|Looking south from Capo San Antonio towards Calpe|
|Penon de Ifach looms over the entrance to Calpe harbour|
|Enki's spot, opposite the fishing fleet|
|Such good mussels at Calpe - and the swordfish was the freshest ever|
It's cool now in the mornings, and pitch black at 7 am. Summer time, like summer fruit, is on quick fade. You can only take so much disappointment, and in Palma the peaches gave us the message. Move on. We have already - persimmons and figs are the new favourites in our breakfast bowl of muesli (let's not talk about Spanish yoghurt, please. Greece has our lifelong allegiance on that score alone).
|Autumn fruit bowl (and while we're talking food, tapas below)|
|Grilled octopus on potatoes|
|Fresh tuna and fresh Valencia tomatoes (the town doesn't just do oranges)|
Alex has been saying for a few weeks now that we need to get moving, that it was getting late if we wanted to get out of the Med and down to the Canaries. But it was hard to take his anxiety seriously with temperatures over 30 degrees during the day. It was still hot when we arrived in Valenica from Palma a week ago. That was a longer, and more difficult overnight passage than we'd anticipated. Wind on the nose, sea on the nose, current on the nose, passing traffic on the nose - everything on the nose, for hour after hour.
|Wet decks, and a bit of a lean|
|The mainstay team|
After that pounding, the allure of city life was powerful. Valencia kept us for six days, not least because we found Marina Real Joan Carlos I, where the America's Cup challenges of 2007 and 2010 were held, to our liking and even more so when our Australian friends from Marmaris days, Kevin and Mei on Whisper HR, sailed in from Barcelona. That was a treat.
|Mei always knows her stuff|
|Kevin is a gourmand - tapas and beer in Grau, the marina neighbourhood|
The grandeur and elegance of the old town were a surprise. How many regional European towns have we said that about? Today's also-ran city was more than likely yesterday's centre of power, and though the money moves on, it leaves a trail because they built differently back then (well, until the 20th century). In Valencia, along with the city walls and the churches and so on (all the usual impressive stuff), there's the over-the-top Palace of the Marques de Dos Aguas, built as a private "home" by an 18th century dandy with money to burn, and a huge need to make that fact known. Those guys didn't go away - they' re in Moscow, in Los Angeles, in London and on the Med in their super yachts - but will they leave such a gloriously joyous trace as this marques? Check the detail on his front door.
|The Palacio del Marques de Dos Aguas|
|Go to the front door|
|Two carriages in the garage (well, on display)|
|The upper storeys of the palace house a vast collection of Valencia ceramics|
For the record - because Alex too leaves a wonderful trail - here is Valencia on the street, and in the market, at the beach, all our favourite haunts in other words.
|Playa de las Arenas, on the north side of the marina|
|Valencia streetscapes (and below)|
|Valencia is known as the city which invented paella|
|The central market, built in 1928|