Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

By Samuel Strait – December 7, 2023

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks in Valencia, Spain which is Spain’s
third largest city.  The nice thing about Valencia is that most sites to
see are in the old Medieval part of the city where public transportation
does not exist yet the area is small enough that walking is well within
reason.  I am currently holed up in a vacation rental in the oldest part
of the city where alley’s are euphemistically called streets.  Calle de
les Salines would be barely wide enough to fit a medium sized vehicle. 
It reminds me a lot like being in Venice, Italy for those that don’t get
out much.

I’ve taken to going on the evening promenade, as the locals do every
night from about 6pm until 9pm then the younger crowd begins their
nightly prowl of the clubs and bars in the Ruzafa District till the wee
hours of the morning.  I’ve heard it was a “happening place” from the
neighbors upstairs.  Spain culture does not allow for much to happen
before noon the next day.  So things tend to be pretty quiet until at
least 10 am when the public employees begin their daily cleanup of
hosing down the streets and collecting the trash.

At the tail end of my stay here the Christmas lights have begun to
appear in both the Queen’s Square and  Ayuntameniento where local
government hangs out.  We now have an ice skating rink, a lighted
carousel, and a huge lighted Christmas tree. 

I am told by a lady who
sells her photographs in the passage to Queen’s Square and the Cathedral
that winter has come a few days before I was set to go to Ibizia.
Apparently it is cold when it gets down in the mid 60’s in Valencia. 
She certainly was set for the weather, three layers and a down jacket,
wool hat, and a long flowing scarf.   I haven’t used my umbrella or my
jacket since I have been here, winter huh?

Tomorrow I bid farewell to Valencia and catch the night ferry to
Ibizia.  I have to say that I had heard from my photographer
acquaintance that homelessness was a problem in Spain, but I had yet to
see one even in the outskirts of Valencia.  Beggars yes, but no
homeless.  She said most of the homeless are immigrants and the
government gets them placed in temporary shelters until they find
permanent housing.  If they don’t after a certain period find housing
they are sent back to their families, or if immigrants, sent home to the
countries that they came from.  That appears to have made quite a
difference in both Barcelona and Valencia.  She did not say who paid for
the service, but I’m sure it is just one of the taxes that people pay in
Spain.

Had a heck of a time finding the ferry terminal, then ended up being
shuttled to another company whose ferry will take me to the Balearic
Islands and Ibizia.  More later.

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