Sunday, October 30, 2011

Half-term hols in Spain: Valencia

We only had a day and a half in Valencia, but it was a very relaxing stop on our trip and I would say that my favorite evening of the whole trip was the one we spent in Valencia.
On our first morning in Valencia we had breakfast in the cafe on the ground floor of our hostel. The kind waitress spoke no English but we still managed to find a table and we each ordered the basic breakfast of a croissant and Spanish cafe con leche. I’d never had a cup of coffee before, literally never, but this one was delicious!
We then walked through the lovely, long string of parks that threads through the city to La Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, a futuristic group of buildings set on watery pools.

Then came the low point of our whole trip when we attempted to walk to the beach using only the maps at bus stations...but that was miserable and we didn’t even make it to the beach, so I like to pretend those few hours didn’t happen.
The evening made up for that mistake though, because everything fell into place so smoothly. We found our way back into town to the square near Valencia Cathedral. Surprise, the cathedral was open later than we thought and was free, so we used that extra time and money to get cafe con leche again before we explored the church (where everything was rather exciting because some of us are not quite used to the caffeine in coffee).


Fun fact: the supposed Holy Grail is in this church but its chapel was closed and so we couldn’t see it. I was bummed; I really wanted to know what it looked like. "He chose...poorly."

We had a delicious dinner in the square and finally found the churros con chocolat that we’d been looking for since we arrived in Spain. Oh boy, where they worth the wait!

The following day we went to the Oceanografic, the aquarium in the arts and sciences complex. We spent the morning being five years old again and saw beluga whales, sharks, stingrays, penguins, etc. A highlight: my first dolphin show! And spending time with the two other lovely lovely girls. And having a big glass of horchata (which, with paella, originated in Valencia).

Valencia was low-key but I rather liked it, especially the huge park space. Next and final stop: Madrid. xo

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