There and Back Again

We hit Valencia and… decided to come back to Germany and Switzerland. It seems a bit crazy, because we wanted to reach Gibraltar instead of making over 1500km jump back, but it turned out to be the best decision we could have made.

In the spirit of moving South, we arrived in Valencia. We were really looking forward to getting there, as we’ve heard it might be good for street performances and that there is a really cool squat (we understood it was a circus-like squat). The facade of the building looked promising, we were excited to explore it.

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The welcome we got was very warm, it was no problem for them to let us crash there for a few nights. But when we took a tour of the place… Oh dear. Dirt. Bed bugs. No running water. Toilet… ough… Kitchen, oh my. When we saw it all we were already quite sure that we cannot stay there. Plus there was more and more people coming as it was getting late, some of them impolite and looking at us weirdly. And you know what? I can sort of understand. Because it was clear that we don’t belong to this place. We were sitting among them, in good, clean and fresh clothes, not really sure what to say or do (their Spanish was too fast for us), feeling like a piece of jigsaw puzzle from a completely different set. But the physical differences wouldn’t scare us that much if it was only that. However, it was also mentality issue. These people live in their own community, they share food, cook together, go for water supplies and… I think that’s it. They don’t do anything for a whole day and they seem to be fine with that. Well, we are not. And as much as we understand that people vary in their characters and opinions, we still felt really misplaced.

We have realized how high is the standard of our travels. No matter what, we still need showers every two days, we do laundry, we never skimp on money for food and we always improve our skills to be able to work everywhere.

We had to excuse ourselves and leave. It was also a sign for us that maybe it’s not a good idea to continue our road to Gibraltar. Earning money in Spain was difficult and humiliating. We have already spent more of our savings than we intended in the first place. All in all, we’ve decided to look around Valencia and see if there’s any point of performing and then drive, drive, drive away, back to Switzerland and Germany! With a night stop in Montpellier, at our dear friend Allesandro’s place.

Valencia appeared to be a very crowded, quite rich and completely anti-street-show city.

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We walked around a bit, but with no hope or agenda. All the restaurants had their terraces in very narrow places or right next to a busy street. Police stood on every bigger square.

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It made us feel even more sure that we’ve made a good decision. We went shopping for the road, took some pictures and started our 700km trip to Montpellier.

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We spent a night in the tent on the way, on a field of wild rosemary. We tried to get up early, but surprisingly- Nick has failed! I had to drag him out of a sleeping bag. That doesn’t happen too often.

The views on our way to Montpellier were simply beautiful.

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After Montpellier we were invited to a place near Avignon. Since we still had some time, we went to explore it a bit. We were really curious about the famous bridge. However, the disappointment was quite painful- you had to pay to go on it… Oh well. At least we’ve seen it. ;)

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Apparently it was over 5 times longer than it is now. The wars and the floods destroyed most of it. It was around 900m long!

The city of Avignon was nice, but with no fireworks. Little, narrow streets were full of charm, but it was hard to find a quite place to sit down and enjoy coffee/tea. Maybe because it was 1st of May?

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We sat down in a crowded place to eat something. The French waitress didn’t speak English, so we felt a bit lost, but then it turned out that she speaks Spanish! We felt so relieved and all of the sudden more comfortable. We ordered pancakes and peeked at the crowded square from time to time.

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We also encountered this delicious candy shop. Mmmm… but we know too much about dangers of sugar, so we passed on that one. ^^

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Eventually, we made it to our host’s house. And we were stunned… he called it a Chewbacca House for a reason!

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The guy, Leo, was very friendly and we all held conversations in his broken English and our poor Spanish. He had a lot of funny instruments in the house, like this thing you play for capoeira- berimbau. We didn’t have all the pieces, so we used a carrot instead. ;D

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The views from his house were truly pretty. Sunsets, sunrises, days, nights – it was all in perfect harmony.

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And in the middle of this- us, our home at the time, warmth, good food, good company, peace.

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Leo’s dream is to become a puppeteer. He even made one doll himself and brought it to life in front of our eyes. ^^

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We spent two nights with Leo, chatting, singing, playing and laughing. We even composed a song, as he really liked a Polish word we taught him – kapusta, which means cabbage. He kept on saying: “Me gusta kapusta!” and it got stuck in our heads, hence the song.

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As for sightseeing, we went to a nearby town Uzes. It was small and very quiet.

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We encountered suicidal teddy bears…

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…and little chicks with holes in their bellies. Quite cruel if you ask me!

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We also went to check out a violin and accordion concert. It turned out to be a contemporary music presentation and it wasn’t to our taste, we got bored after a few minutes. We both prefer the good old-school stuff, where you actually have melody. ;)

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On the third day we said our farewells and continued our trip back. We were lucky enough to find a host in Winterthur, a small town in Switzerland, exactly in between Zurich and Konstanz. After driving another 800km we were knackered, we fell asleep almost instantly and woke up in the morning in a very good mood.

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The weather was so great, money was pretty good and everything around us seemed to smile to us.

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We did bubbles in Zurich twice, but then we decided it’s enough and that it’s time to start Fire Shows, as the weather was sunny and very spring-like. It was warm enough to do training outside, with our beloved aerial tissue! We packed the bag and… wait… is the cat going training with us? XD

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Anyway, our presence in the park attracted a lot of kids. They wanted to try everything, especially acrobatics.

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I’d say our training was very fruitful and – most importantly – a lot of fun.

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Our host, Anna, helped us with taking photos. ^^

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Climbing on tissue after having a year long break was challenging. Not everything went according to plan. ;)

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On our way home I had a ride on Falcorn and Nick took a bath. XD

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Fire Shows went beyond our imagination. It started quite sad, with police telling us that we cannot perform in Zuricher old town; they told us we can only go by the lake. It happened to be a great idea. There was a lot of people there, they were cheering and clapping, everything was just magical! After two shows we almost died, we need to get back in shape quickly, not to miss out this wonderful crowds and weather.

We end this week with our savings back on the track and  with high spirits. And to finish this post even more positively, we have a riddle for you:

What do you think this is? XD

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