My fortnight in Valencia is at an end. I’ve got the certificate to prove it, from my school of Spanish. And before you send me virtual pats on the back, it’s a certificate of attendance, not of achievement.
But goodness, I needed a break yesterday afternoon. This fortnight’s been full on. If I haven’t been doing Spanish, or watching Spanish TV with my hostess (not recommended), I’ve been getting a severe case of Museum Foot.
An afternoon at the sea? In the country? Why not both? L’Albufera is Valencia’s Natural Park. It’s a large fresh-and-seawater lake, a rice-growing marsh, and a sandbar. It’s beautiful, and only an eight kilometre bus ride from town. I spent the afternoon exploring the unexpectedly characterful Mediterranean maquis scrubland and a deserted beach.
But it was the last hour of all that was transformative, washing away a fortnight’s stress. Good stress, but still….
I got a trip on a boat which puttered slowly and quietly across the lake and through the reed beds as the sun set, herons and cormorants fished, and ducks patrolled the waters. It was perfect, quite perfect.