Valencia to Xativa, Spain (España)

Across Iberia


scarlet summer
Poppies proliferate in a meadow of "community" from Valencia, between Xátiva and Dénia.
Lights of Ribalta, Lights of Dénia
Lighting on Dénia's waterfront gives more glow to an already colorful twilight.
Net fishing, lots of nets.
Fisherman is preparing to set sail for the waters of the Albufera del Palmar, a few km south of Valencia.
rough mediterranean
Rocky coastline lined with slabs in the vicinity of Cap de La Nau.
El Palmar dock
Fishing boats anchored on a small floating jetty on the El Palmar reservoir.
Casario de Xativa
Uniform house of Xàtiva, invariably white and with tiles that time gave pastel shades.
End of the line
Cyclist takes a break to admire the lakeside landscape of the El Palmar reservoir.
Valencian Walls I
Yellow sun the imposing walls of the castle of Dénia, another city once defended from a hill.
Rough Mediterranean II
Rocky coastline lined with slabs in the vicinity of Cap de La Nau.
Valencian Walls II
Part of the medieval structure of the castle of Xàtiva, in the south of the province of Valencia.
San Felix Church
Towers and domes of the church of San Félix, one of several in the vicinity of Xàtiva.
the weight of the best friend
A resident of the Xàtiva region is anxious to pick up his heavy pet.
Cap de la Nau
Boat skirts the promontory of Cabo de la Nao, one of the most prominent on the Spanish Mediterranean coast.
Casario de Xativa II
A palm tree stands out from the uniform houses of Xàtiva, at the foot of the steep hill on which the town's castle stood.

Leaving aside the modernity of Valencia, we explore the natural and historical settings that the "community" shares with the Mediterranean. The more we travel, the more its bright life seduces us.

Valencia remained covered by a blanket of gray clouds that promised showers at any moment. The promise was soon fulfilled. Banished by the sun and beaten by the rain, the city turned even more gray.

Puente del Mar, one of several over the Turia river, which give access to the old hull, appears lost in the mist, crossed from time to time by locals and strangers that the figures of the Virgin and San Pascual permanently bless . Crossing the river to the west, we reach Plaza Porta del Mar. From then on, Valencia reveals its majestic historical center and its most impressive centuries-old testimonies: the Cervelló Palace, the Church of Santo Tomás y San Felipe Neri and the Plaza de la Reina, marked in the distance by the towering towers of the Miguelete Cathedral and the Iglesia y Torre de Santa Catalina.

Despite the gusts and the wind that meanwhile granted a truce, hundreds of visitors flock there, delighted by the unlikely combination of the medieval and religious atmosphere of the monuments with the pagan stronghold of the nearby bars and pubs. While, in the gloomy interior of the so-called Conjunto Catedralício, some outsiders make an effort to respect the usual warnings of silence, on the terraces that are still soaked around, others indulge in a cosmopolitan laughter fed by successive rounds of cañas and tapas.

We left the Plaza de la Reina, walked along Calle San Vicente Martir and avoided getting back into the almost labyrinth of the surrounding alleys and alleys, from which it had taken us too long before to get out.

The night does not take long to set in. We investigate the animation of one or another bar, but we don't take long to pick up at the accommodation. The next morning, we were leaving early, heading south towards Dénia. As for Valencia, as time is running out, we just skim the historic. The futurist or the Third Millennium – as the Valencians like to call it – we leave it for a next visit.

The new day dawned with an intense sun that seemed to make up for the rain damage that had been so far. Enthusiastic about the unexpected meteorological stimulus, we order breakfast and hit the road. 

We leave behind the city's modern and somewhat chaotic surroundings. According to the routes, the next places worthy of attention were located 20 km to the south, all of them in the Natural Park of La Albufera, a large lake formed by the siltation of an entrance to the Mediterranean and by beaches to the north and south. 

But, as Portuguese, and used – as we are all – to more serious beaches, it soon seemed that that somewhat uncharacteristic coastline and almost no waves would hardly impress us. Accordingly, we dedicated ourselves to exploring only the lagoon, subsumed behind a tall, dense grass that hid countless lake birds and also busy fishermen. We reach the end of a small wooden jetty when one of them appears behind the raised cane field in the shape of an improvised gondolier, balanced on a wooden vessel with coiled nets overflowing. We see no signs of fish on board and when the man docks by the jetty we ask him in Spanish, more jokingly than anything else, how the fishing pond was doing.

"Spanish certainly aren't, and if they were, they could only be Galician." respond to us with humor and boldness. “Well, with Portuguese we always talk a little bit in Spanish, there's no problem, even if it's not our language that Spain has already made the most sense, as you're certainly noticing. It's the same with the lagoon. With the exit to the sea closed as it is, there are days when we walk here almost just making a show. Like today, for example.” We realized that the landing of the nets was going to be a piece of work and we left him to his toil and his political and fishing indignation.

Shortly thereafter, we advanced to Dénia and descended to Cabo de la Nau, which marks the easternmost point of the Valencian community, points towards Formentera and the rest of the Balearic archipelago, off the coast.

We travel through the northern part of the province of Alicante when we come to the originally yellowish Moorish castle of Dénia, facing a bay full of boats, some fishing boats, others not for that reason, or if the city were not an important port port of the ferries to and from the Balearics.

We explore the low houses around the walls and climb inside the sandstone fortification. From there, towards the end of the afternoon, we enjoyed the surroundings at 360 degrees. With twilight already imposing its ethereal blue, we returned to the coastal foothills of the slope and joined the bohemian crowd on the seafront, with much more availability than we had, at the outset, in Valencia. Like Dénia, a large part of the charm of the next destination on the map, Xàtiva, was also due to its castle.

The journey between the two places proved to be short again. We made it along a winding and bucolic path, along a sequence of forests, fields, vineyards and orchards only broken by picturesque towns or villages.

Upon arrival, Xàtiva deceived us. The road goes around a large hill, steep enough to prevent the view from below of the medieval scenery from the top. Inevitably happens to us what affects those who do not know those places: we head towards the busiest urban center of the town and completely miss the monument that stands out the most.

Only later, we reach the historic center along a vertiginous path that enters the narrow and shady streets formed by the old houses until it surpasses it in altitude and gives us a magnificent view of the Baixa-Xàtiva.

We continue to climb. We reach the limits of the long walls and the scenery resembles that of the top of the Moorish castle of Sintra.

The presence and periods of conquests and reconquests between Christians and infidels, as well as other later “internal” confrontations, also left imposing traces there. Xativa came to rival in political and ecclesiastical importance with the city of Valencia itself. He was at the origin and in the life of the always powerful and controversial family of the Casa de Borja and the two Borgia popes, Calixto III and Alexander VI. During the latter's reign, in its eagerness for more and more power, the already Italianized family made deadly enemies against the portentous rivals Medici and Sforza, also recognizably the Dominican friar Savonarola, among others. They were so conflicted that over the centuries the outburst of Toffana, one of her many repentant servants, became popular: “I should have stayed in the stables. What a family does this Pope have!”

The Borgias were accused of a bit of everything. Of incest, adultery, theft and systematic bribes. At the same time, they were dynamic patrons of the Renaissance movement. In fact, they continue to give the arts something to do.

They recently inspired a fruitful TV series from the ever-creative producer Showtime. And fascinate and addict most players of  Assassins Creed, a long sequel to cross-platform video games in which their adventures and misadventures stand out. By itself, the genesis of the family gives Xàtiva additional importance and meaning. It involves a guided tour of a series of churches, chapels and stately palaces and a more exhaustive discovery of the troubled life of the Borgias. That's what we continue to do. 

Matarraña to Alcanar, Spain (España)

A Medieval Spain

Traveling through the lands of Aragon and Valencia, we come across towers and detached battlements of houses that fill the slopes. Mile after kilometer, these visions prove to be as anachronistic as they are fascinating.

La Palma, Canary IslandsSpain (España)

The Most Mediatic of the Cataclysms to Happen

The BBC reported that the collapse of a volcanic slope on the island of La Palma could generate a mega-tsunami. Whenever the area's volcanic activity increases, the media take the opportunity to scare the world.
Serengeti, Great Savannah Migration, Tanzania, wildebeest on river
Safari
Serengeti NP, Tanzania

The Great Migration of the Endless Savanna

In these prairies that the Masai people say syringet (run forever), millions of wildebeests and other herbivores chase the rains. For predators, their arrival and that of the monsoon are the same salvation.
Thorong La, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, photo for posterity
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit 13th: High camp - Thorong La - Muktinath, Nepal,

At the height of the Annapurnas Circuit

At 5416m of altitude, the Thorong La Gorge is the great challenge and the main cause of anxiety on the itinerary. After having killed 2014 climbers in October 29, crossing it safely generates a relief worthy of double celebration.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Architecture & Design
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Adventure
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.
Ceremonies and Festivities
Pueblos del Sur, Venezuela

The Pueblos del Sur Locainas, Their Dances and Co.

From the beginning of the XNUMXth century, with Hispanic settlers and, more recently, with Portuguese emigrants, customs and traditions well known in the Iberian Peninsula and, in particular, in northern Portugal, were consolidated in the Pueblos del Sur.
Vegetables, Little India, Sari Singapore, Singapore
Cities
Little India, Singapore

The Sari Singapore of Little India

There are thousands of inhabitants instead of the 1.3 billion of the mother country, but Little India, a neighborhood in tiny Singapore, does not lack soul. No soul, no smell of Bollywood curry and music.
Meal
Margilan, Uzbekistan

An Uzbekistan's Breadwinner

In one of the many bakeries in Margilan, worn out by the intense heat of the tandyr oven, the baker Maruf'Jon works half-baked like the distinctive traditional breads sold throughout Uzbekistan
the projectionist
Culture
Sainte-Luce, Martinique

The Nostalgic Projectionist

From 1954 to 1983, Gérard Pierre screened many of the famous films arriving in Martinique. 30 years after the closing of the room in which he worked, it was still difficult for this nostalgic native to change his reel.
4th of July Fireworks-Seward, Alaska, United States
Sport
Seward, Alaska

The Longest 4th of July

The independence of the United States is celebrated, in Seward, Alaska, in a modest way. Even so, the 4th of July and its celebration seem to have no end.
Entrance porch in Ellikkalla, Uzbekistan
Traveling
Uzbekistan

Journey through the Uzbekistan Pseudo-Roads

Centuries passed. Old and run-down Soviet roads ply deserts and oases once traversed by caravans from the Silk RoadSubject to their yoke for a week, we experience every stop and incursion into Uzbek places, into scenic and historic road rewards.
Network launch, Ouvéa Island-Lealdade Islands, New Caledonia
Ethnic
Ouvéa, New Caledonia

Between Loyalty and Freedom

New Caledonia has always questioned integration into faraway France. On the island of Ouvéa, Loyalty Archipelago, we find an history of resistance but also natives who prefer French-speaking citizenship and privileges.
portfolio, Got2Globe, Travel photography, images, best photographs, travel photos, world, Earth
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Portfolio Got2globe

The Best in the World – Got2Globe Portfolio

Entrance to Dunhuang Sand City, China
History
Dunhuang, China

An Oasis in the China of the Sands

Thousands of kilometers west of Beijing, the Great Wall has its western end and the China and other. An unexpected splash of vegetable green breaks up the arid expanse all around. Announces Dunhuang, formerly crucial outpost on the Silk Road, today an intriguing city at the base of Asia's largest sand dunes.
Sun and coconut trees, São Nicolau, Cape Verde
Islands
São Nicolau, Cape Verde

São Nicolau: Pilgrimage to Terra di Sodade

Forced matches like those that inspired the famous morna “soda” made the pain of having to leave the islands of Cape Verde very strong. Discovering saninclau, between enchantment and wonder, we pursue the genesis of song and melancholy.
St. Trinity Church, Kazbegi, Georgia, Caucasus
Winter White
Kazbegi, Georgia

God in the Caucasus Heights

In the 4000th century, Orthodox religious took their inspiration from a hermitage that a monk had erected at an altitude of 5047 m and perched a church between the summit of Mount Kazbek (XNUMXm) and the village at the foot. More and more visitors flock to these mystical stops on the edge of Russia. Like them, to get there, we submit to the whims of the reckless Georgia Military Road.
José Saramago in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain, Glorieta de Saramago
Literature
Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain (España)

José Saramago's Basalt Raft

In 1993, frustrated by the Portuguese government's disregard for his work “The Gospel According to Jesus Christ”, Saramago moved with his wife Pilar del Río to Lanzarote. Back on this somewhat extraterrestrial Canary Island, we visited his home. And the refuge from the portuguese censorship that haunted the writer.
Jabula Beach, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
Nature
Saint Lucia, South Africa

An Africa as Wild as Zulu

On the eminence of the coast of Mozambique, the province of KwaZulu-Natal is home to an unexpected South Africa. Deserted beaches full of dunes, vast estuarine swamps and hills covered with fog fill this wild land also bathed by the Indian Ocean. It is shared by the subjects of the always proud Zulu nation and one of the most prolific and diverse fauna on the African continent.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Autumn
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Flam Railway composition below a waterfall, Norway.
Natural Parks
Nesbyen to Flam, Norway

Flam Railway: Sublime Norway from the First to the Last Station

By road and aboard the Flam Railway, on one of the steepest railway routes in the world, we reach Flam and the entrance to the Sognefjord, the largest, deepest and most revered of the Scandinavian fjords. From the starting point to the last station, this monumental Norway that we have unveiled is confirmed.
Shuri Castle in Naha, Okinawa the Empire of the Sun, Japan
UNESCO World Heritage
Okinawa, Japan

The Little Empire of the Sun

Risen from the devastation caused by World War II, Okinawa has regained the heritage of its secular Ryukyu civilization. Today, this archipelago south of Kyushu is home to a Japan on the shore, anchored by a turquoise Pacific ocean and bathed in a peculiar Japanese tropicalism.
Earp brothers look-alikes and friend Doc Holliday in Tombstone, USA
Characters
tombstone, USA

Tombstone: the City Too Hard to Die

Silver veins discovered at the end of the XNUMXth century made Tombstone a prosperous and conflictive mining center on the frontier of the United States to Mexico. Lawrence Kasdan, Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner and other Hollywood directors and actors made famous the Earp brothers and the bloodthirsty duel of “OK Corral”. The Tombstone, which, over time, has claimed so many lives, is about to last.
Fisherman maneuvers boat near Bonete Beach, Ilhabela, Brazil
Beaches
Ilhabela, Brazil

In Ilhabela, on the way to Bonete

A community of caiçaras descendants of pirates founded a village in a corner of Ilhabela. Despite the difficult access, Bonete was discovered and considered one of the ten best beaches in Brazil.
Pemba, Mozambique, Capital of Cabo Delgado, from Porto Amélia to Porto de Abrigo, Paquitequete
Religion
Pemba, Mozambique

From Porto Amélia to the Shelter Port of Mozambique

In July 2017, we visited Pemba. Two months later, the first attack took place on Mocímboa da Praia. Nor then do we dare to imagine that the tropical and sunny capital of Cabo Delgado would become the salvation of thousands of Mozambicans fleeing a terrifying jihadism.
Back in the sun. San Francisco Cable Cars, Life Ups and Downs
On Rails
San Francisco, USA

San Francisco Cable Cars: A Life of Highs and Lows

A macabre wagon accident inspired the San Francisco cable car saga. Today, these relics work as a charm operation in the city of fog, but they also have their risks.
Executives sleep subway seat, sleep, sleep, subway, train, Tokyo, Japan
Society
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo's Hypno-Passengers

Japan is served by millions of executives slaughtered with infernal work rates and sparse vacations. Every minute of respite on the way to work or home serves them for their inemuri, napping in public.
Visitors at Talisay Ruins, Negros Island, Philippines
Daily life
Talisay City, Philippines

Monument to a Luso-Philippine Love

At the end of the 11th century, Mariano Lacson, a Filipino farmer, and Maria Braga, a Portuguese woman from Macau, fell in love and got married. During the pregnancy of what would be her 2th child, Maria succumbed to a fall. Destroyed, Mariano built a mansion in his honor. In the midst of World War II, the mansion was set on fire, but the elegant ruins that endured perpetuate their tragic relationship.
Newborn turtle, PN Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Wildlife
PN Tortuguero, Costa Rica

A Night at the Nursery of Tortuguero

The name of the Tortuguero region has an obvious and ancient reason. Turtles from the Atlantic and the Caribbean Sea have long flocked to the black sand beaches of its narrow coastline to spawn. On one of the nights we spent in Tortuguero we watched their frenzied births.
Full Dog Mushing
Scenic Flights
Seward, Alaska

The Alaskan Dog Mushing Summer

It's almost 30 degrees and the glaciers are melting. In Alaska, entrepreneurs have little time to get rich. Until the end of August, dog mushing cannot stop.
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