GLORIOUS GANDÍA


"I learned so much about the social and economic history of this part of Spain and how the architectural styles developed and were implemented using existing buildings over the centuries. Karla brought it all to life. I loved Karla's talks because they are so animated and enthusiastic and full of interesting and amusing anecdotes. I definitely recommend her."

 * Michelle Johnson

GANDIA * FIELD TRIP



"It was a nice and sunny Saturday in March when we set off with Fine Arts Historican Karla Darocas for a field trip to Grandia as a group of adult education students.
As always, Karla thoroughly prepared for this excursion with a lecture on Gandía first.
A group ride share was organised and after picking up several members ‘en route’ we arrived in Gandia, a town in th southern part of the Valencian province, which was buzzing with the preparations for the Falla Fiestas on March 19th.
We visited the Santa Clara museum, where we were the only visitors. We strolled around enjoying the explanations by Karla about the religious works of art roughly from the 15th till the 17th centuries. There was Gregorian music playing in the atmosphere that made the visit extra special. All this heritage had been kept by the nuns of Santa Clara’s Monastery since the 1400's and only shared with the public in 1915 in this museum, which was the medieval hospital.
Needless to say, the famous Spanish Borja family who were patrons of the arts, were presented in paintings and murals as well.
Gandía sits on the shores of the Serpis river, now dry as a bone, but still a grand sight to view from the mirador.
After a quick cafe con leche accompanied by the parade of children, men and women dressed in the traditional Valencian costumes with bands playing the typical music that many of us have heard in these regions when fiestas are celebrated, we went on a pleasant walk to the Palau Ducal dels Borja.
This is where Francisco de Borja, the great grandson of Pope Alexandre VI, was born and raised. Long after his death, he became Saint Francisco de Borja and his great grandson Pascual de Borja brought the beauty of Italian baroque to the palace by building a series of rooms that celebrated in art and design the canonization of Francisco.
Our group lunch was catered by friendly couple at their charming Restaurant called EL GUSTO. It was a great end to an uplifting and educational day. Great stuff!"

*  Trudi van Dorp, Cumbre del Sol

JAVEA WALK


"Steve and I joined Karla on her Javea Walk on 1st March. Having been to many of Karla's lectures and so very familiar with her wide ranging knowledge, we were still amazed at how much there was to learn about this small area of Javea. Karla's delivery as always tempered with humour and small details. We highly recommend these walks to anyone interested in where we are living or just staying on holiday."

* Lizzie and Steve Clayton

JAVEA WALK


"Karla brought to life the Old Town of Jávea, areas that I have been to many times but knew little about. I learned a lot about the history and culture of Javea and I will return to some of the places she introduced me to. Karla has a very unique way of explaining things and I love her relaxed style. I can highly recommend this walk. Karla's teaching style involves paying attention to detail and her ability to explain things in an informative way."

* Margaret Den Hartog