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Parcent in distance, from top Coll De Rates some 645 metres up

 

as Gabriel Miro famous Spanish author of late 19th early 20th century called Parcent.

And then there’s the narrow village streets, such fun to drive around, the historic architecture, and churches, the way many places have more than one way to spell their names, the Bones Festes, and the funny cappuccinos. Guess this is Spain.

 

Gas bottle delivery truck negotiating the narrow streets and even m20160818_101136[1]ore difficult corners doing a multi-point turn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A trip to the coast, the Costa Blanca and some of the picturesque villages and resorts makes for a colourful outing.

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Your are there – 0k’s to Costa Blanca sign in Calp

First stop about 40 mins away, Calp,  reasonable sized town and home to this sign and the largest rock in the Mediterranean on the edge of the town, behind a cool marina.

Great restaurants waterfront activities, beaches and very touristy things, but well worth visit.

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Through boat club entrance to marina decking.

 

 

 

From Calp one can head up or down the coast taking in the amazing Mediterranean views, resort towns and tourist hotpots.

Altea, picturesque old buildings in its back streets. the waterfront comprises a  very touristy promenade lined on one side with bars and restaurants and the other with the hordes covered sunbathing wp-1472311947628.jpgvisitors.

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Altea

Vilajoiosa, famous for its brightly painted houses is an historic fishing village. Lovely spot, and well worth the drive to visit. We misjudged the sun and the faces of waterfront buildings were all in shade. Drat, but we’ll return.

Closer to home are the plethora pueblos or villages each with it’s own distinctive feel and charm. Only 5 minutes down the road is Alcalali. These are a few of the street and building scene here. We had a coffee in the little square, bought a few supplies from local mini- supermercado and followed the postie around as he pushed his pike up and down the hilly streets delivering letters and chatting with locals. we had to do that as Anne wanted to post some cards and while he was busy doing this his PO was closed.

Went out to another town for dinner. Orba, about 10 minute away. Again, sat in square while our orders were delivered along with many other diners. What an atmosphere. Balmy evening in the Plaza de Espana surrounded by the old church and buildings like these taken from our seat, till about 10.30 when we headed home.wp-1472313610096.jpg

Terraces in Vall de Tarbena

Incredible terraced valley between two ranges, another interesting town or two, and the castle on a rock.

The other side of the Coll de Rates mountains takes us through the windiest road I’ve ever driven as we descend into the Vall de Tarbena then back up the other side. Both sides are terraced extensively as this photo tries to show.An amazing drive.

When we get to Tarbena and its square with a couple of cafes and the ever present church its time for a coffee and dry toasted baguette with olive oil. That’s morning tea in the amazing cafe Casa Pinet cafe, museum like, totally packed with paraphernalia and picture from civil war era.

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Any mode of transport works here. The John Deere parked in Tarbena square outside the church of Santa Barbara I’m guessing, while a local farmers drops into one of the adjacent cafes.

 

 

 

Guadalest bell tower built on a rock, alongside a small town comprising a wonderful old home, now a museum that was the original family’s here. Now a tourist magnet with a number of funny little “mGuadalest castle on rock (1 of 1)useums” and a ton of souvenir shops selling tons of Chinese tack. Great to visit for its history.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Markets were the order of the day, Saturday last. First there was the massive Xalo market then only a few metres down the road, the Lliber night markets.

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A couple returning from Lliber night markets

Dancing in the streets;

In Alcalali (just 5 mins from us) we stumbled into their Bones Festes (don’t ask what that means, except they all seem to have one hell of a time). We had caught the last night of the event in Parcent the first night here when watermelon seemed to be the theme for some unexplained reason.

Then a day and uncomfortable night in Valencia. After checking into our hotel found the aircon didn’t work. Well, that’s an understatement, it pumped luke warm air into an already 30 c + environment. I hear you saying, so what, get it fixed. tried that, no joy. Went out hoping all would be restored by our return. Uh uh, no. They still couldn’t fix it. Thier recommendation – open you window. Did that, then could’t sleep too well, from the clatter and traffic from below.Add to that the rock hard bed – what a night, and now they want me to do a trip advisor recommendation! The joys of travel.20160902_065654.jpg

Our short stay in the city was otherwise very enjoyable with the Hills and Jordans.

The Valencia Cathedral entrance beyond the long shadows of the gate.

 

 

 

On our return to Vila Joyosa we made it on to the city port. Actually only a fishermans port but very interesting. Fishermen drying and mending their nets and some of the little boats they venture out in raise questions not just of safety, but also economics. How an they make a living from these wee tubs?

And this red one wasn’t the smallest or the least seaworthy.

After a few very enjoyable day we returned the Hills to Valencia to continue their cruising.

A visit to the arts and science district is a must. Never got inside any of the spectacular buildings, too busy photographing the stunning white architectural exteriors. After about 3 hours we still missed as much. Be sure if you are in Valencia, allow plenty of time for this visit.

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Brilliant white cable stay Assut De L’or Bridge with top of science museum bottom of frame.

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Principe Felipe Science Museum architectural details reflected in adjacent pond in the “City of Arts and Sciences”

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Hienz Mack”s stunning gold installation in City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia with Hemisferic Imax/3d and performing arts theatres

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From under the Hemisferic theatre, Science museum, Assut de L’or rising bridge stays and Agora event space building (blue) beyond water feature.

 

 

 

 

Then there’s the story that seems to typify the Spanish. Nothing happens here quickly. Planning something, allow double the time needed (AT LEAST) anywhere else. Picked up a parking ticket for parking in a white lined parking space. That is the lines seemed to us to mark the area within which parking was allowable. Funny, 100 euro fine on back windscreen on our return. No right to argue, no place to go and fight so left with only option – to pay up. Where do you do that? at a bank, where else? First bank, teller fiddles on his computer for 5 minutes then tells us wrong bank, points out name of correct one. Eventually find one of those some number of cities away, same story, can’t do it here either. So I still have the ticket, unpaid because after some searching time walking, driving on the lookout, the one we are now told can do it seems to not exist. Have to keep looking I guess. There’s a 50% discount if paid before 20 days. Espana !!!!

Trust all is well wherever you are, adios.

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