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Holy Grail
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Holy Grail

The Chapel of the Holy Grail claims to hold THE Holy Grail. It has even been certified by the late Pope John Paul as almost certainly being one of several potential candidates for being the One True Grail.

We went off in search of the Grail and actually got a little lost. We were pretty sure we knew where it was, but not absolutely certain. Cynthia mused at the conundrum of having to actually utter the sentence “Excuse me, but we seek the Holy Grail.” It just sounded ridiculous.

We did find it on our own, avoiding having to answer these questions three or being taunted by French guards, tricked by Grail Maidens or menaced by a bunny rabbit with huge gnashing teeth.

Holy Grail
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Holy Grail

The Grail is back in a special chapel and behind bulletproof glass and the closest you can get to it is about 20-30 feet so it is not possible to truly scrutinize the relic.

Holy Grail
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Holy Grail

William The Sheepie was in awe of seeing the Grail, much as he was in awe of being blessed by the Pope when we were in Rome.

Holy Grail
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Holy Grail

Of course we needed proof we’d found it

Holy Grail
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Holy Grail

Ofrenda

The Ofrenda is the flower offering to the Virgin Mary. Two days of parade of traditionally clothed men, women and children marching to the square to bring flowers which are used to create a giant effigy to the Holy Mother.corners of the city and converge on the square so you pretty much can’t go anywhere without running into a procession.

It starts with just the bare structure in the Plaza de la Virgen

Offrenda
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Offrenda

And then, over the course of two days literally THOUSANDS of women dressed in traditional costume make there way to the square to bring flowers that will be used to construct the effigy. The women are escorted by husbands, fathers and children and it seems to go on and on forever down several main streets.

Each group represents a family or a neighborhood and most of the groups have a marching band that accompanies them to the square and back home so there’s lots of music, singing and dancing.

Offrenda
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Offrenda

Offrenda
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Offrenda

Offrenda
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Offrenda

Offrenda
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Offrenda

Offrenda
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Offrenda

Offrenda
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Offrenda

Offrenda
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Offrenda

Offrenda
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Offrenda

Offrenda
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Offrenda

Offrenda
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Offrenda

Offrenda
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Offrenda

This goes on from around 4 o’clock in the afternoon and wraps up at midnight and starts all over again the next day.

When we went out this morning the virgin was only half complete but starting to look quite amazing

Offrenda
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Offrenda

They should be finishing up about now.

William Visits A Cat House In Valencia

William Visits The Cat House

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William Visits The Cat House

No, William didn’t go to a house of ill-repute. This is a hole in a wall on Calle Museo that feral cats use to get to and fro. Someone sculpted a house facade around the hole complete with doors, windows with curtains and even a fountain.

William Visits The Cat House

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William Visits The Cat House

William Visits The Cat House

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William Visits The Cat House

There’s even a miniature tile sign on the wall commemorating 4 of the more well known neighborhood that used to live there.

We didn’t see any cats, but they may well be laying low till the explosions stop later this week.

Fallas

Here is just a small sampling of the hundreds of fallas that dot the city. It’s interesting to think that these are so temporary. The most common comment I get when I mention to people back home that these will be burned at the end of the festival is something like “what a waste.” I don’t think so. Everything is temporary and this festival celebrates that along with the concept of renewal…and besides, things that burn and go boom are so coooool!

We’re still looking for the one we want to watch burn.

Las Fallas
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Las Fallas

Las Fallas
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Las Fallas

Las Fallas
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Las Fallas

Las Fallas
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Las Fallas

Las Fallas
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Las Fallas

Las Fallas
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Las Fallas

Las Fallas
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Las Fallas

Las Fallas
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Las Fallas

Speaking of burning, we are still deciding which one we want to see get torched. We’ll have to stake out a spot early as the crowds get very large for the better and larger fallas when it is time for the crema.

Oceanográfico

The Oceanográfico, billed as the largest salt water aquarium in the world, was something we really wanted to see while in Valencia. It did not disappoint!

Oceanografico
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Oceanografico

The aquarium tunnel alone was extremely interesting and fun to walk through and take pictures in.

Oceanografico
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Oceanografico

Oceanografico
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Oceanografico

At one point I dropped my hat without realizing it and the friendly scuba diver alerted me to the situation

Oceanografico
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Oceanografico

Thank you Aquaman!

We saw many fine aquatic creatures including this very cool Sea Dragon

Oceanografico
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Oceanografico

And these jellies

Oceanografico
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Oceanografico

The highlight of the exhibit was this very tame and very curious Beluga Whale

Oceanografico
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Oceanografico

The best aquarium I have ever seen and in such a wonderful complex. If you’re ever in Valencia, it’s a must see.

Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias de Valencia

It was a spectacular day today so we walked the 45 minutes along the dry riverbed to go see the City Of Arts And Sciences.

It was like walking on to the set of a sci-fi movie from the 60’s.

City Of Arts And Sciences
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City Of Arts And Sciences

City Of Arts And Sciences

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City Of Arts And Sciences

City Of Arts And Sciences

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City Of Arts And Sciences

I was marvelling at how clean the water was. Then I saw this fellow.

City Of Arts And Sciences
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City Of Arts And Sciences

Very cool space and not overloaded with tourists oddly enough.