I usually keep a diary, when on holiday at least, but unfortunately this time space and weight allowance prevented my travel journal joining us. Thank heavens for the iPhone!
There are certain hours of the day that should only be seen in emergencies. 3am is one of these and someone needs to tell RyanAir. Even after waking at this ungodly hour there was still that gut wrenching panic that we weren’t going to make it to Bristol Airport by 6. Especially as I, in my infinite wisdom, had checked us into a car park which appeared to be, if not back in Cardiff than at least in Newport! However after a brief (one way) chat with the lady about Seat being a great make of car we were on our way.
Having never flown RyanAir before Steve was quite worried about the whole experience. He’d been terrified with horror stories from others who had braved the budget airline, and after the car park disaster had reverted to a kind of panicked silence. Airport security didn’t help the matter when they failed to scan my boarding pass (after already letting me through one check point) making me go back to the check in desk (I skipped the queue…karma forgive me) to get a replacement.
There was however a benefit to all the drama, by the time I’d made it through security the plane was boarding, so no dossing around the airport spending money that should be saved for holidays! Steve bagged us two seats together right at the back (safest place apparently, never heard of a plane flying backwards into anything have you?) next to, quite possibly, the chattiest woman I’ve ever met! I honestly think he wanted her to come on holiday with us, even thanking her for “entertaining his girlfriend” while he snoozed away the 2 hours in the sky!
All went smoothly from there, with Steve navigating the metro underground and overground like a pro and finding our accommodation easily! We arrived slightly earlier than expected…(a whole day according to the owner. Nial!) but were able to deposit our bags (after a quick make over from Nials daughter Sophie) and head out into the sun to enjoy our welcoming committee!
Valencia is a very Spanish town. It is also very religious. Arriving on Easter Sunday we ought to have expected at least some form of celebration, however even we had I doubt it would have been close to the wonder that awaiting us. Chairs lined the streets, and people dressed, seemingly in Roman costumes, were wandering around playing drums. An hour later we were audience to the whole show. The biggest procession I have ever seen! Marching band after marching band paraded through the streets with people dressed as fair maidens, soldiers and Jesus! Even tiny babies were dressed up and carried while the girls threw carnations to the cheering crowd. It was quite the show!
Walking with the parade soon left a ringing in our ears (or should that be a drumming?) so it was time to explore some more of this diverse city. Strolling through the streets was a lovely way to spend the afternoon. It still amazes me how you can leave your house in the morning and 2 hours later be somewhere totally different! There are so many stories to tell you, but I’m worried about how long this is getting so I shall just say this one…
Due to it being Easter it felt like EVERYTHING around us was shut. Save a few fruit and veg stalls and the odd cafe, Valencia was a town of shutters! Still lots to see in a new place, but slightly problematic when one needs to *ahem* use the facilities. However having found a bar that was open we were met by a new challenge. It would appear ‘facilities’ is not the Spanish word for WC, neither is toilet or anything the iPhone translation dictionary could produce, despite handing it over to the Chinese lady behind the bar! I think we found the one place where noone spoke Spanish, or English! It’s amazing how quickly your expectations of a place lower, from then on all I wanted was somewhere with toilet paper where they understand the Spanish for bathroom! My goodness!!