Some time ago, maybe it was a month or something like that, I visited Albufera – a freshwater lagoon close to Valencia in eastern Spain. It’s exactly 11 kilometres south of the city of Valencia and the reason I went there – is because Albufera has a huge Natural Park. Its waters have been traditionally worked by fishermen and rice growers.
This Natural Park has a surface area of 21,120 hectares (52,000 acres), which is a pretty big space to visit. But the best way to see it all– is to rent a boat. When you arrive there, around are waiting more or less 5 “casetas”/”boats” with someone who drive it and explain every little detail about Albufera (in spanish of course). They cost just 4 euros, but it’s really worth it to take this ride. I hope the pictures will show you a little bit why is that.
On this picture a trap for water snakes:
The word “albufera” originate from Arabic word al-buhayra, which literally means a “small sea”. This “sea” is very big, but also – very shallow, about 1.5m deep. When I was starting the boat trip, our 2-in-1 “captain and guide” was using a special big stick to move the boat – because it was so shallow around – of course I forgot the name of the special stick in spanish, I just remember that I really liked this name.
What’s the most important during the ride? Birds, birds everywhere. Here we have about 250 different bird species, because Albufera is an important stopover point for migratory birds and also a nesting area for resident birds. The whole Park was recognized as a special area for bird protection (ZEPA) since 1991. So you can take your camera and take as many pictures as you want – which I did. I’m just sharing here a very small percent of my collection.
The 2-in 1 “captain and guide” told us many really nice informations during the trip, but of course – I preferred to be lost in honey reflexions of the sun and magnificent birds, so I miss a lot of what he was saying. Maybe because it was full of details too – like how many kilograms each bird specie can eat during a day or a week, I could never remember that 😛
What I remember and I will remember – is that Albufera is a great place to just breath more freely – a bit outside of the city, to have some balance, some contact with nature. The sunsets here are just amazing to witness. People also go here, to the nearest small towns, especially to eat paella, because is one of the places where you can eat the best paella valenciana in the world (that’s what they say, I didn’t try so I can’t say if it’s true or not). Anyway – it’s a place to relax and re-think and just stop for a while, which is why I recommend it to everyone, who need a big space around from time to time.
p.s the stick is called “percha”!!!! 😀