Happy New Year to all our readers! We are now back on the boat after 10 days ashore in a rented apartment in the centre of the old city. We had a great time as family members, first Heather and Di and then Sally and Chris, joined us there for Christmas. When they left, we were joined by old friends Pete and Ann Rayner over the New Year. Our stomachs are now heavier and our pockets lighter but it was great fun to celebrate in the somewhat different Spanish style. As it reaches midnight for example, on New Year’s Eve (or “Nochevieja” – literally “old night” in Spanish), everyone has to eat a grape for each strike of the clock. Tomorrow is the “Dia de Reyes” or Twelfth Night, when the main present giving happens here. The Three Kings apparently arrive by boat in the marina here before processing through the streets in a parade of floats towards the main square of the city. They throw sweets to the children en route and it all takes several hours. We are in a good spot to see the start.
Our visitors in the Christmas Day sun.
We are also in a good spot for next month’s America’s Cup which is returning to Valencia after much wrangling. Today we are looking out for both catamarans to arrive. BMW is on a container ship, presumably headed into the main port, but we’ve just been told one may be helicoptered into the central part of this marina sometime today.