I have visited Spain many times during the last 7 years, both for business & pleasure. When I first came to Spain it was a mad busy place full of people (posers!) who were more than happy to display their perceived success & wealth by driving supercars, eating at the best restaurants, wearing top to toe designer clothes, owning a yacht, buying flashy villas and of course having the 'picture perfect' dolly bird on the arm (normally a high class Russian hooker that they liked to pretend was their devoted other half!). Money was everywhere, everybody made a fortune and you had to look pretty darn hard to find anyone struggling.
But that was then, this is now. Since the economic car crash Spain has changed enormously from the country that I remember, roughly 25% of the population are now out of work and businesses are closing down all the time. Whilst these events were inevitable it is a very sad sight to see Spain in the poor state that it is in today. Everywhere you look you now see buildings boarded up, homes abandoned, 'For Sale' signs, graffiti e.t.c. e.t.c. In 2 weeks I have only seen 2 Porsches and no other decent car to mention (especially not our hire car!!!), the flash and swagger have gone and there isn't much to show that it ever existed!
So whilst we have had a fantastic holiday I do leave here hoping that the good times, without the stupid levels of borrowing, will return in the not too distant future as the Spanish people are good people!
Here are a few of the shots that I took which depict how much of Spain looks today :-/
Well yesterday was the day that we decided to tear ourselves away from the pool/beach and head to Valencia for some sight seeing. With an average temperature similar to the surface of Mercury keeping cool was impossible, none the less we ventured off on an open top bus to take in some of the spectacular and diverse architecture of this enormous and historic city. As with all big cities the old and new, rich and poor, designer and 'tourist trash' all exist side by side. We were advised to drive only as far as Xeraco then train it in, that was great advice as the traffic is Valencia is a cross between the 'Wacky Races' and the 'European Grand Prix' and given that I am partial to a heavy dose of road rage I was pleased NOT to be behind the wheel.
The photo opportunities were incredible and I would love to return one day although the next time I would choose a cooler time of year to avoid any more of my equipment melting!!! Here are a few of my favourites from yesterday, hope you like them.
Xeraco Train Station, one horse town springs to mind!
Arrived in Valencia and waiting for our bus, spotted this chap nearby and although I have no idea what his sticks are for he looked cool against a graffiti wall.
The atrium at Valencia Aquarium in the City of Arts and Sciences, not mad on aquariums but they have air con, phew!
And now the wacky architecture starts, very impressive and it is hard to express how immense these sculptures and buildings are. This one has to be several hundred feet tall.
So inviting yet swimming is not allowed, not even a paddle of the toes was allowed as Kerys found out courtesy of a moody Spanish security guard who thought he was the business tearing around in his golf buggy, KNOB!
Is it possible to have a drink anywhere cooler than this??? Forgetting the fact it was scorching hot of course :-/
Would love to tell you what this is but I dont have a clue, still it looks impressive eh.
This is the Opera House and it is a monster, one of the outdoor concert halls seats 2500 and there are other separate halls which seat over 400 each. It would take about 5 photos to do this building justice and even then it needs to be seen to be believed, this shot is of the front, the side shots would be 4X the size! Shame it wasted on Opera eh, Metallica should play here!!! (yes I know I am a heathen!)
A big hard tattooed long haired biker cruising the streets with his birds legs wrapped around him - on a 50cc scooter, HA!!!
7:00pm, better dash as the train leaves soon!
"Just one last shot with the Fish Eye, I wont be a minute!!!" Bugger, they are leaving without me!
Thats All Folks :-)
Well it is that time of year when we pack our bags and head off to somewhere where the sun does actually shine for longer than it takes to apply suncream! On this occasion we have been heading out to Valencia in Spain and our glorious airline SleazyJet allowed us to check in 8 weeks in advance, on the flip side they wont let you through the 315 levels of security more than two and half hours before departure which kind of defeats the object. To alleviate numerous hours of mind numbing boredom we headed to the Sofitel at the North Terminal for a decent spot of nosh and some peace and quiet, at this point it was time to unleash the fish eye lens and try to capture this great atrium whilst it was quiet. :-)
There is light at the end of the tunnel!!! Doh, my mistake, there is Flight EZY8645 awaiting our boarding once we have punched our way through all the cheapskates who were too tight to pay for 'Speedy Boarding' yet still feel it is their right to be on the plane before the pilot & cabin crew!
After a day of travelling we were delighted to arrive at our villa, this will be our home for the next 2 weeks, well I have stayed in worse places! The pool is a welcome refresher as the temperature is roughly 2 degrees warmer than Satans armpit :-)
Since arriving Kerys has spent roughly 15 seconds NOT being in the pool so it was time to practice the daytime flash shots. It did take me plenty of attempts to get this shot, and once I had got it I managed to trash the editing programme trying to get it looking right!!! After several hours of swearing at the laptop my fabulous other half convinced me that she should try and fix it (having never used the editing suite in her life). Needless to say she fixed it in a heartbeat and I enjoyed a lovely slice of humble pie for lunch :-/
More shot to follow as the holiday progresses, adios amigos.
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