Peace, Perfect Peace

Last week, when posting about the joys of solitude, my header photo came from the afternoon and evening I spent in my own company in ‘l’Albufera, near Valencia. I think of it still as one of the most serene and contented days of my life.

It’s five years since I went in November to spend a fortnight in Valencia to do an intensive Spanish course. All morning I studied at the language school with a motley bunch of fellow students from Saudi Arabia, Germany, Ireland … anywhere but England, apparently. The afternoon was mine to explore Valencia’s city streets, its museums and parks, its churches, its markets. And in the evening I returned to lodge with a Spanish woman who spoke even less English than I did Spanish (I’d gone as a total beginner). So it was a wonderful but intense experience, with my senses always on alert to learn, discover and understand.

I’d heard about the l’Albufera wetlands just outside the city as a natural park to relax and enjoy a stroll among its paths and waterways, wildlife-spotting, and thought this would be just the thing for my last afternoon. I caught one of the infrequent buses, and was on my way.

It really is only just beyond the city boundaries, and very near a rather unlovely social housing development, as you can see here:

But start walking, and you can enjoy paths through Mediterranean coastal forest, probably not meeting another soul.

For the rest, I’ll let my photos do the talking. Several hours of walking, observing, mooching. Sometimes, like Winnie the Pooh, I sat and thought: and sometimes I just sat. As the skies suggested that evening was on its way, I joined a small queue at the waterside of El Perellonet, waiting for a boat trip. And about five of us sat ourselves in a simple boat, which for over an hour puttered about the wetland lakes, inching its way through tall reeds, disturbing herons and other water birds, as the sun slowly started to set. Though we spoke little to each other, it was a companionable, shared occasion which has rarely been bettered in my life. Just once, two years later, I shared the same experience in almost the same way with my husband and the magic was repeated.

For Tina’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #239

PS to WordPress bloggers: though if you’re affected you may not see this. WordPress for smartphones has now migrated to Jetpack. It’s hard to imagine that this was a glitch-free event. That’s the only reason I can think of for my post on Wednesday getting hardly any sightings, with almost all the usual suspects who are kind enough to ‘like’ and/or comment being conspicuous by their absence. Has anyone else had this experience?

Author: margaret21

I'm retired and living in North Yorkshire, where I walk as often as I can, write, volunteer, and travel as often as I can.

50 thoughts on “Peace, Perfect Peace”

  1. That was a lovely wander about Margaret. My quest in going to Valencia would be to have an orange.
    My issue on my PC is having to sign in to comment on some blogs, like yours. It’s not arduous, I just click on the WP icon and by the time I am logged in I have finished writing my comment any way.
    Not noticed any lack of views or likes. Comments are much the same usually my “blog family” with the odd one here and there from someone else.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Luckily, it seems to have been a one off, the WP thing. We came back from Valencia in January the other year with loads of windfall oranges in our case, which – as they were Sevilles, we made into marmalade. Recommended!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Presumably. There are Valencia oranges in our regular British supermarket! I take your point, but I wanted marmalade oranges, and that was the easiest way to go about it 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. How marvellous, certainly peace and serenity…. As for Jetapak, I’m using it and am not sure that there’s a great reduction in traffic to my site (never hugely busy anyway these days)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You’ve made me want to take off to Valencia tomorrow! Your post didn’t appear in the Reader on Wednesday (I visited it via the email notification) but it has today so with luck the glitch has been smoothed out.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful tranquillity. Meandering on ones own is often the best. As for traffic, if people haven’t migrated to jetpack on their mobiles or iPad then they will not receive notifications any more, which may explain the lack of visitors.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The light in those photos is magical and the views so tranquil 😮 No, I haven’t noticed any particular issues with a drop in comments and/or likes (although I don’t monitor the latter closely). Of course engagement varies depending on the post but I seem to be getting levels around my usual averages.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wetlands are in-between places and their ever changing, fluid nature give them a haunting mystical quality which I think comes across in both your writing and photos for this beautiful post. (PS Am using Jetpack and eventually found where to comment. Weirdly looked shaded out. Or maybe it’s my eyesight at the end of a screen-based day.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’ll have wetlands nearer to hand than me. I hope you’re able to enjoy them from time to time. I’m not actually finding Jetpack any different really. But mainly I blog and read blogs on my laptop. Blogging from a phone ain’t easy for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. How brave of you to tackle the language course on your own like that. Do you get to use the Spanish much? I need a flying shove in that direction with Portuguese but instead I pussyfoot about, using expense as an excuse. Your photos are stunning, Margaret. I could lose myself in that space between sky and water. Truly beautiful. I’m glad you got to experience it with your husband too.

    I checked my phone and you appear in the Reader as normal. Did we have to sign up for Jetpack, or opt out if we didn’t want it? I haven’t observed anything different. I prefer using my laptop so I can enjoy the photos.


  8. Another whacky wheeze from WordPress then? You can just imagine them all tee-heeing somewhere when each update is rolled out. I have seen the Jetpack warnings on the phone, but circumvented them. I generally wait until I’m on my laptop to read or comment as my iPhone SE is too small to appreciate the pictures. I loved the description of your magical boat trip.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks – magical indeed. Yes, I’m not a big user of my phone when it comes to blogging, but I have installed Jetpack because WP nagged so. We’ll see …


  9. The only part of solo travel I don’t enjoy is the fact you can’t share the experience with anyone. I ended up in Paris on my own some years back (my husband got stranded by the Iceland volcanic fall out) and it was so strange. I kept going to make a comment about what I was seeing only to remember there was no one at my side

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What an experience. The tranquility comes through in the photos; I could feel myself relax as I enjoyed them 😊

    Re jetpack, I swapped with trepidation but with no problems, just the realisation that a few glitches before that were probably down to not having switched earlier. As a commenter rather than a poster I find jetpack much better and can now comment and ‘like’ from my phone with greater reliability. I don’t think it can help with the two systems running concurrently.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wonderful photos!

    When I was 18, I remember spending 3 days with a French penpal who lived near Paris. Neither of her parents spoke English and I remembered very little of my 3 years of French lessons in high school. It didn’t stop her Dad talking to me though! 😀 I understood enough when he mentioned “Diana” just as we were going through a tunnel (that certainly didn’t need translating).

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Wonderful photos! I love spending time in my own company, wandering the streets or beautiful nature landscapes. The Spanish course sounds intense! Did it work? Btw. I can’t see any post on your blog from Wednesday?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Strange, that it doesn’t appear on your blog. Maybe the people who found it also subscribe via email (I just subscribe via WordPress reader).


  13. Well Margaret, I don’t know about the glitch you mentioned but it certainly hasn’t affected THIS post! which, by the way, is very beautiful and your adventure sounds amazing. What an interesting concept to spend time immersed in a language you hadn’t learned. I love that!! Lovely images and memories this week.


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