In the news last week, I came across an inspirational story about how the concept of an "open-air" art gallery transformed a struggling village of 323 people in the Castellón province of Spain and is now part of the world's circuit of street art events.
That village is called Fanzara and is located just outside of the main city of Castellón, which is about a two hour drive from our village of Benitachell.
Fanzara is off the beaten path and I doubt anyone would have even gone out in that neck of the glorious wooden countryside, had it not been for this magnificent idea to see this a village covered in art works.
Of course, I had to see it and my husband and two friends were keen to go as well.
The art works are painted on the sides of all types of structures from fancy homes and apartments to ruins. The style of art works vary from ultra modern to decorative to traditional. The village now has 105 works created by more than 200 artists!
The village has a 70% majority of retired folks and only a few families with children, hence we noticed the quiet and peaceful charm that prevailed on each turn and bend of the old streets.
As we were exploring the village we met others who were art lovers doing exactly as we were doing. You could see the awe and excitement in their faces as they pointed and photographed the art works that popped up in front and side as the journey continued.
And, this project is not finished. Again in July this year the village has invited even more artists to come and add their creativity. It is like a growing living thing now!
We had lunch at the local restaurant, which was super busy and understaffed. However, the food was exceptional and again, even though we sat street side, only one car passed us.
After the lunch we drove up into along side the river Mijares and it was beautiful before doubling back towards the main roads. The rural nature of the area is awesome.