I’ve said it before. One of the perks to living in southeastern Europe is the ability to travel easily to other countries. Well, mostly easy. I did have one minor glitch on my recent trip to Spain.
The World Wide Conference on Qualitative Research (QRCA & AQR) in Valencia offered more than great conference topics for me to explore. My youngest daughter was one of the presenters. The fact it was held in a beautiful Mediterranean city was merely a bonus. But for a moment I wondered if I would get there.
For the best rate, I flew from Prishtina to Frankfurt, Germany. I had an hour to make the connecting flight. You guessed it. I missed the connecting flight. So instead of arriving for lunch, I arrived in time for dinner. However, sitting across the table from my daughter made me forget my earlier airport ordeal.
|Beach Party After the Conference|
|The Flower Bridge|
This particular weekend the entire city was celebrating the arts. Perfect timing for us. Beginning Friday night and lasting the full weekend, all of the museums were free and the streets were filled with crafters, dancers, and people in costumes representing a time gone by.
On Friday, we crossed the reclaimed riverbed-turned-park via the flower bridge and joined up with a few of the other conference attendees to visit the Ceramic Museum located in the old palace. A music ensemble was preparing for their concert inside, so we stopped on the street to hear them practice. We entered through the ornate doorway to view the ceramics. The living quarters of the palace were the most interesting. We also saw three plates Picasso had made for the royal family.
|Kendall Painting at Museu de Belles Arts|
In the words of the museum, the re-creation “turns the museum into a studio and the public into artists.” Every participant painted a square from the painting on a gigantic collective canvas. Museum artists loaded our palettes with the appropriate colors needed to paint the square we selected and we set about our work.
Leaving the museum, we crossed one of the many distinctive bridges to explore the district near the castle, indulge in some delicious gelato, and shop in an outdoor marketplace. We poked our head in several shops along the street and managed to find a few not-too-tacky souvenirs as a remembrance of this special trip.
We were heading back toward a restaurant for dinner when we encountered a parade of sorts. Women and girls of all ages were dressed in layers of brocade and lace, their almost Princess Leia-like hairstyles framing their smiling faces. Men and boys, also dressed in outfits reminiscent of the renaissance era escorted the women up the street past the cultural center toward a large almost castle-like building.
The day was long, but didn’t seem so until we finally sat down for our dinner of tapas at an outdoor restaurant. The food did not disappoint us. It would have been easy to crash into bed that night, but a little exercise and time spent in the sauna made the evening complete.
Of course I’ve only shared the highlights. But I could have done that with one simple sentence: I spent the weekend with my daughter.
|Selfie with My Daughter|
|Ensemble at the Palace|
|Picasso Plate at the Palace|