Tiles as Art

On any adventure it is important to have some way to measure your progress. One measurement of our time spent in Valencia is our ability to communicate.

Pointing at something and holding up a finger or three works but is limited. Initially, ordering off of the menu was ‘interesting’ and a bit of a gamble but less so, just eight weeks and a few spanish language lessons later. Lucky for us the food is great no matter what shows up at the table.
Cultural nuances also enter in to the picture. For example, ordering a ‘chaud chien’ when in Paris will get you very strange looks. However, ordering a ‘hot dog’ (spoken in English) seems to be universally understood. The same can be said for Spain when we tried to order something ‘to go’. I said; ‘para ir con mi’ (to go with me) but that didn’t work out too well. However, asking for ‘take away’ (spoken in English) is, once again, universally understood. Who knew?
We have made great strides yet neither one of us has attempted a hair cut. It is inevitable though and may be a whole blog in itself! Still, in spite of our over due haircuts, we have been busy.
We returned to MuVIM, took more great pictures of the many comic books they have on display and updated our blog. We were surprised to find how much we enjoyed visiting this museum for the second time. Check them out here.
We also added a new entry to our list of museums. The Museum of the Rocks which are beautifully decorated carriage floats dating back to the 1500’s. Enormous in size and impressive in their detail this museum was a wonderful find. Check them out here.
Walking the city we have found that it is definitely getting smaller. Once you know your way around a more direct route to the Central Market makes shopping easier. So another measure of progress is to know where you are in the city. Of great help is to know where to look for the street signs found in various locations on buildings and while looking for these street signs we found many beautifully decorated tiles.
These tiles are used everywhere here in Valencia. Originally used to identify the names of streets, some of these tiles are posted on buildings on the street corners. Although, to keep us confused, not every street corner.
We have found tiles on important buildings, such as churches, museums, government offices etc., that are used to identify the building and its use. They can also be found on walls in a square or ‘placa’ to commemorate an event or identify an honor received. As you can see they bring color to the city and streets and certainly catch our eye as we walk by. Although street signs, as we know them in North America, are being used in Valencia today, especially on the main streets, we have found newly created tile signs in the narrow streets or ‘calles’, where there is absolutely no room for a signpost.
So as measurements go we are doing great.

Salut from these valencianos,
Ted & Julia

(click on any picture to go to slideshow view)

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