Newport News, VA Potential for severe storms, again.

NOAA and NWS storm prediction center shows a lot of unsettled weather !

26 April 2019 – Another round of potentially severe weather !

After I finished up the post about the tornado warnings of 19 April 2019, I decided to take a look to the sky this afternoon. The National Weather Service has issued a Severe Thunderstorm watch for this area until 9pm. Here is what the radar from another weather service is showing.

Another round of potentially severe weather here in Newport News, VA
Another round of potentially severe weather here in Newport News, VA

The wind is gusty on occasion already. One Thunderstorm came through about noon on 26 April 2019, and there is a pretty significant front coming through as we speak. Should the weather merit updating this blog, I will do so. Until then, I will wal around the house to make sure everything is in order, in case we take on more severe weather.

National Weather Service weather tools, a GREAT service !

I take a look at the Storm Prediction Center ;  https://www.spc.noaa.gov/

And the weather prediction is looking quite active to our immediate North;

NOAA and NWS storm prediction center shows a lot of unsettled weather !
NOAA and NWS storm prediction center shows a lot of unsettled weather !

 

You can drill down by county or city when you visit this page. Keep Safe and eyes to the sky !

National Weather Service Virginia County Forecast RSS Feed Listing

https://alerts.weather.gov/cap/va.php?x=3

The National Weather Service (NWS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provide EXCELLENT weather tools to keep you safe and in the know.

https://www.noaa.gov/

Stay Safe !

Tornado Warning on 19 April 2019

The cold front associated with the tornado warnings on 19 April 2019.

Unstable weather predicted on target by NOAA and NWS

On April 19th 2019, the weather was quite unsettled. The winds were picking up as a cold front enters the area. The National Oceanic and Atmosperic Administration,(NOAA) along with the National Weather Service (NWS)  calls for some storms, some becoming strong or severe.

Looking to the sky after 2pm, it looked calmer with mixed clouds – nothing to be concerned about. After 5pm, I hopped on the PC, surfed over to NOAA weather and read the update. It looks like they are holding their stance about the storms. Nothing against NOAA and the NWS, but the radar is not the best.

I surfed over to another weather site to take a peak to see what the cold front was looking like. I see a defined cold front line heading our way. Looking a bit to my South East, I can see part of the line moving quicker than the rest of the storm, indicating some stronger winds, probably straight line winds. The storm  overall is moving at 35mph, so these straight line winds were probably pushing 60-70 mph or faster.

The cold front associated with the tornado warnings on 19 April 2019.
The cold front associated with the tornado warnings on 19 April 2019.

As the night went on, winds picked up and the sky grew ominous. when clouds in the sky start to look like rolled up cotton, that is a sure sign the winds were going to pick up and be very strong. I told the rest of the people in the house to prepare for some strong storms.  I asked that they ensure the deck in the back did not have anything loose to fly away and that any fragile plants be put in shelter.  I added that in case we do get severe weather, the plan is to get into the finished basement in the master bath area since the door is more secure and does not open outward. It offers decent protection should something very serious happen.

Newport News, VA Tornado warning April 19th 2019

As you can see in the image above, as night comes, and the cold front approaches the coast, the warm weather and colder masses of water made a relative thin cold front widen to about 10 miles. Looking at this at 8:27pm I was about to head upstairs and let the others know the front was about to hit.  Suddenly, my cellphone starts screaming at me.

The National Weather Service issues a tornado warning pretty close to our location.
The National Weather Service issues a tornado warning pretty close to our location.

Several seconds later the office Lan line phone rings and a message plays. The message comes from the City of Newport News. It says we are located in an area where a tornado warning has been issued.  I started up the stairs, and opened up the front door. My son is at the top of the stairs and I asked if everyone received the same alert on the phones. He said yes. That’s a good sign, everyone is aware of the situation.

I told everyone the plan for severe weather and what vital things should be ready to go.  This is why it is vital to have a small grab and go kit, to include any medications, a small amount of water and some fruit or snacks just in case something goes wrong. The area we live has had its fair share of extreme weather, to include a massive flash flood event back in 2012, along with some pretty severe gusty thunderstorms. Spring weather here in Virginia can keep you on your toes. Our other weather events are on this blog as well.

Keeping an ear and eyes out on the storm as it passes was everyone’s job. We knew the storm was slightly South West of us heading North East. My son and I seen the storm popping lightning to our right, wind and rain was whipping down the side street extremely fast. It was getting dark and seeing any sort of rotation within the clouds was very difficult.  I looked over to the other side street about 100 feet to the left and the wind and rain was going in the total opposite direction. Yeah, this was definitely something unusual. This vortext passes about 200-300 yards to our North East and in 2-3 minutes, maybe less, it is gone and out of sight. The wind was confused and the rain was nearly sideways at times. We dodged a severe event by 2-3 football fields.

On Monday 22 April 2019, I went to NOAA weather online to see that they had indeed been in the area looking for signs of tornadoes. Here is a photo of what NOAA and the National Weather service assessed of the storm and possible tornado that passed through at 830pm on 19 April 2019.

Assessment of weather in the Newport News, VA area on 19 April 2019
Assessment of weather in the Newport News, VA area on 19 April 2019

I also notice that on the West side of the James River behind us, there was another tornado that touched down just minutes before. With NOAA and NWS saying that the tornado that approached the Newport News area probably started out as a water spout, and then coming ashore – – it could have easily been the tornado that touched down in Smithfield area, lifted, and then came back down as in came East crossing the James River.

Smithfield, VA Tornado Warning assessment by NOAA and NWS 19 April 2019
Smithfield, VA Tornado Warning assessment by NOAA and NWS 19 April 2019

I haven’t found the time to connect the dots between both of these low grade tornadoes, but this has happened in the past – twice , now potentially three times since 2007. On one occasion near Surry, VA a tornado hopped the James River and landed near the South side of Fort Eustis, crossed Interstate 64 and pancaked a few highway signs.

Take a look at this flash flood event that happened in 2012. It could happen to you. 

Another severe storm hit us in July 2014. They are quick, nasty and can ruin your life in a heartbeat.

On another occasion, a tornado traveled a similar path and ended up destroying a lot of property in Glouster, VA.

In these Spring storms, don’t take anything for granted, and if NOAA and the Nation Weather forecasters are giving out alerts take eyes to the sky and know that storms can shift direction in an instant.

Keep safe, secure and have a plan.

Weather from the experts

The National Weather Service – Climate Prediction Service

https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/

Weather at a glance and potential severe weather outlooks

Visit the NOAA weather / National Weather Service website. Put in your zip code to the top left to see your local weather.

https://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?CityName=Newport+News&state=VA&site=AKQ&textField1=37.0759&textField2=-76.5142&e=0#.XMNH0OnsaUk

 

 

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 !

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.

 

 

 

 

Valencia Day 4 – Visiting the ancient Cathedral of Valencia, Spain

While finishing up the Prehistoric Museum of Valencia, Spain I decided to venture out to another site. It is Friday March 9th. Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be scattered rain showers during the day and possible thunderstorms in the afternoon. Also to complicate the matters a little, I may have a friend coming over for a while. I am trying to plan all of this on the only full weekend I may have here in Valencia, Spain.

So, I take a deep breath, fire up google maps. I attach the portable battery pack to the LG G4 and I start walking towards the ancient Cathedral of Valencia. Why the battery pack? Google maps is a battery hog! Ensure you plan its usage accordingly.

The walk feels longer than I expected. there were a few twists and turns to navigate and in the end. There are many, many people on the streets. After taking one more left turn, I see this in the distance.

The outside street view of the Cathedral of Valencia, Spain
The outside street view of the Cathedral of Valencia, Spain.

There are many people here. It’s almost a constant moving chaotic mass of people. I approach the doors of the cathedral and look inside. There are a half dozen young women behind the desk, taking money and handing out headphones. All of these fine ladies speak English. The cost to enter the ancient Cathedral of Valencia, Spain is 8 Euro.  I paid my fee and declined a headset. I took my hat off and stored it within the backpack and I started looking around. I didn’t know where to start taking photographs, it all looked amazing.

While at the Cathedral of Valencia, Spain I decided that I would only use the Canon T3i with the ROKNON wide angle lens. I had nothing but time, and from what many people have written about seeing this cathedral, it would take between thirty minutes to an hour to see most of the area. I did NOT opt in for climbing up to the bell tower to see the skyline and maybe become deaf as the bells ring on the hour within the bell tower.

Each exhibit has its own station number  which can be related back to a map, or a station on the headset. My goal today is to get the photographs up and then see if I am able to decipher the map and offer some comments on what each of these photographs show.

But, for now, I will simply add the photographs. these are a lot smaller than you think. Feel free to download them and look them over. All I ask is that you do not reuse these to your advantage. If you do, simply add this website www.missionincredible.org in the credits.

Photograph #1 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain
Photograph #1 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain
Photograph #2 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain
Photograph #2 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain
Photograph #3 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain
Photograph #3 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain
Photograph #4 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain
Photograph #4 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain
Photograph #5 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain
Photograph #5 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain
Photograph #5 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain
Photograph #5 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain
Photograph #7 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain
Photograph #7 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain
Photograph #8 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain
Photograph #8 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain
Photograph #9 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain
Photograph #9 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain
Photograph #10 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain
Photograph #10 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain.
Photograph #11 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain
Photograph #11 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain.
Photograph #12 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain
Photograph #12 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain.
Photograph #13 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain
Photograph #13 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain.
Photograph #14 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain
Photograph #14 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain.
Photograph #15 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain
Photograph #15 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain.
Photograph #16 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain
Photograph #16 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain.
Photograph #17 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain
Photograph #17 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain
Photograph #18 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain
Photograph #18 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain.
Photograph #19 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain
Photograph #19 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain.

I do have more photographs, but I will only display 20 which is a nice round number. The visit to the ancient Cathedral of Valencia was truly an experience I will not forget. If you are going to Spain, most major cities will have a large Cathedral. I think you should go check it out.

Photograph #20 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain
Photograph #20 of the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain.

I hope you enjoy these photographs of the ancient Cathedral of Valencia. If you dare climb the bell tower, do not tell your friends it will chime on the hour. It will be a neat joke to play on them, and add memories to your visit.