2018 Spring Project #1 – Picket fence replacement

Picket fence in front of the house has been completed for a few weeks. Soon two-thirds of the project will be complete !

It appears all of a sudden once I had returned from Valencia, Spain trip I now have a lot of free time on my hands. In the Winter of 2017, my plan was to replace some picket fence line which is more than 6 years old. The property has fence line on the left and right side of the fence that measures over 120 feet long.

The back of the property line is about 75 feet wide. The front of the house has close to 50 feet of fence as well.

Mind you, I started this project March 26. 2018. I have completed about 75 feet of fencing in the front yard. The street side run of 125 feet will be completed when good weather returns. There is only 12 feet left to do. It’s now April 15th 2018. Its some pretty good progress considering time to purchase raw wood, paint it all with 2-3 coats of paint and then hang all this lumber. About 75% of the time, this was done solo. But two-thirds of the picket fence project is complete.

The back property line is completed. The only big job will be the remaining 120 foot run on the left hand side of the property.

Th front of the house showing five sections of new picket fence. The old picket fence to the right, is older and much lower.
Th front of the house showing five sections of new picket fence. The old picket fence to the right, is older and much lower.

I was sitting here contemplating if I should put up a 6 to 8 foot high privacy fence in the backyard area. I see alot of pro’s and cons to both. Most of the pro’s relate to privacy and security where as the cons are focused on sweat equity and replacing about 24 to 30 4×4 posts that are currently cut down to hold the current picket fence.

As I put up this picket fence, I am not cutting the boards down this time. The original board length will be used.

height comparison between the new fence and the old. The new picket fence will stand about 6 inches higher than the old picket fence.
height comparison between the new fence and the old. The new picket fence will stand about 6 inches higher than the old picket fence.

I will do the smart thing and start replacing the picket fence in the front of my house first. The original posts still look decent although they definately need a new coat of paint throughout. The posts have been whipped by the weed whackers and alot of the paint fom the grassline down is missing. No big deal, but it is one more small job associated with this project.

The gothic pickets come without any paint on them. So I decided to buy some Maximum paint/stain which will seal the picket. This paint/stain comes in 5 gallon buckets, it is heavy and it costs about $170 US dollars for 5 gallons, or about $34.00 a gallon. So far, I have painted (12) 2x4x96 horizontal boards, and rounghly 120 pickets. All that have been painted so far have 2 to 3 really thick coats of paint on them, and as far as I can tell, I have about 2.5 gallons of paint left. Eventually these will receive another coat of paint when a run of fence is completed. I don’t mind using as much paint as needed, especially if this fence will hold up well for another 10 years or so.

Olympic Maximum stain and paint good for 10 years
Olympic Maximum stain and paint good for 10 years

 

The first time I put up the picket fence, I aimed for a wide spread and shortened the pickets down. This time I am going to leave the pickets at their original length and lessen the gap between each picket. I have already started this project in the front of the house this week when the temperatures finally broke and we had two days over 60 degrees.

The idea is to figure that most 4×4 posts in the ground will be the same distance. I have a lot of the posts close to 8 feet apart, which is ideal. I then attach two douglas fir 2 inch by 4 inch lumber onto the posts so I can secure the pickets to them. From this 96 inch spacing, I subtract 3 inches from each end. I use this 90 inch area as my usable picket area. I try to adjust the spacing so the 90 inches of usable board length divided by the spacing comes out to a whole number, or close to it.

I want to try to keep pickets from appearing in front of the posts, just in case I decide to use some sort of fancy post cap to dress up the fence. I want to make sure they are seen, but for the people – mainly kids – looking to tweak or mess with the caps, the spacing should be just enough to give a hint that the cap exists.

For those thinking about changing up a fence line, you can either pay someone a lot of money to do it for you, or you can do it yourself. The choice is up to you.
I will attempt to show you the steps that I use which work for my situation. I will show the steps of what I have done and write up some comments at the bottom of the photos.

The first thing I do is measure the distance between the two posts. I measure dead center on each posts. Typically this is 96 inches. Since this is a fence re-fresh and not a total fence replacement, I am going to use the same basic height for the 2 inch by 4 inch by 96 inch douglas fir lumber. I asked a wood professional about the type of wood that can be used off the ground that if a coat of paint/stain was applied would last a decent length of time. He highly recommended the Douglas Fir 2x4x96 inches so that is what I went with.

Once the two horizontal 2×4’s were in place, I had to decide on the spacing between the pickets. The old spacing was a little over 5 inches wide. This would allow enough room for some one to put their foot in between the pickets and hop over the fence. Mind you, the old pickets were cut down by 6 inches or more, and that would have aided in people being able to jump the fence. I decided on a 3.5 inch spacing between the pickets.

With a higher picket, this will close up the gap just a bit and offer a bit more privacy. I already noticed this when I looked at the photo on the top of this page. I’ll attempt to show you the views in both measurements so you can see the benefits of each. The smaller picket spacing will also allow more of a sun block to some of the grass when the sun is rising and setting. That will be something positive in the harsh summer months here in Virginia.

With the horizontal 2×4’s up, I wanted the pickets off the ground. I purposely did not mow the grass, and it is a little higher than normal. This gives me a gauge on how high I want the picket off the ground. I simply lifted the picket off the ground when it was leaning against the horizontal 2×4 and when I was happy with the gap at the bottom, I took a tape measure. From the highest 2×4, at the top I marked this test picket. It was almost 16 inches. I decided to use this measurement. I measured from the top of the picket to the top of the highest 2×4 and then, took several other pickets and measured 16 inches top the top of the picket down 16 inches, and drew a line. This aids in hanging the inital pickets if your doing this solo.

I measured 3 inches in from the end of the horizontal 2×4 and drew a line. I did this on both ends. In a 96 inch run, this gives me 90 inches of picket area. It gives me an idea how many pickets I will need between each set of posts. The gothic pickets are 3.5 inches wide. The space between pickets in another 3.5 inches wide. This means from the center of each picket will be spaced 7 inches apart. With 90 inches to work with, I divided this by 7 and I came out with 12.85 pickets within this 90 inch area. That is extremely close to 13 pickets bewteen posts and I am OK with that. It will allow for a bit of error here and there.

Now that I have a line scored on the back of the picket I simply find the 3 inch mark and place the right side edge of a picket on that 3 inch mark. I raise the picket up until I see the 16 inch measurement line in the back of the picket and have it equal to the top of the highest horizontal 2×4. Holding this in place with one hand, I take a wood screw and twist in enough into the board to make it stay. Then, with a power drill, I secure the picket to the horizontal 2×4.

Picket with the 16 in mark level to top horizontal 2x4
Picket with the 16 in mark level to top horizontal 2×4

Now, I find a small level and make sure this inital picket is level as it can be. I then drive a second screw into the picket adjacent to the first screw. Per picket, I will have two screws in the top horizontal 2×4 and two screws in the bottom horizontal 2×4. This pattern will help the pickets stay in place, resist bowing and provide more stability to the fence line.

I secure two more pickets in the same way.

I go to the garage and I find a piece of scrap picket. I want to create a “spacer”. I use my saw to cut a piece of picket 3.5 inches wide. This will be used as a spacer tool in between each picket so the spacing is just right. It also eliminates the need to use a measuring tape to do this step on each picket. The spacer is a time saver, and can be held up with one hand.

A handy dandy picket spacer to make sure all gap measurements are the same.
A handy dandy picket spacer to make sure all gap measurements are the same.

I learned these tricks when I was doing the pickets for the first time. Another trick is bungie cord the level on top of the pickets. This eliminates the need to measure each picket to the same height. With the level on top of the pickets, it offers a stop point to push up the picket to the right height. With the spacer in place, I have the correct with and height and this can be accomplished with one hand. Once the picket is in the right place, I drive a screw into the picket securing the picket to the horizontal 2×4. I then level the picket and drive in a second screw at the same height. Depending on the length of the level, I can get 5 to 7 pickets done before I have to move the level and bungie cord. I use the bungie because the level WILL fall off the top of the pickets. With the level secured, the process of hanging pickets is a breeze.

Using a level with a bungie cord frees up one hand. Level stays put better.
Using a level with a bungie cord frees up one hand. Level stays put better.

In a 8 foot run, I only do two screws to the highest horizontal 2×4. Later on I will find the center of the bottom horizonal 2×4 and draw a line across all the pickets. This will allow for a uniform, more professional look. I know these pickets I have already painted, but I will be adding at least 1 more coat of paint/stain to the pickets when a section is finally done. I do this to make sure the pickets are totally covered, just in case some areas were missed or have chipped in the assembly process.

I looked at these taller pickets and I wonder, since I have a 16 inches from the top of the picket to the top of the highest horizontal 2×4, will I need to add a 2×4 that will be attached to only pickets with no post support? This WOULD keep pickets from curling. I will have to research this a little more and make a decision and go with it.

Here is the look at the street side of the house with 75 to 80% of it complete.  It is looking sexy !  The extra grass WILL be removed from the sidewalk once it gets a little cooler. Its a bit hot this week (80+F) so I want to do the harder labor when its cooler, or just before dusk. I’ll update the photos when everything is complete.

Street side is nearly complete. the walk in gate is in need of replacement, and the last 10 feet of fence at the end of the run needs to be replaced.  One 120 foot run is left to do. That’s on the left side of the house. Most of that is in shade, so it will be a more comfortable job in the morning and afternoon.

The street side picket fence is 90% complete. A section of picket fence near the end of the 120 foot run needs replacing, and the walk in gate as well.
The street side picket fence is 90% complete. A section of picket fence near the end of the 120 foot run needs replacing, and the walk in gate as well.

 

The street side picket fence is 90% complete. A section of picket fence near the end of the 120 foot run needs replacing, and the walk in gate as well. Sidewalk view
The street side picket fence is 90% complete. A section of picket fence near the end of the 120 foot run needs replacing, and the walk in gate as well. Sidewalk view
Picket fence in front of the house has been completed for a few weeks. Soon two-thirds of the project will be complete !
Picket fence in front of the house has been completed for a few weeks. Soon two-thirds of the project will be complete !

A new gate was built basically the same way. The old gate was close to 11.5 feet wide. The new gate is about 16 feet wide. My son and I added hardware to the gate that I hung, and it is now complete. Here are 2 photos. One street side and one within the property.

 

16 foot wide picket gate complete with guy wires and locking posts.
16 foot wide picket gate complete with guy wires and locking posts.
16 foot wide picket gate complete with guy wires and locking posts. Property side.
16 foot wide picket gate complete with guy wires and locking posts. Property side.

Next travels – Sacremento, California then a Shine down Concert !

I am emotionally and physically recovering from the Valencia, Spain trip. When I returned, I had a few emails from friends I used to chat with in the Pogo.com game rooms. It has been a LONG time. I was distracted for almost 3.5 years and I will attempt to catch these people up on what I have been doing with my life since we last chatted.

Since I am on a roll with traveling, I just might be heading to California some time this year. I am not one for extreme heat, so it may well be in the fall. My goal will be to visit the Sacremento , California area. It will probably be for 8 days or so. I’ll have to firm up plans and look at room rates, places to see and a car rental.

If I am lucky, I’ll even spend some time with a few of these friends.

The other thing I want to do is attend a concert that is coming this way. Its the band Shine Down along with God Smack. Long ago, I seen God Smack when they toured with Metallica. That was a great show. I hope this one will be just as good.  My aim is to pick a local concert in the Virginia area and attend that, unless they are available when I go out to Sacremento, California. That would be a great combo there. I might even pay for all the tickets for us to go see the concert. That would be epic.

Stand by for an update to this story as it evolves.

Valencia, Spain trip – travel tips and lessons learned

Valencia, Spain trip – travel tips and lessons learned

In this post I will try to help people who will be traveling to think about some of the pro’s and con’s of doing so. Although these travel tips may not work for everyone, they worked for me. Your experience may differ and it is up to you to make your own decisions.

One of the first things about my travel was I wanted to plan this WELL in advance. Some times circumstances arise where you cannot plan out really far. I decided in November of 2018 that I wanted to go on a trip overseas from 02 March 2018 to 18 March 2018. I wanted to go to a city that was not too large, and offered enough sightseeing to keep me busy for the length of my stay. let me try to bullet all the highlights to make it easier to read.

Tips about the Airlines and Flight Travel

  • Do research on the flights to and from your travel destination. Google and other sites usually will show flights that are prone to delays and the typical delay times. Add that into your calculations when thinking about connecting flights.
  • Purchase a ticket that has ALL the outbound and inbound flights on one itinerary ticket. This means the airlines will be responsible for getting you to your destination should something go wrong. if you have multiple itineraries, this means if something goes wrong, you may be responsible for the affected flight change/costs. So, in a nutshell, one itinerary for the outbound flights and one for the inbound flights.
  • If the tickets are purchased well in advance, expect the original flight plans to change as airlines condense flights to save money.
  • Try to plan your flight with the least amount of flights / hops as possible. This will reduce the chances of missing connecting flights due to airline/airport delays.
  • Each airlines may have their own reservation number or record locator. Make sure you call each airlines and ask for these.  Carry a small note pad with this information written down. Make sure you have the phone numbers of all airlines. For example, I had the USA based phone numbers and the overseas phone numbers for the airlines, to include the record locators, and reservation numbers.
  • Let people know of your travel plans. Give them airline name, outbound flight as well as inbound flight information.  Give them the airline phone numbers. Give your point of contact the “record locator” or reservation code that the airlines give you so your point of contact can track your flights.

Purchasing and use of “tools” that will make travel less stressful

If you are traveling overseas, make sure you understand that the use of power and types of plugs will be different. You will be the foreigner and should consider that phrase when traveling. They may speak a language that you may not know or the language may slightly differ.  Below in bullet format I will try to offer as many tips as I can about travel to an overseas country.

  • Your cellphone coverage may NOT work overseas. I use Smart Talk monthly plan and they do not offer any connectivity overseas via mobile phone. Verizon, I think works with the overseas company called Orange, and there is a possibility that your phone may work overseas.
  • I researched the properties of my phone. I wanted to know the frequencies and bands it used and to see how it would work with overseas phone carriers. My phone is unlocked but I wanted to make sure it was capable of working overseas.  Then I used this site for my research :    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/FrameWork/northAmericaLinks.pdf https://www.bhphotovideo.com/FrameWork/southAmericaLinks.pdf    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/FrameWork/WorldwideFormatted.pdf
  • I purchased a Holiday Travel kit for my phone. It offered a sim chip that could be broken down to the size I needed. It was a PAIN to get the SIM in there and to operate correctly, but in the end it worked well. I used a toothpick to assist the chip and a magnifying glass to make the effort less stressful.  The Holiday phone kit I bought offered 10GB of data and was good for 14 days upon first use.  In 14 days, I hardly put a dent in this plan ! Provide your points of contact this new phone number and let them know your primary number may be off while you are using this new number. Here is the specifics of the Holiday kit.

Orange Holiday Europe – Prepaid SIM card – 10GB Internet Data in 4G/LTE (data tethering allowed) + 120 mn + 1000 texts in 30 countries in Europe. 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XBYMX58/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1                                                                                               MAKE SURE the country you are visiting is on the list. Otherwise, wait until you are at your travel destination and purchase a kit there. Know the international dialing codes for calling within each country and for calling back to the USA. The overseas number I had was from France ( no big deal) so I had to know how to dial between France and Spain, as well as back to the USA.

  • I looked at all my electronics that I would pack for the trip. I ensured the devices I had or bought for this trip were good for 100-240 volts of power.
  • Each power adapter or electronic device SHOULD have the power ratings on them.
  • Since I was traveling to Spain, I knew the wall plugs were different, so I bought adapter plugs:  Ceptics CT-9C USA to Most of Europe Travel Adapter Plug – Type C (3 Pack) – Dual Inputs – Ultra Compact (Does Not Convert Voltage)     https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01NCZJ5UN/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I knew some of the apps I would use were battery power hogs, and I wanted to have some power available while I was away from the room. I decided to purchase this:

Portable Chargers RAVPower 20000mAh USB Battery Pack with Dual iSmart 2.0 USB Ports, 3.4A Max Output, 2.4A Input Power Bank for iPhone, iPad, Galaxy, and Android Devices

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075LBHQVZ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It could offer up to SIX full charges for my cellphone in a day. Some days I had this in my backpack and I purchased a six for phone adapter cord so I could have the power pack in the backpack and the phone in my hand or pocket and it would constantly be charging. It was one of the best purchases for this and future trips. This unit comes with two SHORT cables and three inputs on the device. The unit can charge two devices at the same time. It has 2 USB plugs and a center plug which is a standard android plug. I used the standard android plug when the unit needed charging.

  • I purchased a rugged backpack that would carry most of the batteries and electronic devices that are not allowed in baggage that is checked in. I used this backpack which has room for a 17-inch laptop. it also has ample pockets and well made zippers. this backpack is what I carried through the streets of Valencia, Spain with minimal items, but included 2 lenses and a Canon Rebel t3i.

SwissGear Travel Gear 1900 Scansmart TSA Laptop Backpack

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007R6JPC4/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Although it says “TSA” you WILL need to remove the laptop from the bag for TSA security screen checks, even though the back opens up flat.

  • For traveling, my checked luggage bag with all my clothing and non-electronic items went in a travel duffel bag that had sturdy wheels. The maximum size the airlines will accept as standard luggage and NOT charge you a fee for excess baggage size is 62 inches. When you purchase a bag, simply measure the HIEGHT, WIDTH and DEPTH and add these up. Make sure you do it when the bag is FULL.  I went with this bag since it was an easy color to spot and I could separate the clothing from the major compartment.

High Sierra Evolution Wheeled Drop Bottom Duffel Bag, Black/Zest, 30″

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071JNGY4V/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Its dimensions are 30 inches by 14 inches by 14 inches, which totals 58 inches. Well under the maximum allowed 62 inches for free baggage.

One last thing I did purchase was a hand held scale. I wanted to make sure I was under the weight limit of 50 pounds for the main checked in luggage. I also used the scale to measure the weight of the other bags I was bringing as carry on bags. It worked really well.

Etekcity Digital Hanging Luggage Scale, Rubber Paint, Temperature Sensor, 110 Pounds, Silver

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NW62PCA/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 Android Apps that made the travel experience to Valencia, Spain a success

Google’s Maps application

This was a super useful tool when traveling the streets of Valencia, Spain for the first time solo.  When combined with a working cellphone and plan for coverage, the amount of bandwidth Google maps will use is very minor. It is a GPS device in your hand. There were only a few spots where I lost signal due to a lot of metal being in the area, but each day I was in Valencia, Spain, Google maps made my day when it would serve me up directions to get to my desination, provide hours the sight was open and offer reviews as well. I could “star” each location so I could find them on Google maps with minimal effort.

Google maps is a BATTERY HOG !!!  Make sure you plan accordingly.

I simply purchased a hand held power pack to have enough power so my smart phone never ran out. The battery power pack is listed above.

Google Translate.

It can make you a master of about ANY language it supports. I loaded up Google translate and I found a feature that allowed a “conversation mode”. You set two specific geographically located languages in Google translate and go into the conversation mode. There are three buttons. One for each language and an auto detect style button. Google translate will listen to your speech – talk slowly and clearly – and it will translate that language and the phone will speak the foreign language for you. It will also show text boxes for each language as well, so the phrases can be used multiple times and multiple ways. It makes it super easy to communicate with anyone, anywhere.

Note: It is best to try to hold the conversation in a quiet area where background talk will not disrupt your conversation. Google Translate can be a bit slow to react to your speech, so be patient, and again, talk clear and slow and it will work great !

That is about all I can offer for tips and tricks of traveling overseas, and my lessons learned. Should I think of anything else, I will add it to this travel blog post. I hope these lessons learned and tips will provide you some ideas that you can use or modify to your desires. Happy travels !

Bittersweet ending to the Valencia Spain trip

“Morally Shattered”

This phrase is going to haunt me for a while. The usually busy phone lays silent. My sleep pattern is broken as well as parts of the body as they heal from the experience of the trip.

Although I may not make sense in what I am saying, the message is clear – if you decide to take a trip that is going to cost you much time, money and tug at your will, make sure the mind is clear before heading out.

Before went on the trip to Valencia, I knew some of the circumstances were before I departed. What did not help was the original flight to Valencia on March 02, 2018 was canceled due to extremely high winds. Let me tell you, that was one of the longest weekends of my life. All I had time for was to think about that phrase, “Morally Shattered”.  

That cancellation was potentially my way out of visiting the city of Valencia, and even knowing the fate of the circumstance, I decided to take the first available flight out on Monday 05 March 2018. This trip was bought and paid for on 28 November 2017, I was not going to let a setback allow me to travel and see some sights.

I am glad I went to see the sights, sounds and experience of Valencia. Sure, I wanted more, but fate changed with a single two or three word phrase.

I regret very much that it had to be a solo adventure, but I needed some down time. If you look through this site about the Valencia Spain daily blog, you’ll see I was out and about everyday except one which turned out to be a stormy ordeal in more than one way.

“Emotionally Fatigued”

Over the past year or so – it’s been a one hell of a year. The emotional roller coaster that was involved was mind shattering. I tried my best to offer myself and others as much moral support as possible. In the end, that almost superman human effort to keep the pace a positive one had emotionally drained me. Though this circumstance has almost closed the door, I refuse to quit. There is always hope that the efforts will allow this to come back 360 degrees and be a totally incredible experience. But, I am a realist, the odds are not good.

Taking the vacation to Valencia helped as a distraction. It offered some down time, at times allowing me not to think of this circumstance and allowed me to logically think through the issue. It’s not total closure. It’s not impossible. It can happen. Over the last year, its been an incredibly emotional adventure that I would not wish on my worst enemy – If I had one.

Although this not the departure of a life, It is like death. You know it is coming one day, and you can never prepare yourself for the outcome, no matter what. This circumstance is a long, long story which in the end I personally had no control over though try as I may. The outcome is what it is. Is there a chance that this circumstance will change over time? Sure, nothing is impossible, even though the odds are extremely low.

In due time, I will be healed from this trip and all that was involved.

Now that my mind is some what clear, no longer jet lagged and I can think logically again I will add a post about the pro’s, con’s and what I experienced with first time solo travels overseas to Valencia, Spain.

Be on the lookout for this post soon.

 

Valencia, Spain daytime time lapse photography

Valencia Spain rooftop view from hotel

While I was in Valencia, Spain I decided to do some time lapse photography. Little did a realize the city was due for some gusty winds and a thunderstorms in the afternoon. In the end, I had over 1,975 photos which was over 7 hours of data. I reduced that down in size to a 18 minute video and added some music to make the time go by faster when watching this. Hope you enjoy what a side street looks like on a typical day in Valencia, Spain.

Valencia Spain Daytime Falla Fireworks event City Hall center

Here is the You Tube video link of the Valencia Spain Falla Daytime Fireworks event City Hall center. The crazy part to all this is the massive ground shaking explosions that can be seen about 3 minutes into this video. The fireworks were better live than what is shown here. Sunday March 11, 2018 was my first visit to see these fireworks, and that day was the best. BUT, a camera malfunction caused me to miss filming the event. So I went back a few days later and filmed this event instead.

Valencia Day 9 – Plaza de la Virgen and Palau del Marques de Campo

Photo #8 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain

I was on the edge whether I wanted to go out adventuring the day before I go back to the USA. I sat and looked over the city of Valencia, Spain via google maps and I noticed two places up by where the Valencia Cathedral is that may show promise.

One is a simple Plaza that holds a fountain and it is close to the Valencia Cathedral. It is called Plaza de la Virgen. The other location is Palau del Marques de Campo museum. Marques de Campo was a wealthy man back in the 17th century who maintained a huge fortress.

I headed out towards Plaza de la Virgen and the walk would take me about 0.5 miles from the hotel. When I arrived, I looked around and I heard a friendly female voice ask if I wanted something to drink. I jokingly replied, it depends if you are buying? She giggled and said no, not right now. I told her I would take lunch and a drink later after I am done photographing the Plaza courtyard and one other museum.

Photo #1 of Plaza de la Virgen located in Valencia, Spain.
Photo #1 of Plaza de la Virgen located in Valencia, Spain.

Part of the courtyard was blocked off due to this gigantic wooden Falla style statue. People were able to maneuver around it without issue. It was a tourist magnet for sure.

Photo #2 of Plaza de la Virgen located in Valencia, Spain.
Photo #2 of Plaza de la Virgen located in Valencia, Spain.
Photo #3 of Plaza de la Virgen located in Valencia, Spain.
Photo #3 of Plaza de la Virgen located in Valencia, Spain.
Photo #4 of Plaza de la Virgen located in Valencia, Spain.
Photo #4 of Plaza de la Virgen located in Valencia, Spain.
Photo #5 of Plaza de la Virgen located in Valencia, Spain.
Photo #5 of Plaza de la Virgen located in Valencia, Spain.

That was the extent of Plaza de la Virgen.

I looked at google maps and noticed that Palau del Marques de Campo museum was just around the corner. I decided to go there before I sat down for lunch.

Arriving at Palau del Marques de Campo within minutes, I paid my 2 Euro to enter and took some photographs of some statues in the courtyard before I wandered inside the museum. When I walked into the museum, I was pleasantly surprised. Their were stairs immediately up, and I could see a pretty vast amount of windows and rooms. At the first landing I was greeted by a lovely painting.

She looks like she is waving at me, almost invitingly. I chuckled and said, I take that invite, and pull the painting off the wall, the only invite I will receive is one to the nearest prison.

Photo #1 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain
Photo #1 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain.

The staircases at this lower level were simply magnificent. Very much ornate, and well taken care of.

Photo #2 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain
Photo #2 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain.
Photo #3 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain
Photo #3 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain
Photo #4 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain
Photo #4 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain

Some of these paintings would be documented and go back as far as 1500.

Photo #5 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain
Photo #5 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain
Photo #6 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain
Photo #6 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain
Photo #7 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain
Photo #7 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain
Photo #8 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain
Photo #8 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain.
Photo #9 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain
Photo #9 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain
Photo #10 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain
Photo #10 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain
Photo #11 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain
Photo #11 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain
Photo #12 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain
Photo #12 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain
Photo #13 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain.
Photo #13 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain.
Photo #14 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain.
Photo #14 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain.
Photo #15 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain.
Photo #15 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain.
Photo #17 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain.
Photo #17 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain.
Photo #18 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain.
Photo #18 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain.
Photo #19 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain.
Photo #19 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain.
Photo #20 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain.
Photo #20 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain.
Photo #21 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain.
Photo #21 within Marques de Campo museum located in Valencia Spain.

In the end, I would shoot 165+ photos in the Palau del Marques de Campo museum. I did not take a photo of everything, only select items that were quite interesting to me.  I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of items that were in this museum. This is a MUST see if your planning a visit in Valencia, Spain or simply live there and are looking for something to do for an hour or two.

Well, my travels through Valencia Spain are over. Once I am back in the USA I will summarize it all with one last post. I hope you enjoyed the photos !

 

 

Valencia Day 8 – La Lonja de la Seda museum, Valencia Bullring and Valencia Museo o Nacional de Ceramica

Photo #10 of the Valencia, Spain ceramic museum.

Today I woke up ready to go out and see some more sights. I am running out of options that I considering seeing. Today I wanted to see La Lonja de la Seda museum, Valencia Bullring and Valencia Museo o Nacional de Ceramica. I chose those sights last night as I was eating dinner.

I decided to go to the Valencia Bullring first. Google maps wasn’t the best at finding the entrance to the bullring museum. I walked about half way around to find it. This area has very tall buildings and some steel work and scaffolding up as well.

The Bullring museum is pretty impressive as to the nature of artifacts it carries. I will say this up front – lighting in this museum was pretty bad. It was either too low, or simply overpowering. Saying it was not constant, is an understatement. I was changing F stops and ISO alot in Bullring museum.

I did go back to most of the major display cases and take photos with the LG G4 as a backup. I will post the best photos I can here. In low light where the Canon T3i required a lot of time to take the photo, I had much camera shake. I had to fall back to these photos done by the LG G4. I am glad I went back and redid some of the displays.

Photo #1 of the Valencia, Spain Bullring Museum
Photo #1 of the Valencia, Spain Bullring Museum.
Photo #2 of the Valencia, Spain Bullring Museum
Photo #2 of the Valencia, Spain Bullring Museum.
Photo #3 of the Valencia, Spain Bullring Museum
Photo #3 of the Valencia, Spain Bullring Museum.
Photo #5 of the Valencia, Spain Bullring Museum
Photo #5 of the Valencia, Spain Bullring Museum.
Photo #6 of the Valencia, Spain Bullring Museum
Photo #6 of the Valencia, Spain Bullring Museum
Photo #7 of the Valencia, Spain Bullring Museum
Photo #7 of the Valencia, Spain Bullring Museum.
Photo #8 of the Valencia, Spain Bullring Museum
Photo #8 of the Valencia, Spain Bullring Museum
Photo #9 of the Valencia, Spain Bullring Museum
Photo #9 of the Valencia, Spain Bullring Museum.
Photo #10 of the Valencia, Spain Bullring Museum
Photo #10 of the Valencia, Spain Bullring Museum.

Taking my time, I probably spent an hour here. I looked at my watch and it was close to 1130. I decided to use google maps and find La Lonja de la Seda museum and see what was inside. I said goodbye to the kind assistant and then started walking towards La Lonja de la Seda museum.

La Lonja de la Seda museum is a quaint, very small museum. I think it is there due to some older inhabitants that used to reside there. All of the literature is in Spanish and honestly, there wasn’t much to see. There are some neat spiral columns in two rooms, and the upper stairs offers an intricate dark chocolate ceiling,

Photo #1 of La Lonja de la Seda museum located in Valencia, Spain.
Photo #1 of La Lonja de la Seda museum located in Valencia, Spain.
Photo #2 of La Lonja de la Seda museum located in Valencia, Spain.
Photo #2 of La Lonja de la Seda museum located in Valencia, Spain.
Photo #3 of La Lonja de la Seda museum located in Valencia, Spain.
Photo #3 of La Lonja de la Seda museum located in Valencia, Spain.
Photo #4 of La Lonja de la Seda museum located in Valencia, Spain.
Photo #4 of La Lonja de la Seda museum located in Valencia, Spain.
Photo #5 of La Lonja de la Seda museum located in Valencia, Spain.
Photo #5 of La Lonja de la Seda museum located in Valencia, Spain.

Moving on towards the Valencia Museo o Nacional de Ceramica. I probably have passed this building once in my travels. It is quite impressive from the outside. The inside has a lot of ceramic items from many different years.

I attempted to take as many photos as I could.  I’ll share what I consider the best shots. Maybe later on, I can add a few more if time permits.

Photo #1 of the Valencia, Spain ceramic museum.
Photo #1 of the Valencia, Spain ceramic museum.
Photo #2 of the Valencia, Spain ceramic museum.
Photo #2 of the Valencia, Spain ceramic museum.
Photo #3 of the Valencia, Spain ceramic museum.
Photo #3 of the Valencia, Spain ceramic museum.
Photo #4 of the Valencia, Spain ceramic museum.
Photo #4 of the Valencia, Spain ceramic museum.
Photo #4 of the Valencia, Spain ceramic museum.
Photo #5 of the Valencia, Spain ceramic museum.
Photo #6 of the Valencia, Spain ceramic museum.
Photo #6 of the Valencia, Spain ceramic museum.
Photo #7 of the Valencia, Spain ceramic museum.
Photo #7 of the Valencia, Spain ceramic museum.
Photo #8 of the Valencia, Spain ceramic museum.
Photo #8 of the Valencia, Spain ceramic museum.
Photo #9 of the Valencia, Spain ceramic museum.
Photo #9 of the Valencia, Spain ceramic museum.

 

Photo #10 of the Valencia, Spain ceramic museum.
Photo #10 of the Valencia, Spain ceramic museum.

Today Wednesday 13 March, 2018 was the last full day I could dedicate going out and seeing two to three sites a day on average. I think I have picked the best choices to visit while in Valencia, Spain. There is a slight chance I may venture out tomorrow, so we will see. I hope you enjoy the photos of the three sites !

 

Valencia Day 7 – The Valencia Central Market and a revisit to City Hall fireworks.

Photo #20 of the Valencia Spain central market

Today my plans were slightly altered. When I was at the Valencia City Hall yesterday, a lady in the tourist area informed me of some shops where I could buy some souvenirs.

Today about 0930 I started walking towards the Valencia Central Market. I wanted to take some photographs of the huge market and get a feel of how many people actually visit this market.

As I approached the Valencia Center Market, off in the distance I say a rather old church. I decide to stop and snap a few photos.

I found the market with relative ease. Google maps again had a hiccup on the way,, but once it was corrected the GPS and google sync’ed up without another issue.

Stepping inside the Valencia Central market was an experience. When the doors open, your sense of smell will become overwhelmed. I was not sure of all the individual smells, but add a touch of seafood, lettuce, onions, beef, cheese and a handful of other scents.  This place is big. If I had to compare it to a grocery store back in the USA, it would take an three average sized grocery stores to match the Valencia Central Market size.  In the photograph below, c

an you see the other end exit doors? That is some distance away !

Photo #1 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #1 of the Valencia Spain central market

As I walked through the Valencia central Market, it was difficult to choose what vendors to take photographs of. They all looked amazing. So, without further delay, I will provide another 20 or so photographs showing the variety of items found at the Valencia Spain Central market.

Photo #2 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #2 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #3 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #3 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #4 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #4 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #5 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #5 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #6 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #6 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #7 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #7 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #8 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #8 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #9 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #9 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #10 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #10 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #11 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #11 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #12 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #12 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #13 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #13 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #14 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #14 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #15 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #15 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #16 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #16 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #17 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #17 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #18 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #18 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #19 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #19 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #20 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #20 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #21 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #21 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #22 of the Valencia Spain central market
Photo #22 of the Valencia Spain central market

Once I departed the Valencia Central market, I decided to see if there were any souvenir shows close by. I was in luck. I seen one on the way to Valencia City Hall and I decided to stop in there. I took my time. I need to buy for quite a few relatives, BUT, I also have to restrict myself to the amount of room I have in my travel bag. I can throw away some of the items I have used while in Valencia and other items will be sacrificed if necessary to make room for the souvenirs. All in all, I purchased close to 150 Euro of items, so that give you a general idea how many items I bought. I hope they all fit, or I may have to call in a maid to sit on the travel back as I zip it – the travel bag – shut.   =Þ

The second part of the day was spent back in Valencia City Center where I readied the camera to capture the fireworks. This time, the Canon T3i worked really well without any issues. It’s tough to shoot some fireworks in a tightly packed crowd, as people tend to bump each other as they get a bit excited at what they are seeing. I must admit, it was just as LOUD as it was yesterday. BUT the Sunday fireworks were more colorful and unique than the one today.

I was closer to the fireworks today, but not by much. I had a better view, and when the ground explosions happened, the ground was truly shaking. I was about 100 feet from the fireworks, and I actually felt the ground shaking under my feet.  That was a crazy experience.

In any event, the video will be processed and added to this blog post once I get back to the USA. It is over 1GB in size and it will need to be put into a mp4 format and crunched down considerably.

Tomorrow I want to head out once most of the sites open up. Typically that is between 0900 and 1000 in the morning. Until then, I hope you enjoyed another update from the streets of Valencia, Spain.

Valencia Day 6 – A Valencia museum and City Hall

Today I wanted to venture out to three or four locations and see some things that were on the edge of what I wanted to walk each day. Typically I am walking close to 2-3 km a day, but today I had planned for more.

When google maps updated this morning, I got to see the schedule of hours first hand. I could have dug within the google maps listing to see the open hours for the week, but it only made sense that most of these places are open on Sunday. Some were, some were not.

The first stop was going to be a small museum that had a replica of Valencia City in a 1:500 scale.  Before coming to Valencia, this is one of the places that I had written down as possibilities to see.

The Museum opened up at 1000, so I started to walk there. when I arrived there were banners on the side of the wall representing comic figures all written in Spanish. I  found the entrance to MuVIM, Museu Valencià de la Il·lustració i la Modernitat . As I entered the glass doors, immediately in front of me was the 3D model of Valencia City.

The 500:1 ancient model of the City of Valencia, Spain with the outer walls intact.
The 500:1 scale ancient model of the City of Valencia, Spain with the outer walls intact.

The comic exhibit was on this level as well. I approached the information counter and the man did speak some good English. There were  two other exhibits within the museum, but these were pretty modern and I decided to pass on them.

The Valencia museum displaying comics
The Valencia museum displaying comics

I looked at my watch and noticed it was only 1045. I looked at google maps and found the route to the Valencia Bullring, but the hours on Sunday said. CLOSED. No big deal, I have the City Hall courtyard to explore . After that I have the Central Market and the coin shop that I wanted to visit before I arrived in Valencia.

I decided to head towards the City Hall area. The walk was a winding path, but in the end google maps did the job.

Photo # 1 of City Hall in Central area of Valencia Spain.
Photo # 1 of City Hall in Central area of Valencia Spain. The branches that hang in the photo are from an Olive tree.

I looked around. There was a lot of city worker activity happening here. They were standing up barricades. There was at least one ambulance and one fire truck. My goal was to take some photographs of the Valencia City Hall courtyard, so I wandered around in a circle to capture as many photographs as I could.

Photo # 2 of City Hall in Central area of Valencia Spain.
Photo # 2 of City Hall in Central area of Valencia Spain.
Photo # 3 of City Hall in Central area of Valencia Spain.
Photo # 3 of City Hall in Central area of Valencia Spain.

Not to mention, there are a ton of police in this area. I think something is going to happen today, but I am not sure what. A few of the locals are pointing at a fenced off area directly in the middle of the courtyard.

 

The fenced off area within Valencia City Hall area appears to be ready for some sort of fireworks display. A chat with a local police office says it happens today 1400.
The fenced off area within Valencia City Hall area appears to be ready for some sort of fireworks display. A chat with a local police office says it happens today 1400.
The vehicle that is supplying the fireworks held daily within the City Hall area of Valencia, Spain.
The vehicle that is supplying the fireworks held daily within the City Hall area of Valencia, Spain.

Go towards the fence line and peer within. I can barely smell a hint of gunpowder. Hummmm, This is a fireworks setup. I scan around the courtyard and fenced off area and I see many workers within the fence, There are a handful of police in the area as well. I decide to approach an officer and ask him a question about the fireworks. he speaks broken English, and tells me this is a festival of fireworks that goes on each day at 1400. I asked him if the celebration happens at night, and he stressed that it happens at 1400.

 iI then quickly thought to myself – I can find a place to sit and relax, or a shady area for now. I decided to focus some shots on the Falla statues that were being erected in the area.

Within this area, are a few festival statues that are being put together. From what I can understand from the locals, the statues – many of them – are made each year and eventually displayed to the public.  Later in the month, I believe on the 19th of March these statues will be burned up in a massive Falla celebration.

The first part of a Falla statue being erected in City Hall area of Valencia, Spain.
The first part of a Falla statue being erected in City Hall area of Valencia, Spain.
The second part of a Falla statue being erected in City Hall area of Valencia, Spain.
The second part of a Falla statue being erected in City Hall area of Valencia, Spain.
The third part of a Falla statue being erected in City Hall area of Valencia, Spain.
The third part of a Falla statue being erected in City Hall area of Valencia, Spain.

People traffic is light. Its close to 1130 and more people are wandering in to see the festival. being this day is Sunday, I am sure the streets will be line with many people.  I have two and a half hours before the celebration starts. I wander into the Information Center within Valencia City Hall and I asked some general questions, All the fine ladies here speak English, some a bit better than others. I asked about the festival. I asked about some recommended shops where I could buy some better than average souvenirs and I was directed to an area that is not all that far from my hotel.

I stepped outside and immediately thought – why don’t I take a walk to the Valencia Central market, and see if I can find this coin shop. It would help pass some time. Additionally if I find a place close to the City Hall area I can sit down, have a meal and maybe a beer. It would help pass the time. But I knew if this is a Sunday and people are off, the area may get crowded.

I head out, with sights set on the Valencia Center Market.

The path is not far, and I see some interesting shops along the way.

An interesting shop displaying traditional Valencia style clothing.
An interesting shop displaying traditional Valencia style clothing.
An interesting shop displaying a nice gown in traditional Valencia style clothing.
An interesting shop displaying a nice gown in traditional Valencia style clothing.
An interesting shop displaying some traditional Valencia style clothing.
An interesting shop displaying some traditional Valencia style clothing.

As I approach the market area,  I see a lot of vendors lined on the streets.

An open style flea market near the Valencia Central market selling gifts of all kinds.
An open style flea market near the Valencia Central market selling gifts of all kinds.

I find the entryway to the Valencia Central market, but the doors appear to be closed. I waited to see if anyone would approach the doors, thinking it isn’t closed, its just the way the building appears, but not a soul went in that direction.

The Valencia Central market is closed on Sunday march 11th, 2018.
The Valencia Central market is closed on Sunday march 11th, 2018.

I then added the coin shop location to google maps. I remember seeing that this shop would close close to 1400. So I decided to get to the shop just in case they closed early.

Google maps was a bit off in this location. It was probably due to all the tall buildings and some scaffolding erected in the area. I back-tracked a bit and found the coin shop. I wandered in and asked my question, but I was politely told they do not have what I am looking for. I did chuckle a bit when I seen some United States proof sets in the display. I tanked the man for his time and I went back onto the street.

I looked across the street and there was another coin shop. Wow, this area said there was only one. I approached this one, and tried the door. It was locked but there was an older gentleman who opened the door and I asked him if he had what I was looking for. He pointed to a few coins that looked interesting, but these were not what I was looking for. I thanked him for his time and I went back to the street. I did not see another coin shop in the area, BUT, I did see an interesting tavern at a fork in the road. As I passed this place to look inside to see if they offered a beer and something to eat, it appeared they did not. I look straight ahead and I see another coin shop. The own was standing outside looking down the street. I decided to ask him the question about the coins I was looking for, and he pointed to a window display that offered some of the coins I was looking for. I did the gesture of how much do they cot, and we went in to look around.  After seeing all that he had, I chose one coin paid him and shook his hand. I may have to revisit this shop if time permits.

One shop out of the four valencia coin shops that I visited actually had something that I was interested in.
One shop out of the four Valencia, Spain coin shops that I visited actually had something that I was interested in. These are ancient Roman coins that are a pian to find in the USA.

I decided it was time to head back to the City Hall area of Valencia and see how the crowd was coming along. I was a bit surprised. There were more people packing in by the minute. I told myself, I have stood up for many more hours than the two I had left to do to see this daylight fireworks display. So, I found a nice viewing area and decided to wait.

Many people fill the Valencia City Hall area to watch the daylight fireworks display on Sunday March 11th, 2018.
Many people fill the Valencia City Hall area to watch the daylight fireworks display on Sunday March 11th, 2018.

I had the Canon t3i ready. Again, as soon as the event lit off I attempted to shoot the entire fireworks display. It lasted about 5-10 minutes and I must admit, it was a pretty decent fireworks display.

I thought for sure I was recording a video on the canon t3i, but when I got back to the room, and reviewed the chip, there was no video on the chip what so ever. I remember seeing a warning on the screen that said, make sure a lens was attached – and it  was – but it was the ROKNON wide angle lens.  Tonight I will have to find a youtube video to see if I was in the right mode, or the lens simply does not support it.

Guess where I will be tomorrow before 1400 ? I will be in Valenica, Spain City Hall waiting to video this display of daylight fireworks associated with the Falla celebration – with a better understanding of what went wrong with the Canon camera.

I have not set my trip for Monday, but it will be done tomorrow morning. It may include a walk to the Valencia Bullring and on the way purchase some gifts to bring back to the USA. I may also visit the Valencia Central market to take a few photos and maybe visit one more place.

Once back in the USA I will attempt to add the videos I have within this post.

Until then, I hope you enjoyed this display of information about the sights within Valencia, Spain.