Sketches of Spain 3 : Taxing Problems :: Lyme views.

Eye-catching Spanish Street Art.

Valencia is a beautiful city, as I mentioned last week; but  as with most places it carries a darker secret. It was fashioned by the Borgias and if you look closely enough, you can glimpse their past here.

The bottom picture shows the lay-out of the city by the Borgia's.

Borgias aside,  Valencia has a special type of vibrancy about  it and also shows enterprise in sorting out problems. Nothing demonstrates this better than the diverting of the River Turia. Here it is eloquently described by ' Wikapedia ' :

After a catastrophic flood in 1957 which devastated the city of Valencia, the river was divided in two at the western city limits (Plan Sur de Valencia). The water has been diverted southwards along a new course that skirts the city, before meeting the Mediterranean. The old course of the river continues, dry, through the city centre, almost to the sea.
The old riverbed is now a verdant sunken park that allows cyclists and pedestrians to traverse much of the city without the use of roads. The park, called the 'Garden of the Turia' (Jardí del Túria/Jardín del Turia) boasts numerous ponds, paths, fountains, flowers, football pitches, cafés, artworks, climbing walls, an athletics track, a zen garden and more. The many bridges overhead carry traffic across the park.
Towards the park's eastern end is the Gulliver Park (Parc Gulliver/Parque Gulliver), a children's adventure playground featuring a huge fibreglass model of Lemuel Gulliver tied to the ground with ropes. The model is constructed such that the ropes are climbable. In addition, Gulliver's clothes form slides and ladders on which to play. Also towards the eastern end of the river course is the Valencian Music Palace (el Palau de la Música Valenciana). Marking the park's eastern extreme is Valencia's new City of Arts and Sciences

It really was a joy to travel along this old riverbed and see how the Spanish have turned it into such an attractive  walkway. Here are a few shots I took, including the concluding Expo Centre.

Gulliver's Travels- Children's play- park.

I thought some of the curved lines were reminiscent of the
sport facilities used in our Olympic building designs.

Did i like Spanish food you may ask?
Well as a carnivore from Gloucestershire, there was never going to be enough meat for my personal tastes; but I  did enjoy the tapas snacks, which were varied in texture, flavour and certainly filed you up.
I absolutely applaud  the way they dress their salads, making them fresh and very tasteful, with interesting mixtures. My favourite was a salad which included pears and walnuts;  simply delicious.

You can see it in the foreground,

The signature dish of the region is undoubtedly Paella .

Served as you can see in the big Paella pans and always presented to the table before  the servings.
Very good it was with fish and meat cooked together with the rice.

My overall impression of Spain was of a country running at its own pace, with the rhythm of work dictated by siesta times. I think it must guard its culture carefully, and not be drawn into becoming a cloned version of a west/american life-style especially with regard to   the musical heritage. I never heard any flamenco guitar or indeed any guitar playing at all. Maybe that's old hat, but it's something that is unmistakable Spanish and something they should be rightly proud of.


Those who have read some of my FaceBook entries last week, will know my concern when taxing my car last Monday ( 29 / 09 ) at the local post office,  I was, for the first time not presented with a tax disc. The law had changed and from October onwards, vehicles will not need to show proof of taxation.
I suspect, this is a ploy for more people to pay online as nothing needs to be posted. My main gripe is that I have no ready reference  as to when I need to re-tax the car,  now having to rely on a letter from DLVC. Oh well progress-------


Last Tuesday and Wednesday ( 30/09 - 01/ 10 ) D. and I stayed in Dorset. The weather was wonderful, bright and warm and the sea looked most inviting.  Being end of season, there was fewer people there and so we had the best of it. Here are  two views to illustrate my point.

 Finally to end this week's blog, whilst in Lyme Regis over a cup of tea at the local cafe, talking to a local lady, who told me,  she woke up one morning last year at her home at Charmouth, only to find a dragon on the beach, She subsequently found it was made to be used in the TV series " Game of Thrones ". It was later that day removed by several lorries.
I was so intrigued , that I looked it up on the web and found this photo for you.
in the meantime,
Cheerio for now,


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