Fouda del Oriente
20th April 1888
My dear Frank.
We left Valencia at 12.30pm on Wendesday & arrived here about eleven the same night. It is a lovely trip. through orange groves, by mountains & plains & at times the train passes so close to the shores of the Mediterranean that you can see the pebbles on the beach under the water. There are any amount of old ruins both Roman & Moorish & we had a grand day as regards weather. Mr. White came here with us & we spent yesterday doing Barcelona, unfortunately we it rained a good deal. There is a splendid view of the place from the top of the cathedral & we got a good sight of the sea, & shipping in the port, from the fort.
We intended to have left this morning at 5 o’clock, but Mother had such a bad head-ache & felt so unwell that she was afraid to go on so Mr. White put Father into the train this morning & he has gone on to Aix-les-Bains to meet Jack. Is it not unfortunate should have felt ill just after leaving Valencia. She is better this afternoon & has had a good sleep but I dont think we shall start before tomorrow morning at 5.a.m. (that is the only good train to Lyons) & then you see the next morning is Sunday. Mr. White is very kind & says he will not go back to Valencia before we leave here, but of course we do not like to keep away from his business.
I have been with here today ? some Churches & other special things & seem to know my way about quite well now. The flowers here are too perfectly lovely. I hope you will receive some in good order.
This seems to me to be a very nice bright place. It is being enlarged & beautified in every direction & seems very go ahead like an American City. This hotel is on the Ramla which is the principal promenade and looks very lively. The shops are lovely & there is a good deal of shipping going on at the port & three Men O’War are lying just outside the outer harbour. The great Exhibition will not be open till May, but we have seen the buildings & the magnificient hotel which is hardly completed & is being built for the expected rush of people I have bought a Spanich Cigarette Case which I hope will reach you safely & that you will like it. At Valencia we went over a Tobacco Factory & saw Cigars & cigaretts made, it was very interesting but the smell made me feel ill. I was sorry to leave Valencia. it would have been very nice to have stayed longer & have seen the ruins of Sagunta. But I had some very good fun & as to all the comical things I saw, I only wish I could remember them all. Father, I think, told you of the eventful day, on which we started for a picnic to an orange grove but had to stay in a country house which was a curious & amusing experience. another eventful day we were to go for a sail in a young Englishman’s yacht___it was not quite what you would have called a success for most of the party remained on land as they preferred to watch the boat from the shore!! & the one lady who was persuaded decided to go, screamed when we attempted to leave the harbour_I enjoyed it & should so much have liked to go out beyond the breakwater but nothing we could say would induce Miss Warrington to consent. After the sail we went to tea on board a very nice steamer, which is at present chartered by this Englishman for his business; but we missed the rest of the party & they went home without us so you see it was a chapter of excitements!!! We had a very jolly evening when we dined at the Darts’ (He is the British vice consul) very nice people & such a lovely house _ it used to belong to a Spanish Grandee _ reception rooms, marble pillars painted ceiling etc _ We were twelve at dinner & six people came in afterwards we had a little dancing; some of the men did some very good conjuring & we played games I suggested the feather on the sheet which they had not seen before & appreciated & then Mother said “introduce them to the Smith Family” which we did & they were all weak with laughter. They were so sorry to say Good-bye to us as there are not many English people in Valencia & they had enjoyed the evening thanks to our lively
games, which are very good ones for them to have learned.
You will imagine that I was glad to see my box last Sunday morning & be able to get a change of things. I have heard nothing of the keys yet but I had one made in Valencia. Mother sends much love & says she is troubled that she did not write to you whilst she was at the Whites’ but you will understand it is difficult to find time when is staying with people & there was no writing table in her bedroom.
12.20 Saturday Night
Have just come back from the Opera House – a grand concert We start at 5. for Lyons & from there on to Aix, so I expect we shall be pretty tired.
Mother is better, though not quite herself yet. We are in a hurry to go on as we do not like to keep Mr. White away from Valencia any longer.
Your ever loving sister
C. Kathleen O’Reilly
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This collection of letters has been digitized from an earlier transcription project and is for informational purposes only. This transcription has not been verified against the originals. Researchers interested in these letters should consult the original documents housed at the BC Archives.