The heavy rain that started yesterday afternoon persisted overnight and we awoke to a pretty much flooded pitch – our new doormat was no longer visible under the pool of water that had collected under Sebo’s wheels and the saturated washing that was “dripping dry” under our awning was even wetter ( I didn’t think that was actually possibly but, hey, whaddya know, it was!).
Undettered , we brought the washing in, rolled up the awning and swiftly moved next door to drier ground! The poor gal manning Reception was terribly apologetic – “it NEVER rains here but we’ve actually had the wettest autumn in 30 years!” Trust us! Anyhow, we vowed not to let the weather get us down and planned to don waterproofs, walk Harley then head back into the City for further exploration and a bite to eat after dark so as to enjoy the Christmas lights…… that was until we realised that it was Strictly’s Final tonight and, as we had pretty decent WiFi, we could stream it on FilmOnTv! Well, as you can imagine, we just HAD to review our plan for the day so as not to miss this Momentous Event! Sad, I know!
Harley got a somewhat sorter walk than anticipated – not that he cared since he dislikes rain even more than we do and I suspect he was delighted when he could head back to his bed when we went out. We decided that, instead of eating out in the City, we would, in fact, treat ourselves to a takeaway Seafood Paella from the onsite bar restaurant here to eat whilst enjoying Strictly so we ordered it before heading out for the afternoon.
We hopped on the tram and, following consultation with our somewhat tatty looking map ( it got rather wet yesterday!), jumped off the stop before yesterday’s excursion and mooched around parts of the Old Town that we hadn’t reached yesterday. Lots of beautiful architecture, open squares with the obligatory sculptures and fountains and hardly anyone around!
Unfortunately, the rain fell persistently and we finally admitted defeat and headed for a warming cuppa in the first Costa we’ve seen since we left home! Having marvelled at just how quiet the City centre was, considering it was the week before Christmas, AND a Saturday at that, we realised on entering Costa that THAT’S where everyone was! All queuing patiently whilst the one and only member of staff in the place did his best to whip up fancy coffees for everyone – clearly Valencia is expected to be as dead as a dodo on a wet Saturday afternoon! I gotta say, I DID feel sorry for the poor chap! Still, the gingerbread latte was well worth waiting for and, having warmed-up and dried-out, we ventured back onto the streets once more to await the switching on of the lights at dusk. The wait turned out to be longer than expected and it was actually pitch black before someone flicked the On switch! Thankfully, it was worth the wait – on the lights came and, in typical Valencian tradition, they were lovely – very understated yet pretty at the same time. No tacky illuminated Santas and his reindeer here!
As we made our way back to the tram, we chatted about the glaring difference between the British and Spanish attitudes towards Christmas. Yes, shops had Christmas decorations up but there was none of the commercial greediness here that is so evident back home from September onwards! I’m assured that Les Francais share the same Spanish non-greedy Christmas mentality – the UK could learn a lot! We rarely watch local TV but on the occasions that we have, there don’t appear to be millions of “toy” adverts – just perfume and aftershave houses advertising their wares and I rather suspect that’s a year-round thing rather than just for Christmas.
A funny thing happened on the tram – our stop is the penultimate on the line and is a ‘request stop’ so you gotta press the button to tell the driver you want to get off- we had sussed this previously -so as we approached our stop, I pressed the request button and as the tram drew to a stop, I attempted to open the door. Nothing happened!!! Another unsuccessful attempt followed and then the tram pulled off! Yikes! Thankfully, the end of the line was only a couple of miles down the line and the turnaround was immediate! Back we went, pushing the Request button once more and, thankfully, this time, the doors opened and off we hopped, somewhat relieved else we would have missed the begining of Strictly!!
We rushed back to Sebo and Roy went to collect our paella – I can honestly say I have never seen a takeaway paella presented so well – still in the pan, sitting on a wooden pallet covered with a white tablecloth alongside a large serving spoon – handed over with a smile and a request that we return it before we leave tomorrow! It tasted every bit as good as it looked! And could only add to our enjoyment of The Strictly Final – Well Done Ore!!
Tomorrow we’re thinking to head back to the coast – to another wetlands called El Saler.