It sort of creeps up on you and arrives between the end of March and the beginning of May depending on the weather.
When it finally comes you know straight away that it has arrived.It permeates. It follows you everywhere. I even wake at night and am immediately aware of its presence. It was first present in Moorish times,and has been present for three or four weeks each year ever since in Mediterranean Spain and especially in Valencia.
“Azahar” (orange blossom) is part of the annual life cycle here in Valencia. Being Spain’s biggest orange producing region means that literally hundreds of thousands of hectares of orange trees cover the fertile fields,valleys and the smaller mountains of this so called “Levante” region.
The perfumed invasion of the blossom is all invasive in our lives for these few weeks. Whether you are in the countryside walking, writing at your desk,shopping the main street in town, on the beach or sitting having a coffee on a terrace or consuming a local tapa in a bar you are constantly reminded of what season you are in by the scent in the air. The first balmy nights and the gentle breeze impregnated with the heady perfume of the small but powerfully smelling white flower of the orange tree, bring a feeling of spring and an exotic announcement of the Spanish summer which is just round the corner.
Intoxicatingly unique the breeze in Valencia at this time of year, flows gently over mountains and through the valleys and never ceases to impress upon your senses that special, heady scent that is full of the promise of another warm and sunny summer in Spain.
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Lovely post, Paddy! I love the smell of the orange blossom!
Yes, the heat is on its way.