Valencia- More Than a Dental Appointment

This week I need to fly down to Valencia. For a few medical appointments. I love going there this time of year. Valencia from May to October is a sweaty misery. But in February it is pure heaven. A light jacket or even shirt sleeves by lunchtime.

Valencia- Malvarrosa beach – Sunrise New Years Day 2020

Jeff and I were talking about Valencia last evening over dinner. In many ways, when we think of ‘back home’ we think of Valencia. Jeff feels more comfortable going back there than returning to Bellevue. ‘At least I know my way around in Valencia. Where to get things. In Bellevue it’s changed so much it’s unrecognizable.’

In between appointments, I’ll see my beloved, Rubin, the hairdressing magician, who will look at the grown out mangy version of the hack job the salon gave me back in October and give plenty of ‘tut tuts’. He will make me a cup of tea and gluten-free biscuits, rework what is left and give me a color refresh. Sitting in his chair will feel like being home.

I’ll do a little bit, or a lot, of shopping. I’ll visit my favorite antique market. Taking a long browse of any new treasures they might have acquired since I was there last.

My favorite cafes, my old haunts and walks. Taking in the honey colored light on the golden stone of the old city. Visiting my two favorite churches. Ones tucked in side streets with hidden doors, and without tourists. They’ll be empty in the afternoon as the priest reads a newspaper. One has a Virgin Mary that I like to chat with. I used to visit her every week. She’s got great advice in times of trial.

Best of all, I get to see my lovely friends! A good catch up over a long lunch. Perhaps a nice glass of French rosé as the sun goes down on a rooftop terrace. A deep breath.

When we left there, Valencia was tainted for me by the pandemic. I associated it with fear and dread. Too many unexpected health crises. Too much had happened in a short time. I wanted to flee, as if going somewhere else could cure what ailed me in an instant. But I don’t feel that way anymore. The PTSD of long Covid and Valencia are no longer associated for me. I see her in a different honey colored light now. And suddenly remember those pre-pandemic days. The fun I had discovering that beautiful city and how to live in Spain.

Right from the airport, I’ll use my old Metro card and tool around without having to think about it. Slipping down old shortcuts and narrow alleys. Walking the Turia. The Mercat Central and Mercat Colon. And Benimachlet market day. A cafe con leche at my favorite cafe. Will they remember me? My Spanish is definitely better. As I get excited about going, Jeff has made me laugh.

‘You’re probably going to go <here and there and there>’ he said smiling. I think he kind of wishes he was coming along. But I’ll be fine on my own. I know where the Drs are. If anything comes up he can be there lickety-split.

While I’m away, Jeff and Fergus will enjoy some them-time. Two bachelors getting up to who-knows-what in the barn while working on a long list of projects. The best of friends. I can hear Jeff outside talking to Fergus, as this little mutt looks up at him with pure adoration. Never roaming far from the barn.

Its been very sunny in Galicia the past couple of weeks. No rain, just like this time last year. But the sun in Valencia is a bit warmer and very familiar. So I should be topped up on my Vitamin D in no time. My favorite Virgin Mary is waiting for me. And I’ll enjoy every single moment of my week in a city I had forgotten I loved so much.

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