Thursday 27 to Saturday 29 April 2017 – Lliria, Valencia, Spain.
Two days after getting back from our trip to Cornwall we were off to Spain for a few days with friend Paul and Paula. We have stayed with Paul and Paula at their holiday house in Xelardo, which is an ‘urbanisation’ on the outskirts of Lliria, itself on the outskirts of Valencia. We were really looking forward to the trip, though not to the getting up at 4:00am to go to Stansted Airport bit. Some sacrifices had to be made!
We arrived late morning, and were greeted by a gentle shower of rain. The forecast for the next couple of days is not brilliant, but it does get better over time and is really good on Tuesday – the day we leave. The shower did not last long and was clear by the time we left the super market with a very full trolley and arrived at Casa la Adams.
We had no real plans for the time away, except El and I had booked a room on Sunday in a central Valencia hotel, so after unpacking and eating lunch we decided to take a late afternoon walk through the orange groves to the nearby village of Marines. I took a few photos, but don’t seem to have any of the orange groves. I have a lot of derelict buildings under moody cloudy skies….
And one not so derelict building, where I enjoyed the contrasts of colours and lines.
I really enjoyed the walk, it was down a very rough dirt road, we were passed by a couple of cars, but it was mainly quiet apart from the barking of very aggressive dogs, fortunately from behind high fences and gates. We stopped for a drink in a small cafe/bar in Marines, before having a brief look around the square.
One of the things I like about this part of Spain is that the flora is a mix of things we see in the UK, like daisies, lavender, gorse and thistle and things you expect to see in the desert like cacti.
Friday was another quiet day, I cannot remember what we did in the morning, but in the afternoon we drove to another small and nearby village; Olocau, where we took a walk up to Puntal dels Llops, or Wolf Point. A small hill on the edge of the Sierra Calderonas. On the top of the hill lie the ruins of an Iberian fort which was built in the 4th century BC and destroyed during the Second Punic Wars of the 2nd century BC. A walk up a hill, in the country, to visit an ancient ruin. There is not much that makes me happier. I was not let down!
It was a great short walk, like yesterday the fauna was quite interesting, totally different to the UK, very Spartan, and I really liked the contrast between the red soil and varieties of greens and yellows in the trees and shrubs.
I have also never seen this in a fur before, this was quite a common site on the walk, though this was the largest bushy outgrowth I saw, quite remarkable.
The walk to the top took about 40 minutes, and was well worth it, the ruins are quite cool and there is plenty of signage around the place, with a mix of Spanish and English writing.
The fort was a place of refuge from invaders or troublemakers passing through the nearby villages, and was not a major permanent settlement.
I got a bit sidetracked on the walk back down, I had sort of planned in my head when we went away that I would not spend lots of time faffing with photos, I would take a couple here and there and not hold people up, but I did get a bit a carried away here. Visually it is a stunning location, with plenty of colour and interesting lines and layers.
Being spring the broom was in full and glorious flower and I just loved that yellow, and took rather too many photos of it and its contrasting neighbours.
Paul had booked us into a wine tasting late on Saturday morning at the Vera De Estanas winery about an hour away by car near Utiel. I enjoyed the drive in the country, though did have a brief moment of car sickness after spending time gawping at the news on my phone. Lesson learnt.
I am sure the tour was really interesting, sadly it was all in Spanish and I have none at all. It was also a bit wet outside so I was glad I had my coat..
Here are some barrels that contained wine,
some dusty wine bottles, that contained wine,
and some people that also now contain wine. Though not a lot as Paula was driving.
I really liked the building and the grounds, and I am sure I would have enjoyed the tour more if I could have understood any of it. The tile floor was lovely!
Actually the wine was pretty good too, especially their premium red at a whole 10pounds a bottle…