The old town of Valencia was a walled city in medieval times, the walls are now gone but the gateways or “Torres” remain. It reminds me a little bit of the old city of Cairo.I found this on Google which i edited heavily as there is´nt enough room for everything on this blog, any further information can be found through google if you use the keywords “El Cid” as follows:
” El Cid, Through his service to Sancho II and then Alfonso VI ,learned about Spanish politics. Through his service to al-Mu’tamin and al-Musta’in he learned about Arabic politics. He knew that because Valencia contained a great number of Moors (Arabs) that he would have to have the support of Ibn Jahhaf. Ibn Jahhaf agreed to use his influence over the Moors so that they would accept El Cid as their ruler. Once this was accomplished, El Cid decided that he did not need Ibn Jahhaf and had him arrested and killed. El Cid ruled Valencia until his death. On May 5, 1102, the Almoravids occupied Valencia and ruled it until 1238.”
I took this image way back in 2006 with a Nikon point-and-Shoot E200 or something, on a visit to the Barrio with my wife Silvia and our one year-old daughter (at the time) Sophie, (She was in a push chair then , sleeping as i recall)!
I´ve spent the weekend putting an Animoto slideshow together of some views of Spain, i´ve taken over the years and i dug this out of the archives. The slideshow can be seen on my Slideshow page (up on the top menu bar), however don´t expect lot´s of obvious Spanish views – bar one or two!
I put this image through Photomatix, so it´s not strictly HDR and it´s Vignetting all over the place which i can´t correct, but i like it for two reasons, The first is: it´s very rare that you can get an image of the Barrio Carmen without people in it (the place is usually heaving with people day and night). And secondly: This was the place i first came to when i moved here from London 22 years ago.
When i arrived in 1988 i only knew the name of the street where an old friend that i knew in London had moved to, i came across a great jazz bar and i asked the owner if he knew of my friend. He told me, indeed he did and that she lived right above, on the top floor, rolled a joint which he insisted i finish ( Franco had died some years before and Spain had moved from the totalitarian right to the libertarian left) and in the interests of integration i complied with his request (well i was young and single and without a family in those days)! and he went up to her apartment to pass the message that i was below in the bar. In those days there were no landlines in spain (6 year waiting list for a landline and another ten years for cellphones to be invented).
I lived there in that Barrio for three months, while my house in my village 100k further south was being renovated.
The Barrio Carmen has changed massively in the last ten or fifteen years or so, since the local townhall offered 80% to refurbish the “Fachadas” or Facades of the houses.
I could never understand why everybody walked in the middle of the street and not the pavements, until i saw the cars that were smashed by falling debris, houses too, would just fall down-with the owners inside from time to time!
The Vecinos (Locals) are gone, the folks selling marijuana are gone, the bars are gone (including the best Jazz bar in Spain) and the best restaurants are gone too, replaced by bars and restaurants that the rich and famous like to go to. The place has been taken over by film directors, Actors, Rock Stars and the like ! I suppose that´s progress!
The time i spent in the Barrio Carmen were probably the best years i ever had in Spain.
I guess this post is about stepping out of your comfort zone, whether it be lifelong or temporary, it is an amazing experience that you will remember and remain with you forever!
I recommend it to everyone!