Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Florence Tomorrow

I am leaving for Florence, Italy tomorrow.

I am leaving on the train to Valencia at 6:30pm or so, and from there, departing for Pisa at 9:30, then a train/bus at around midnight from Pisa to Florence. I am glad the hostel has 24 hour check-in because we will be arriving about 130 or 2 in the morning I think. I will be back sometime Sunday night, hopefully in time to catch the last train from Valencia back to Burriana. It should be a nice respite from the classes I have been teaching, and the environs of a different world-city that I have never seen should be fun. I was encouraged toward Florence by nearly everyone with whom I spoke about Italy. So, I expect it will be nice.

Today was market day in Burriana. I went to the market with my house-mate Katie to see what all the fuss was about. The thing was much bigger than I expected. There were many different vendors, selling anything from kitchen utensils to clothing and shoes to fruits and vegetables to meats and cheeses… unbelievable variety.

The market... Katie is in the second picture using the language that we all use along with our Spanish... Sign language.

It was fun. I do believe that I will buy my vegetables there from now on, but today, since I am leaving tomorrow, I bought nothing. Most of the stalls are covered with a drape of black netting that shades the patrons while allowing the breeze to blow through. It was nice in the shade, but in the sun, it was a scorcher. About 35 or 36 degrees Celsius, which I think is about 96 or 98 degrees Fahrenheit… I’m not sure though. It was hot to say the least.

This is the tower for which Burriana is famous. There are T-shirts sold here with the Eiffel tower, Big Ben, and the Burriana tower displayed equally on them.

Some doors that i liked... The city is full of big old wooden carved doors.

A street in Burriana

Today was my last class with Daniel and Ana. They only had classes through the end of July, so I am now back down to about 10 hours a week if nothing else comes through… So much for breaking even. Although I must admit, I do like the free time. It is summer, after all.

And I can hear the old women and men sitting just outside the back door of the academy as I type. Ever since it has been hot during the day the people sit and stroll about until 12 or 1 in the morning. Without air conditioning the houses take a while to cool off in the evenings. And they like to sit near the street or in the street. Otherwise the breeze is minimal. It is nothing like a neighborhood back home. All of the buildings in town are residences are almost all are about 4 stories tall, even in this town of 3900 people. Above every shop, there are apartments. So the blocks of buildings block the breeze on the side streets and in the courtyards. In the streets the breezes blow. The temperature here drops quickly when the sun sinks below the mountains to the west, but the thick walls of the masonry architecture here take time to give up their pent up heat to the cool breezes that surround them. And the old men and women talk to me when I come in. It is “Buenas Tardes” or “Bona Nit” (in Valenciano) as I ride up on my bike. Last night as I left one of the old women said to me in Spanish “Well, we’re still here…”, and I said, “Well, are you not always here?…” and I got a big laugh. It was an accident, but I’ll take a laugh anyway I can get it.

Tonight, I am preoccupied with a couple of things one of which is a trip to Italy for which I have yet to pack… and I must pack frugally. I am only taking my carry on. Therefore I must go.

Look for more from me round about Sunday when I return from Italy…

Thanks again for stopping in.


p.s. FYI, If you click on the pictures you can view them as larger images.


DonnaO said...

So. Craig, if you don't keep writing when you leave, there's just something wrong. You have a gift for describing events, people and places that allows your reader to FEEL it. And your grammar ain't so bad, neither. I want to go back to Europe!! First, though... I'd better get the zucchini bread out of the oven. Les bons voyages!

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