Walking without a donkey. Valencia and Sierra Calderona: Part 1.

Olocau, 9-11.12.16. Part 1

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View from the house

My wonderful hosts, family Anniss, live in the small village of Olocau on the edge of of the stunning Sierra Calderona national park.

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The walk to school – stepping stones. 

On my first day (Saturday) we walked to the nearby Iberian settlement which has recently undergone major smartening for the tourists (signs, wifi, new dark brown metal safety fences on top).

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There were trees I have never seen before: carob, persimmon, pomegranates, plus oranges and lemons, and flowering cacti.

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Pomegranates

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Persimmon

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And the higher we climbed, the more magnificent the views.

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There are bulrushes and giant versions of my house plants!

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The sun shone (although they had recently suffered 2 weeks of unusual and torrential rain and were to have a repeat after I left).

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On Sunday we sunbathed on the terrace and put up Xmas decorations…outside!

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On Monday I visited the elegant and colourful city of Valencia, and once more the sun kept me company.

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Nuestra Señora de los Descamparados 

The facades are particularly attractive.

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I loved the Jardin de las Hésperides (free to enter), beside the Botanic gardens (which you have to pay for – how I appreciate the Edinburgh ones being free), and an interesting exhibition (also free), in which I particularly enjoyed the work of Carmen Van den Eynde and Toya Legido.

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Carmen Van den Eynde http://www.carmenvan.es

Toya Legido http://www.toyalegido.com

I liked the simple churches:

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Although I had to admire the interior of San Nicolás and the small part of the Catédral which I didn’t have to pay to see.

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The fisher of men and elaborate ceiling of San Nicolás 


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And the font and artwork of the Catédral 

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Even the ticket office at the art deco station is impressive.

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Here I sat in repose, with my tin of mussels for lunch.

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I came across the Ceramic museum towards the end of the day. It is so close to the cafés and other buildings surrounding it, that it’s hard to get a good photo.

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Overall one very attractive city!

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