Bohemian Agent Blog

Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, manifesting your own happy, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
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November 2017

Easter brunch on the Orange Blossom Coast

Tiny adventures in Spain: Today's tiny adventure lands me, an American-style Easter brunch in Spain on the Orange Blossom Coast and a digestive walk back home in wine country. 

What is it about stuffing your face on holidays in America that is so glorious?  Man, I love it!  Thus, there was no better way to start out Easter morning than sitting seaside with three fine Americans doing just that, brunch-style here in Spain on the Orange Blossom Coast which is what the Valencia area is known for.  I had been one lucky duck to make the acquaintance of an American couple via the art community from back home in Denver.  Even more grateful to be on my second invite to their beachfront home on the Mediterranean sea for nearly ten days.  Today it was time to say goodbye and get back to work where I lived in wine country (it sounds so daunting when put like that).  Ha-ha!  

It was quite a trek back to wine country from their beachfront home in Xeraco, Spain.  15 minutes by taxi to get to the Xeraco train station, 1 hour by train to get to Valencia, 4.5 hours on the bus to Barcelona and another 45 minutes to my wine village in Sant Sadurni by train.  Luckily, I filled my belly with a gourmet-style brunch prepared by my American pal Eric paired up with a Mimosa cocktail but created with a Spanish twist using Cava (Spain's version of the bubbly) instead of Champaign and Valenciana oranges freshly picked by a local farmer earlier that week.

It took hours to get back home, but by the time I did my tiny village was dead as a doornail, and I felt like walking off my travel legs a bit in the vineyards surrounding Sant Sadurni.  I was no church-goer, but Easter is a holy day and nature had become my spiritual stomping grounds here in Spain (mainly the sprawling vineyards in my tiny wine village).  The walks through this nature sanctuary opened my heart and eased my mind allowing for time to become present with myself and my thoughts.  

I had become accustomed to taking these walks alone, but today a man who didn't speak a lick of English paired up with me on the trail. I was previously told these vineyards backed up to another much smaller neighboring village, but I didn't know my way well enough to find it myself. But, today was becoming a triple adventure type of day now, wasn't it? Woohoo! Brunch on the Med, mas transit galore to get home and a stroll in the vineyards back in wine country to discover a new tiny pueblo next door.  I thanked the Universe and my new friend in the vineyards (in Spanish of course, Gracias) for an excellent ending to Easter day.

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I'll send one summary email a week on Monday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

Hello, Costa Blanca!

Tiny adventures in Spain:  Today's tiny adventure would land me at the top of a castle overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in a gorgeous beach town called Denia, along the Costa Blanca in Spain.

Today's tiny adventure was so exciting that it ultimately influenced me to relocate my art-obsessed tush directly out of the Barcelona region of Spain and straight to the Costa Blanca (the white coast) along the Mediterranean Sea.  What?  Did I just say that?  Didn't I come to Spain to revisit my dreams of being a creative in Barcelona but in a new more mobile wanderlust kind of way?  Yes, I sure did!  

You heard me, right friends.  I never thought I would pack my little suitcase (or more descriptively, an extremely large van to the maximum, with all my precious belongings) to leave the artsy city of Barcelona and head south to choose the Costa Blanca along the Med as my new home.  But, my sisters and brothers, that is just what I did about six months after my first visit here to Denia, Spain!   This trip on this very tiny adventure, was the one that planted the first seed for my eventual move down the coastline and into the Alicante region of Spain.  

So, what the heck happened here that was so magical?  Oh, I don't know maybe it was the artisan crafted vermut for a mere 1.80 that came with a free tapa at the first adorable joint that we stopped at in Denia, as we made our way through the curvy beachfront streets lined with Vespa scooters in this beautiful port city?  Or perhaps it was the breathtaking view from the top of a seaside castle that won my heart or the magical vibrations from the scenic mountain Montgo that often was the backdrop to some of the most interesting angles in this beach city?  It's anybody's guess, but the sole purpose of this tiny adventure today was to take a taxi ride from the beach town my friends currently lived in (Xeraco) and see what this more substantial, more vibrant beach town (Denia) was all about.  

My friends were looking for a potential rental that would sit directly in front of the Med.  When they asked for my feedback on whether to consider the one we saw on this tiny adventure today, my two thumbs couldn't perk up fast enough.  You bet I told them to take it and you can bet they did just that!   Denia, we all loved you at first sight!  Oh, and what a place it is!  Say hello to my little friend, the one and only, Denia, Spain.  

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I'll send one summary email a week on Monday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias

Tiny adventures in Spain:  Today's tiny adventure was to see one of the 12 treasures declared by Spain called the City of Arts and Science building (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias) by way of a sunken city park called the Turia in Valencia

This discovery was a happy accident during a tiny walking adventure through the city of Valencia.  Two friends and I made our way through Valencia using the Turia (a former riverbed that was drained out and turned into a beautiful sunken city park).  We walked and walked our little hearts out, all the way to the very end of this picturesque sunken beauty (which allows access to a most of the city without the use of the roads above).  You know I love myself a good sunken treasure "Goonies style," especially when it leads directly to one of the most valued 12 treasures of Spain.    

This tiny adventure couldn't have been more stress-free to complete and all the while passing by gardens, flowers, walking trails, ponds, and cafes.  Valencia, I was made for loving you baby, and you were made for loving me!   The adventure is seriously just built right into this under-rated Spanish city.  Being the third largest in Spain, it doesn't get nearly the cool cred that Barcelona does, but let me tell you, it isn't a place to miss if you are traveling to this side of the world.  I have loved every moment that I've spent in the city of Valencia.

Anyway, back to one of the 12 treasures of Spain that even George Clooney himself couldn't stop raving about.  Clooney embarked on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space known as "Tomorrowland" in his feature film set in this very place.  Yes, the place is known as the one and only "City of Arts and Sciences building (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias) designed by Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela.  This space-age shaped structure took 3 x more than the 300 million that they budgeted to build it and is worth a look if you are heading to the city of Valencia for a stress-free afternoon adventure.

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I'll send one summary email a week on Monday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent

Fallas de Valencia

Hello friends!  It's been a while since I have told a tiny tale of my adventures here in Spain.  Did you think I had forgotten about you?  No way, Jose (and I said that in my best Spanish accent)!  I'm back to pick up exactly where I left off.  

Now, where was that?  Oh, yes!  The Fallas de Valencia!  One of Spains biggest celebrations was my next grander than tiny adventure to be had.  As a creative person, I was about to be in for a citywide treat here in the inspiring community of Valencia.

I have made a piece or two of original artwork in my day, but never did I create something with my heart and soul and then publically set it on fire.  Ha-ha!  Yes, you heard me right!  These fun-loving Spaniards are always stepping it up a notch to keep things interesting around here.  The name, Fallas, references not only the title of this crazy event but also the original monuments that are burnt down to commemorate St. Joseph.  

Each neighborhood in Valencia erects a montage of gigantic artistically made paper mache ninots (Valencian for puppets) in a competition to win the best in show.  Each of these creations that take approximately one year to create and are firecracker-lined to ensure that they will inevitably light up and burn to the ground on the final night of the celebration.

 Valencia, you so crazy!   The annual themes are pre-agreed up and usually take a satirical jab at the latest and greatest political situations along with tons of sexual references and provocative posing  

There are different stories behind the history of this unique celebration.  One of them was that artisans initially burnt broken artifacts that they saved through the winter to celebrate the Spring Equinox.  The situation has evolved itself since the middle ages and has become quite a spectacular show worth a visit by today's standards.   Over time, with the intervention of the church, this event slowly began to coincide with the celebration of St. Joseph. 

What you can expect at the Fallas de Valencia: tons of thunderous fireworks, elaborate parades performed by each of the neighborhoods to represent their spectacular Fallas and the inevitable burning of these beauties around midnight on March 19th each year.  

I can sit here and talk about this event all day long, but you just need to pack your bags and see it for yourself for the real Valencian experience of a lifetime.  

Hi, I am a Bohemian Agent, a Female Traveler full of wanderlust and adventure!  My name is Jeanne Connolly, and this is my travel story.  I hope you join me for the ride.  Bohemian Agent is a travel blog dedicated to inspired story-telling, life after 40, international living and travel experiences as a solo female explorer.  
 
Sending love and adventure your way until the next post.   I'll send one summary email a week on Monday.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog for all our updates.  

xo,
Jeanne, The Bohemian Agent