This weekend we were pleased to welcome Joseph Goh and his family, who had come all the way from Singapore to spend their holidays in Spain. They were a family of five, with Joseph and his wife, their two teenage children and a grown-up nephew. Joseph is a pilot with Singapore Airlines and enjoys taking his family to different parts of the world – and Spain was a new destination for them all. They arrived at Gandia Casa Rural by car which they had collected in Valencia, although they had flown in to Barcelona and then subsequently taken the train to Valencia. The Spanish rail network was in fact to be their principal means of transport around the country for the remainder of their trip, as they had purchased a rail pass that allowed them unlimited use of the railway for the duration of their visit
Their plan was to explore our part of the Costa Blanca for a couple of days, and one of the main attractions for them was the fact that this part of the country remains genuinely unspoilt by foreign tourism and is still largely undiscovered except by the Spanish holidaymaker. After settling in during the latter part of Saturday afternoon, they then relaxed in our living room by the log fire (the nights here in December can be on the cool side!) before joining us for dinner. After that, a fairly early night was called for, as they were understandably feeling the effects of jet lag as a result of their journey.
Sunday morning was a beautiful sunny start to the day, so they decided to go for a brief walk in the orange groves behind us here – they loved the open spaces and unrestricted access to fields and countryside, which is in such short supply in their native Singapore. After that, they drove to Gandia to have a look at the historic centre of the town and a visit to the Borgia Palace, followed by a further drive to the inland town of Xativa with its quaint streets and historic castle. They were greatly impressed with the beauty of the countryside everywhere along their route and amazed that more foreigners had not discovered the delights of this part of Spain.
After returning to us for a brief time to relax and freshen up, Sunday evening was to be a time to sample a Spanish restaurant in Gandia so they set off to the Plaza de Prado area of the town and enjoyed a leisurely meal at one on the many restaurants there. Returning to us around 11.00pm, it was time to head for bed after a full and busy day and with the prospect of onward travel the following morning. Monday was unfortunately already time for them to move on to their next stop on their itinerary – Seville. A drive to Valencia would get them to the railway station in time to catch the AVE (Spanish high speed) train to Madrid, where another high speed train would take them down to Seville for the next four days of their holiday. After that, their intention was to travel to Barcelona for another four day visit there, before returning home to Singapore. It had been an absolute pleasure to welcome Joseph and his family for what was a brief visit of two nights, and it is only a pity that they had not been able to spend longer in this part of eastern Spain. However, they loved the area and had not had the opportunity to spend any time getting to know Valencia city itself, so perhaps we shall see them back with us in the future. We would certainly be more than happy to welcome them back to Gandia Casa Rural when they have their next European holiday!