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.
Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain (España)

Fuerteventura's Atlantic Ventura

The Romans knew the Canaries as the lucky islands. Fuerteventura, preserves many of the attributes of that time. Its perfect beaches for the windsurf and the kite-surfing or just for bathing, they justify successive “invasions” by the sun-hungry northern peoples. In the volcanic and rugged interior, the bastion of the island's indigenous and colonial cultures remains. We started to unravel it along its long south.
Lanzarote, Canary Islands

To César Manrique what is César Manrique's

By itself, Lanzarote would always be a Canaria by itself, but it is almost impossible to explore it without discovering the restless and activist genius of one of its prodigal sons. César Manrique passed away nearly thirty years ago. The prolific work he left shines on the lava of the volcanic island that saw him born.
El Hierro, Canary Islands

The Volcanic Rim of the Canaries and the Old World

Until Columbus arrived in the Americas, El Hierro was seen as the threshold of the known world and, for a time, the Meridian that delimited it. Half a millennium later, the last western island of the Canaries is teeming with exuberant volcanism.
La Graciosa, Canary Islands

The Most Graceful of the Canary Islands

Until 2018, the smallest of the inhabited Canaries did not count for the archipelago. Arriving in La Graciosa, we discover the insular charm of the now eighth island.
PN Timanfaya, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

PN Timanfaya and the Fire Mountains of Lanzarote

Between 1730 and 1736, out of nowhere, dozens of volcanoes in Lanzarote erupted successively. The massive amount of lava they released buried several villages and forced almost half of the inhabitants to emigrate. The legacy of this cataclysm is the current Martian setting of the exuberant PN Timanfaya.
Tenerife, Canary Islands

The Volcano that Haunts the Atlantic

At 3718m, El Teide is the roof of the Canaries and Spain. Not only. If measured from the ocean floor (7500 m), only two mountains are more pronounced. The Guanche natives considered it the home of Guayota, their devil. Anyone traveling to Tenerife knows that old Teide is everywhere.
La Palma, Canary Islands

The "Isla Bonita" of the Canary Islands

In 1986 Madonna Louise Ciccone launched a hit that popularized the attraction exerted by a island imaginary. Ambergris Caye, in Belize, reaped benefits. On this side of the Atlantic, the palmeros that's how they see their real and stunning Canaria.
Vegueta, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands

Around the Heart of the Royal Canaries

The old and majestic Vegueta de Las Palmas district stands out in the long and complex Hispanization of the Canaries. After a long period of noble expeditions, the final conquest of Gran Canaria and the remaining islands of the archipelago began there, under the command of the monarchs of Castile and Aragon.
Tenerife, Canary Islands

East of White Mountain Island

The almost triangular Tenerife has its center dominated by the majestic volcano Teide. At its eastern end, there is another rugged domain, even so, the place of the island's capital and other unavoidable villages, with mysterious forests and incredible abrupt coastlines.
Gran Canaria, Canary Islands

Grand Canary Islands

It is only the third largest island in the archipelago. It so impressed European navigators and settlers that they got used to treating it as the supreme.
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.
Lion, Elephants, PN Hwange, Zimbabwe
PN Hwange, Zimbabwe

The Legacy of the Late Cecil Lion

On July 1, 2015, Walter Palmer, a dentist and trophy hunter from Minnesota killed Cecil, Zimbabwe's most famous lion. The slaughter generated a viral wave of outrage. As we saw in PN Hwange, nearly two years later, Cecil's descendants thrive.
Prayer flags in Ghyaru, Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 4th – Upper Banana to Ngawal, Nepal

From Nightmare to Dazzle

Unbeknownst to us, we are faced with an ascent that leads us to despair. We pulled our strength as far as possible and reached Ghyaru where we felt closer than ever to the Annapurnas. The rest of the way to Ngawal felt like a kind of extension of the reward.
Architecture & Design

the last address

From the grandiose tombs of Novodevichy, in Moscow, to the boxed Mayan bones of Pomuch, in the Mexican province of Campeche, each people flaunts its own way of life. Even in death.
Boat Trips

For Those Becoming Internet Sick

Hop on and let yourself go on unmissable boat trips like the Philippine archipelago of Bacuit and the frozen sea of ​​the Finnish Gulf of Bothnia.
Miyajima Island, Shinto and Buddhism, Japan, Gateway to a Holy Island
Ceremonies and Festivities
Miyajima, Japan

Shintoism and Buddhism with the Tide

Visitors to the Tori of Itsukushima admire one of the three most revered scenery in Japan. On the island of Miyajima, Japanese religiosity blends with Nature and is renewed with the flow of the Seto Inland Sea.
Fremantle port and city in Western Australia, female friends in pose
Fremantle, Australia

The Bohemian Harbor of Western Australia

Once the main destination for British convicts banished to Australia, Fremantle evolved into the great port of the Big Island West. And at the same time, into a haven for artists aussies and expatriates in search of lives outside the box.
Beverage Machines, Japan

The Beverage Machines Empire

There are more than 5 million ultra-tech light boxes spread across the country and many more exuberant cans and bottles of appealing drinks. The Japanese have long since stopped resisting them.
the projectionist
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.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.
Tokyo's sophisticated houses, where Couchsurfing and your hosts abound.
Couchsurfing (Part 1)

Mi Casa, Su Casa

In 2003, a new online community globalized an old landscape of hospitality, conviviality and interests. Today, Couchsurfing welcomes millions of travelers, but it shouldn't be taken lightly.
Women with long hair from Huang Luo, Guangxi, China
Longsheng, China

Huang Luo: the Chinese Village of the Longest Hairs

In a multi-ethnic region covered with terraced rice paddies, the women of Huang Luo have surrendered to the same hairy obsession. They let the longest hair in the world grow, years on end, to an average length of 170 to 200 cm. Oddly enough, to keep them beautiful and shiny, they only use water and rice.
Sunset, Avenue of Baobabs, Madagascar
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio

days like so many others

St. Paul's Cathedral, Vigan, Asia Hispanica, Philippines
Vigan, Philippines

Vigan: the Most Hispanic of Asias

The Spanish settlers left but their mansions are intact and the Kalesas circulate. When Oliver Stone was looking for Mexican sets for "Born on the 4th of July" he found them in this ciudad fernandina
Navala, Viti Levu, Fiji
Navala, Fiji

Fiji's Tribal Urbanism

Fiji has adapted to the invasion of travelers with westernized hotels and resorts. But in the highlands of Viti Levu, Navala keeps its huts carefully aligned.
Geothermal, Iceland Heat, Ice Land, Geothermal, Blue Lagoon
Winter White

The Geothermal Coziness of the Ice Island

Most visitors value Iceland's volcanic scenery for its beauty. Icelanders also draw from them heat and energy crucial to the life they lead to the Arctic gates.
Almada Negreiros, Roça Saudade, Sao Tome
Saudade, São Tomé, São Tomé and Principe

Almada Negreiros: From Saudade to Eternity

Almada Negreiros was born in April 1893, on a farm in the interior of São Tomé. Upon discovering his origins, we believe that the luxuriant exuberance in which he began to grow oxygenated his fruitful creativity.
Fisherman maneuvers boat near Bonete Beach, Ilhabela, Brazil
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.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
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.
Lenticular cloud, Mount Cook, New Zealand.
Natural Parks
Mount cook, New Zealand

The Cloud Piercer Mountain

Aoraki/Mount Cook may fall far short of the world's roof but it is New Zealand's highest and most imposing mountain.
Jabula Beach, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
UNESCO World Heritage
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.
now from above ladder, sorcerer of new zealand, Christchurch, new zealand
Christchurch, New Zealand

New Zealand's Cursed Wizard

Despite his notoriety in the antipodes, Ian Channell, the New Zealand sorcerer, failed to predict or prevent several earthquakes that struck Christchurch. At the age of 88, after 23 years of contract with the city, he made very controversial statements and ended up fired.
La Digue, Seychelles, Anse d'Argent
La Digue, Seychelles

Monumental Tropical Granite

Beaches hidden by lush jungle, made of coral sand washed by a turquoise-emerald sea are anything but rare in the Indian Ocean. La Digue recreated itself. Around its coastline, massive boulders sprout that erosion has carved as an eccentric and solid tribute of time to the Nature.
holy plain, Bagan, Myanmar
Bagan, Myanmar

The Plain of Pagodas, Temples and other Heavenly Redemptions

Burmese religiosity has always been based on a commitment to redemption. In Bagan, wealthy and fearful believers continue to erect pagodas in hopes of winning the benevolence of the gods.
Flam Railway composition below a waterfall, Norway.
On Rails
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.
Ijen Volcano, Slaves of Sulfur, Java, Indonesia
Ijen volcano, Indonesia

The Ijen Volcano Sulphur Slaves

Hundreds of Javanese surrender to the Ijen volcano where they are consumed by poisonous gases and loads that deform their shoulders. Each turn earns them less than €30 but everyone is grateful for their martyrdom.
Saksun, Faroe Islands, Streymoy, warning
Daily life
Saksun, streymoyFaroe Islands

The Faroese Village That Doesn't Want to be Disneyland

Saksun is one of several stunning small villages in the Faroe Islands that more and more outsiders visit. It is distinguished by the aversion to tourists of its main rural owner, author of repeated antipathies and attacks against the invaders of his land.
Rhinoceros, PN Kaziranga, Assam, India
PN Kaziranga, India

The Indian Monoceros Stronghold

Situated in the state of Assam, south of the great Brahmaputra river, PN Kaziranga occupies a vast area of ​​alluvial swamp. Two-thirds of the rhinocerus unicornis around the world, there are around 100 tigers, 1200 elephants and many other animals. Pressured by human proximity and the inevitable poaching, this precious park has not been able to protect itself from the hyperbolic floods of the monsoons and from some controversies.
Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii Wrinkles
Scenic Flights
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.