Monday, May 15, 2017

Valencia {missionaryMum.4}

Since the last post, Mum and Sister Snowden have settled into their apartment. It's the one with the curtain open below the sign. (Number 48 apartment one-second floor).

It takes them 25 minutes to get to work via walking and catching the train.

Finding an apartment to rent in Spain was a little different.

"Trying to find an apartment was a nightmare. No one answers their phone, they do not have real estate offices it all has to be done on the internet. They don't work Saturday either. We finally found one two blocks from the church and two blocks from the metro station. We only have two stations to get to work. We picked the keys up Friday. The realtor speaks a little English and is very friendly so we are going to ask her over when we get settled."

Inside the apartment.

"We moved into our Piso (apartment) on Saturday morning. Sister Brudnicki and Sister Doeze brought us around crockery and cutlery for two. We caught a taxi to IKEA, which was expensive but it is a long way out. We were there about four hours. Bought linen and knives and bits and pieces. There is a supermarket within walking distance but we will need to get a trolley of some sort."

"We have three bedrooms, two bathrooms, an office, kitchen and dining/lounge. It is on the second floor but only the foyer under us. You have to come in the front door of the building with a key and during working hours there is a doorman. It is 850 euros a month which works out to $700 a month each and this includes utilities. Not too bad."

Mum is working hard in Valencia. As you can see in the photos the books are very old and worn. Lot of the pages are stuck together and prising them apart is painstaking work as they must be careful not to damage them anymore than they already are.

Look at the doodling on one of the pages. I wonder about the story behind that and the person who drew it.

"Cement floors, cold but not dark. Everyone seems pleased to have us here, we work next to a section where the Professors from the University next door come and study. Several of them have welcomed us and mentioned Familysearch. Silvia and Antonio have worked there for a year and they work for the Church. There is also an Archivist and his wife who work for the Spanish government. He gets the books out for us and takes them back (thank goodness)!!!! They are young and very nice, they have a three month old son . The books are dated from the 1500s and are very insect riddled and delicate.  None of them speak much English so it is interesting. The archive opens from 9-1.30, closes for siesta .... media Dias....and then 4.30-8 pm. Everything closes for siesta."

This is Silvia who has been training Mum and Sister Snowden to digitise the government records in the archives.

 "Sunday we visit our new Ward for the first time. It is the second Ward. There are three and we meet at 10 am.   Silvia who we work with is in our Ward and Antonio, the other employee, is the Bishop of the 3rd Ward.  There are six other missionaries in each Ward. No internet at home now so communication could be limited for a while. We do have it at work so I will have to remember to take my IPad."

During their first week in Valencia, Mum visited the famous Valencia cathedral.  It was built between 1252 and 1482.

Human remains in the basement. 😯

The oldest part of the cathedral.

I don't think Mum's iPad photos do it justice. Wow the history of this place is amazing.

"The Spanish people are so laid back it is not funny. A young man stopped us in the street after he saw our badges and is happy to have the missionaries visit him. The week was quite long and it is hard getting used to standing on the cement floor most of the day. Our legs, feet and backs ache a bit. It is also hard getting used to the broken shifts!!!! The last two days in between we took the tourist double decker bus around the city and harbour. 2000 years produces a lot of history...compared to our 200 years."

Over Easter the archives was closed from Thursday to Tuesday so Mum and Sister Snowden did a few day trips.

This is the beach not too far from where they live. The water is of course the Mediterranean Sea.

"Thursday we hopped in the train and went a few stops till we found the beach. Walked for about two hours. Was a bit windy but lots of people were out. We only saw two nice hotel/resort type places. We have not seen a house yet, everyone lives in an apartment and the apartment blocks are old and dirty looking. The area we went today was quite dirty. Everyone smokes whenever, wherever in Spain and the footpaths are littered with butts. We don't realise how lucky we are in Australia and actually how clean it is. All the little restaurants along the beach are very similar really lots of seafood and paella. They all have someone out the front sprooking for business."

On Easter Saturday they went to Alicante which is about 1.5 hrs south of Valencia.

                                               The Spanish Amada. It was defeated in 1588.

While in Alicante, they visited the Santa Barbara castle. You can see it up on top of Benacantil Mountain in the above photo. It is one of the oldest medieval fortresses in Europe. It was built not that long ago.... just the 10th century. 😋

"Saturday was a day trip to Alicante. Quite big and fairly touristy. Millions of dollars in the port with some huge yachts. We did a bus tour around the city and a boat tour around the port. The esplanade was colourful and busy with lots of little tent shops. Food is Paella, fish, or pizza everywhere. In the afternoon we went to the castle Santa Barbara which was an old fort and then a prison before becoming a tourist attraction.
I would recommend Alancante for a visit if you like people!!!! The day was a little overcast."

The views from the castle down to the beaches of Alicante are breathtaking.

I'm glad Mum got a bit of sight-seeing in over the Easter break. Like she said, a 2000 year old history would be mind-boggling compared to our 200 -odd year one.