I’d love to offer some wild and profound travel tales about my visit to Valencia on Saturday 17th. I learned long ago that here’s plenty to say about Ryanair when things go wrong, but little to report when things run to routine. I’m not sure if I’m warming to Ryanair, or if it’s just been a long time since I last had a bad experience. My last few trips have ben trouble-free and on-time. I guess I shouldn’t speak too soon.
I watched the BBC’s recent ‘Panorama’ programme on the airline with interest. Whilst I’m no big fan of Ryanair or its loathsome boss O’Leary, I felt that it presented a very biased and one-sided hatchet job, and few of its ‘revelations’ would be any great surprise to anyone who travels with them regularly.
I touched down in Valencia at 8.30pm ready to spin that night at Soul, a black music night run by relocated Londoner DJ Cosy O. Due to an on-line map cock-up, Cosy and myself searched for 90 minutes for my hotel in a coastal town miles away .. before realising it was back in the city at the point where we’d started after all. Although it ate into my nap time, I didn’t mind as I got some great views of Valencia and its outlying districts during what was otherwise a straight-in straight-out trip. It’s certainly a beautiful and impressive city with some stunning new architecture going up, and great beaches. The city is packed and sweltering in Summer. In October, temperatures hover around a very comfortable 70 degrees.
I’d forgotten just how late the Spanish party. We didn’t even arrive at the club spot, Gandhara, until 2am, and it was 3.30 before I started playing. I can’t remember the last time an overseas gig disappointed, and Soul was no exception. I blasted the crowd with everything from crunk to reggae to UK Funky to revivals from Prince and Chaka Khan, and it all rang off.
The European smoking ban seems to be a very grey area, (literally and metaphorically,) varying in strictness from country to country. I thought Spain had imposed the ban, but this clearly didn’t extend to Gandhara as the familiar thick fog hung in the air throughout, and we emerged stinking of the cancer sticks just like in the old days. It was past 7am before I was back at my hotel, and three hours later came the painful return to the airport. Thoughts of my bed carried me through the journey from Stansted. We eventually reunited mid-afternoon.