Sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning I checked the weather forecast for Valencia and saw that there was heavy rain, a storm expected. Turbulence is usually expected during a flight, the experience of which is somewhat exhilarating, but landed in a storm is something else. Consider a heavy storm, now factor in the approx 180mph final approach speed of a 737-800.
After collecting my bags I was met by my friend Ewen and we went outside to smoke and catch a cab back to the apartment in Natzaret. Ewen is pretty competent with his Spanish and conversed with the taxi driver throughout. At the start I was able to discern something of what was being said. The driver asked Ewen if it was my first time in Spain, I could have replied “no segundo!” but I was tired and my brain was working at a painfully slow pace so I just sat day dreaming until I heard, “I don’t know, Screech is it your first time in Spain?”
We travelled through the area near to the airport which was something of an industrialised dystopia, some ideas that I’d made a terrible mistake ran through my head but I told myself I was tired and to relax and embrace this experience.
Eventually we reached the area surrounding Oceanografic and ‘Le Ciudad de las artes y las ciencias’, the part of Valencia I had seen in my google image search results. This particular part of the city is beautiful in a very contemporary way.
Having built a fantasy idea of what Valencia was like, based almost exclusively on google image search results, meant that there was something of a conflict within me now. How was this place so different from the clean, edited photographs? It was noisy and busy and, truth be told, far more exciting than this clean & polished image I had in my minds eye.
Upon arriving at the apartment I was shown to my room which was modest. I unpacked a few of my trinkets, amulets & other treasures and put some books on the shelf – the room had made a transformation and was now most certainly my room.
In Natzaret we went to a cafeteria/restaurant and drank a couple of coffees, all the while Ewen was instructing me on local customs and turns of phrase.
We spent the rest of the evening drinking & smoking at the flat and we spoke in Spanish for a while.
I’m not sure where exactly it sat within the course of the day but I did enjoy a soothing siesta at some point in the day and slept soundly that night.
More to follow…