It’s the start of the long Easter weekend, and I’m so glad I’m here and far from the cooler clime and political unrest of France. Today was a perfect day, and it’s not yet over. I spent a few hours at the Silk Museum and it was super interesting (more on that below). I just wanted to say again, because I’ve said it before: sunshine makes all the difference. I no longer want to live in a gray, drizzly climate. There are multiple health benefits of sunlight.
As for air-conditioning, this compact and powerful AC unit is to be found in every hotel room, restaurant, apartment and shop in the country. I’ve never seen them in France, or anywhere else. Why not?
I snacked all day and tried some local foods.
The city is very quiet, I don’t know where everyone is on this long Easter weekend. I made my way to the Silk Museum and spent an enjoyable two hours learning about the 15th-century silk trade originating with Arab and Jewish merchants and spreading west through Genoa, Florence, Spain and France. I also learned about silk worms, mulberry leaves and the making (and dying) of silk thread from cocoons. France, it turned out, was the pre-eminent leader of the silk industry. King Louis XI set up a national silk trade in Lyon, consisting largely of Italian workers from the region of Calabria, known for its master silk weavers. By the 16th-century, Lyon was the capital of the European silk trade, and by the middle of the 17th-century, over 14,000 looms were operating in that city.
It was an enjoyable and enlightening two hours. Afterwards, thirsty and hungry from all that learning, I sauntered into the museum’s garden courtyard (near empty) for a glass of wine and lunch.
Like I said, I’m in paradise.
My one visit to Valencia was many years ago in December, as part of a long bicycle tour of Spain and Portugal. When I was in Valencia, they had frost and lost part of that year’s orange crop.
Oh, but you must return, Don. Valencia today is a sparkling, vibrant city compared to what it used to be (so I’ve been told). I spoke to an American who came here in the 1980s. He said it was really dirty and derelict back then. It’s the 3rd largest city in Spain and lots of people worldwide are flocking to live here.
Yes, I really must have another look sometime.
Glad to hear you’re happy, Juju. You deserve it. Enjoy the sunshine!😍
Thanks, Cordy! Hope you are well.
Those mini-splits — air conditioner and heat source, depending on time of year — are very popular in Canada now, with long waiting lists to have one installed. We bought one last June (after waiting for a year to work our way up the list), just in time for a heat-wave here. They are so efficient. Our electricity bill has been halved. Government has incentives for installation, though we weren’t eligible, but we’re very glad we have one. (We heat with wood too and have electric baseboard heaters to supplement but the hope is that we won’t need them any longer and that seems to be working out…)
That’s interesting to know, Theresa. Many homes in Spain, more in the south than in the north and central regions, are unheated. Apparently, it’s only cold for a month or two. I’m not sure how they heat their homes in the north and center. But as you can imagine, air conditioning is absolutely essential as it will hit 40 degrees and more in the summer. And these units are great. Don’t see them in France.
Log burners and now the pellet type are quite common , as are portable gas heaters , the winters here can be quite damp and chilly and the houses aren’t built for cold weather . The air conditioning units are useful as they blow out warm air too !
Hi Andrea. I was wondering if those units blew hot air as well as cold. Not sure where you’re writing from … Spain?
Anyway, thanks for commenting and Happy Easter weekend!
Hi Juliet , I’m glad that you had a good time ! Yes I’m in Spain , enjoying the sunny weather
Well, I’m back in Paris now. And it’s raining. I miss the Spanish sunshine.
Hopefully the weather will improve soon !