment and then the apartment... One or two trips in the wrong direction on the metro later - find the apartment, couldnīt get the key to work and had to wake up my sleeping new housemates - Sorry!
Valencia is lovely, definately my sort of city. Not too built up, lots of things to do and see, not too touristy. My favourite part is the Riverbed Park, I think I went most days. It was the Rio Turia, until they diverted it in the 50s. The beach is massive and was always packed when I was there, although I didnīt go much - not wanting to spend my whole budget on factor 30 and with my tippex colour skin I canīt stay in the sun too long anyway. I visited a few of Valenciaīs tourist attractions, although I have to say I should have done more. I think knowing I had 4 weeks there I wasnīt really in a rush to do anything, and then left myself with not enough time!
Spanish classes started the day after I arrived. Major shock to the system for me having been out of formal education for 9 years or so and out of school for 14 years! Not sure how kids cope with 9+ subjects when I struggled with just one. For the first two weeks I just wanted to sleep after the classes ended. English was banned from the classroom from day one, and my brain was pummeld with new words and sentences... (at least I know how Bethany is feeling now and sheīs coping with growing teeth too!). Have now learnt at least enough present tense to keep me fed, watered, accommodated and going in the right direction (hmmm not sure how long that will last though). Passed the exam and would theoretically have made it to the next level if I was staying longer.
Managed to pay a quick visit to Javea for a weekend to see Diane, Terry and Simon (and Ozzie... the little scottie who is in love with my feet for a reason beyond me!). I can see why they like it there. Itīs a town with a touristy beach side, a fishing village port side and a mountain. Brilliant, everything you need, plus sun... and a pool...
One of the best bits of my stay in Valencia was a trip I took with two friends I met at the school, Dianne and Jarred. We went one saturday afternoon to LīAlbuferia, a lagoon and nature reserve surrounded by the paddy fields where the grow the Paella rice. Itīs a beautiful area, mostly unspoilt, apart from the odd concrete apartment block here and there which wouldnīt look out of place in hattersley! We visited the village of Al Palmar, which is the village credited with inventing Paella, and managed to find an open restaurant during siesta time so that we could eat the original Paella. Chicken and rabbit aparently, although I couldnīt tell the difference between them.
Finally, just a quick hello to all the lovely people I met at the school! Housemates Nicole and Delia, hope I see you in your relative countries one day! El Australianos Dianne and Jarred, hope you have a fab end to your trip in the states. The rest of the A1 gang Christian, Nadia, Adam, Pauline, Anja, Ester, Matteo... (waving).
I promise to post a bit more often now Iīm on the road, will probably have a bit more to say anyway... next stop Javea to see Diane and Simon again and then heading southwards.