South again for Valencia & Lladró
Valencia was always on the agenda but our last site was just a bit too far for a day out. It was an hour away. So against my measly nature we headed an hour back in the direction we came to spend a few days in an Aire GPS N39.579630 W000.444750 Our Aires & Stop Overs On the outskirts of this supposed beautiful city.
The weather had turned wet and cold and we felt a bit cheated from our holiday in the sun until we heard that northern Spain Bilbao and most of Europe including our blessed southern England was a white out under “The beast from the east” snowstorm that had engulfed it. Friends that had left for home we’re stuck in Northern Spain with cancelled ferry crossings. We counted our blessings and headed for the Lladró factory and museum. We have always loved the detail attached to Lladró figurines but had never had sufficient funds to warrant its indulgence. A factory tour was therefore a must and allowed us to wizz around the streets in the smart car to get a feeling of the city gather our bearings and decide how to spend the next day or so.
The tour was truly magnificent watching the painstaking time and effort involved to create these amazing works of art. The number of man (woman mainly)hours that it takes to create one figurine or vase is mind blowing and two ladies we witnessed had worked for 35 and 40 years respectively painting and just making minuscule flowers. No wonder hundreds of euros are asked for their craft and tens of thousands of euros for their limited edition pieces. Their signature piece for 2018 is the carnival in Venice and costs a whopping €185,000. They make only 100 and expect to take ten years to sell them all.
After the visit we decided to reckie the city and drove along both sides of the once river bed which after huge floods in 1949 & 1957 was diverted away leaving the old river to be transformed into a huge park running the length of the city. Imagine the course of the River Thames as one long park and you have got it. On the park there are numerous points of interest culminating in very modernistic area at its seaward end. More on this on our next blog.