Our return to Spain
After our all too brief time in Porugal we returned to Spain, this time heading across the southern end of the country. Our itinerary for this leg of the journey was to be Seville, Granada, Valencia, and Madrid, and I'm happy to report that there is some quite excellent Frankie drama included along the way.
OUr first stop was Seville. We weren't really sure what to expect from Seville, although we had heard it was worth a visit, and we'd been tossing up whether to spend our time in Seville or Granada. Let's just say we're glad we chose Seville. The first thing that struck us when we got off the bus was that the whole place was immaculate. The buildings were incredible, the street were clean, everything looked new and shiny, and we felt like we were in a classy French city. Needless to saw, Seville gave a good first impression. After grabbing ourselves a morning coffee we got ourselves onto a free walking tour. Again it was a great way to see the city and we also picked up some tips of what else we could do around the place. One of these things was a visit to the Alcazar, which we visited next (after a couple of hours spent in Burger King air-con and sipping free refills). The Alcazar itself was amazing, with its anciet extravagance. My favourite part was strolling through the garden courtyards. They were very impressive.
The night we got ourselves onto a flamenco tour. We had been wanting to see a flamenco show in Spain and when we found out that flamenco originated in one of the districts of Seville, we thought we'd better see it at it's home. After a brief history of Flamenco, and a glass of traditional wine, we sat for a hour and watch 3 people bring us an incredible show and really display their culture on the stage. It was really incredible and would have to be one of my highlights from Spain.
After leaving Seville we headed to Granada for the day to have a quick look around. Although it seemed really nice at Granada, and there was a pretty cool cathedral and nice old town, we didn't really feel there was all that much fun us in Granada. That being said we didn't really spend enough time there to get a good feel for it, and we also went a little bit budget friendly, skipping the Alhambra visit, which is the main attraction in Granada. For us however, it was onward to Valencia.
For us there was one reason and one reason only that we wanted to go to Valencia. La Tomatina! The tomato throwing festival held annually in the town of Bunol just outside of Valencia. I'm just going to put it out there; it was the most fun I've had in a long time and I've been having a lot of fun lately. What could be better than being squashed into a street with thousands of festival goers, waiting for someone to climb a greased up pole to grab a ham, so that we can all start pelting each other with tomatoes. If we thought the place was a bit wild before the throwing happened, once that first truck full of tomatoes drove through, the street descended into complete chaos. Tomatoes were going in every conceivable direction and the crowd was packed so tightly it was impossible to even function properly. I eventually managed to extricate myself and get into a side street with a little more room and a literal river of tomatoes flowing down the side. Eventually Maddie managed to join me and we proceeded to throw tomatoes at anyone who walked in our field of vision. Once we'd had our fill of tomatoes we joined the crowds at the river attempting to remove pieces of tomato from places I don't want to talk about here. It was honestly a fantastic day and well worth the hours spent washing tomato out of our hair.
Our time spent in Valencia itself was spent pretty relaxed. I spent the nights playing cards with our Aussie neighbours (thanks Alice, Annie and Hayden), and we spent a considerable amount of time around the pool. We did however also go into the city to have a little look around. And what we found was much to my liking. The city of Valencia seemed to be pretty obsessed with animals. The have a 'Bioparc' (zoo where the animals roam free), and giant Oceanographic park, and multiple public parks with ponds and birds and even a nice finch aviary. I decided for both of us that we had to go into either the Bioparc or The Oceanographic park. We chose the Oceanographic park. I was definitely in my element there. So many different aquariums and pools with seals, penguins, birds, fish, dolphins, and even 2 beluga whales! It wasn't all about me though, Maddie was just a excited to get to see the dolphin show at the end of the day which was so much fun watching them do flips and turns. Altogether we had a great day exploring Valencia.
By the time we arrived at Madrid we were starting to get a little exhausted from a couple of busy days. We did a walking tour in Madrid and we thought the city was really nice. Some really cool old parts and an incredible palace and cathedral side by side. In our state however we probably didn't get to make the most of our time there and the time we had was fairly limited. We needed to start heading back north so we only had the one full day in Madrid. That being said I'd say Madrid would definitely be worth a visit if you're considering it.
With our brief time in Madrid over we plugged "Paris" into our GPS and prepared ourselves for the 1269km journey ahead of us.
Now I promised you some Frankie drama and I shall now deliver. It was the day we arrived in Valencia. We were settling into our camp site. I was setting up my computer. And I made a discovery. A horrible discovery. I called Maddie straight away and said, "have a look at the back wall, does it look weird?". Frankie's entire back wall had bowed outward, so that where the wall once sat flush with the cabinets and bathroom wall, there was now a void. The gap would be around 1cm I think and we have no idea how it happened. Luckily the wall has just bowed out and not broken away around the edges of the van. We are aware that this seems like the kind of thing you'd probably want to get fixed, but with only limited time left we're currently crossing our fingers that it doesn't get any worse, and would ask you all kindly to also cross your fingers for us. Thanks. And with that lovely piece of news I shall again leave you until next time.