31 August 2019
Today was our last day in Lucena. Our Airbnb was very rustic and lovely. Before leaving, I undertook a tile audit and am happy to share the results!
Not bad for a tiny house!! We loved our stay here and even though we didn’t meet face to face, the owner and her English speaking daughter went out of their way to check we were ok, after the great flat tyre debacle.
Apparently our car is still unroadworthy, and given it’s now the weekend, we will be without it til at least Monday!! Who would have thought it was so difficult to change a tyre!!
Anyway, once again our Emergency Support Crew, based in France came to the rescue. They sent a Taxi to Lucena to pick us up and deliver us to our next planned stop in Valencia: 73 kms down the road. In transit, they contacted the driver and told him to take us to Valencia Airport where we could pick up a hire car they had organised for us!!!! We now have 2 cars!!!
I can highly recommend taxi travel!! It’s like having your own personal driver. Let’s call our new taxi driver Ionel, ( because that is actually his name) who speaks more English than I speak Spanish, but not much. Ionel pointed out places of interest along the route before escorting us into the airport and marching us up to the Avis desk. He waited til all was sorted before bidding us a fond farewell.
We drove the final few kilometres into Valencia and are happy to say that all four tyres are still in tact and fully inflated.
Once checked in to our hotel room, we headed off, on foot to the old part of the city. The magnificent Roman Monumental Gate (only 2 of 12 still remain), in the old days (1000 years ago), protected Valencia from the marauding armies.
We wandered aimlessly around the streets noting how much wider they were than the narrow little lanes of Barcelona.
We had headed off around 3.30 pm. The streets were empty. Only mad dogs and Australians were wandering in the afternoon heat.
We took refuge in Santos Juanes (the Church of the Saint Johns’. Yep plural. 2 of them) . It was cool and provided an audio tour of the church. The English commentary was by someone with quite a pompous English accent and delivered in the first person, as if it was the actual church telling the story. Quite amusing!
Inside was amazing!
The church interiors, including the frescoes, suffered arson damage during the Spanish Civil War and is slowly slowly being restored.
It was still warm outside so we took refuge in yet another church, San Nicolás. We were met at the door and were proudly informed that this church was “much better” than the last! (It was!!!) An audio guide once again provided commentary.
By the time we left, it was cooling down and the locals were coming out to play. The previously empty streets were now crowded. We found a little bar and enjoyed a refreshing Sangria, or two.
We had our first paella for dinner. I was expecting seafood but this one was chicken and tasted great.
With a full belly, we wandered back to our digs via the Roman gate.
Sleep came easily!!