The first Dragon Walk in the Ensanche area was a great success and 2 TV stations came to the Dragon photo exhibition to film and inform about the event.
A new concept in tourism was launched in the city, a project called ‘Valencia: Here Be Dragons.’
The project consists of a bi-lingual book (English and Spanish), a video, a photographic exhibition and a walk-talk, (a guided tour of Valencia’s dragons). The first tour took place with about 30 walkers, mostly local tourist guides and teachers wanting to know if this could be a new activity for their respective clients/students.
The second and third walk-talks focused on the Ensanche area of the city, where the 19th and 20th century art nouveau dragons can be found in their lairs.
The walks, lasting about an hour, began at Colon Underground station and finished in the Mercado de Colón, where in the Cerveceria ‘Las Cervezas del Mercado’ (in the market’s basement area) the photographs of 20 of Valencia’s dragons were exhibited, along with a little game in English, in which the dragons spoke about themselves.
Once again the Spanish media has given wide coverage to the activities organised by Valencia International:
All the photographs from the book and exhibition are by Mark Sicon:
The book, with editions in both English and Spanish, costs 15€, and is published by the Valencian publishing company Obrapropia:
The book explains why there are so many dragons in the architecture of Valencia, relating the history of dragons from the points of view of architecture, anthropology, history and legend, with a few carefully chosen fibs thrown in to add a bit of spice.
The project supposes another addition to Valencia’s wide cultural offer for tourists and follows the trend of ‘fantasy/conspiracy tourism,’ using real locations or history to fabricate tourist attractions; Loch Ness and the Da Vinci Code being notorious examples.
The creators of the project are Bob Yareham, English and History teacher resident in Valencia since 1981, and Mark Sicon, an Anglo-Spanish photographer, trained at a well-known photography school in Valencia.
Mr Yareham is known in Valencia for his work with schools, where he has undertaken many projects such as 2,000 years of history through an underground map and a collaboration with the L’Iber Museum called ‘Hollywood & History,’ and he is also the author of the book ‘Movies Made in Spain,’ the story of 720 English language films shot in Spain.
Furthermore, he is President of ‘España de Cine,’ a non-profit making association that promotes cinema tourism initiatives all over Spain.