While I could not make the lake, Spain was a nice alternative

muertemaria's picture

Since I could not make the lake, I decided I still needed that time off. This past weekend was the first vacation I have had since I moved here so while it was not long enough, it was really nice to be off for a few days. So I went to Valencia Spain. Which is on the coast so I got some beach and it is sunny there 300 days a year so I got some heat and some sun. Highlights of my trip:

curving streetsI stayed at the lovely Petit Palace Bristol which was right in the middle of the old town. Valencia while on the beach, the beach is sort of on the outskirts of the town, the middle of the town is not really that close to the beach. So thursday when I got there I needed to get my bearings and of course the map was totally not to scale since the middle of the city within the old walls is like a mile wide. For the first day I thought I was going to have to walk miles and it ended up that things were around the corner.

First thing around the corner was the Plaza de la Reina where I was reminded again that I love Spain and that I love the buildings and the food and the temperature and that this plaza reminded me of the Egoiste commerical from the 90s. I stopped to have lunch which of course was serrano ham and manchego cheese. I love that my favorite sandwich is just everywhere here.

Holy grailNext stop - The Cathedral. I like visiting these old chruches here. They are so crazy ornate. This one had multiple Goyas and also what they claim is the actual holy grail. They also have amazing painted ceilings and like a lot of churches in europe a sanctuary where there are bones of some saint. This one had both a skull and an arm. I listened to the audio tour so I don't remember who it is. You have to give the catholic church a little props for being a patron of the arts to make these crazy places, they are just beautiful. On the bad part, the church was built on top of the original mosque that was here when the moors were defeated.

The CathedralSo no restaurants open until 9pm for dinner here, so I went back to the hotel and took a siesta until dinner. Where I went to seu-xerea which was amazing. I had the tasting menu with wine which included scallops, filet, amazing wine, it was just great. It was also 3 hours long so I left at midnight and wandered slowly back to the hotel all full and feeling great.

Friday - Whirlwind tour of the city. Went to the central market which is huge and I was considering buying a huge leg of pork to take with me but didn't think it would fit in my bag. Instead I just bought some peaches to eat through the day, but I did wander around for quite a while. They have a whole fish section which was fun to wander through as well as the many olive vendors.

ceiling of La LonjaNext La Lonja which is a 15th century gothic building that was the early commodity exchage for the city. Now it is just for tourists,but it is a world heritage site and it is just a beautiful building. Lots of gargoyles, bats, carving, the ceiling is just amazing to see. Onto the modern art museum and then wandered slowly back to the hotel for siesta time before dinner. There were also breaks throughout the day to sit at cafes and read books and drink coffee.

Saturday - I went to the beach, it was huge and soft sand and for 7 euros you got a lounge chair and an umbrella. While I had only planned to stay for a little while since I can't be in the sun. I stayed all day. It was amazing. Also 100 degrees but that just meant you had to go into the water every once in a while.

Last day - I went to the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias which is like nothing I have ever seen they are these crazy looking buildings out of the future. What are in them is a theatre and science museum and the aquarium. I only had time for the aquarium. Which was great. I like aquariums. One of the Beluga whales was really cute and kept blowing air bubble rings which was so cute. It was so hot I couldn't take any pictures so here is the site so you can see what it looks like. It really looks like nothing else - well maybe what I think a spaceship might look like. Actually part of it does look like a cylon ship from battlestar gallactica.

GraffitiLovely Olives and wineOther things:

  • I finished three books, The Road by Cormac McCarthy which was amazing and I totally suggest. I know I didn't like No country for Old men, but this one was crazy good, weird, demented, horrifying. I suggest everyone reads it.
  • The Pirate's Daughter by M Cezair-Thompsonwhich I read in 2 days mostly at the beach, but it was a good summer read if you are looking for something.
  • Imagined London by Anna Quindlenwhich was fun to read about London and know where she is talking about. my neighborhood, not mentioned really though.
  • Valencia is like Barcelona where they have their own language that is close to spanish but it isn't.
  • Another thing like Barcelona is that there is great graffiti. It was lovely and I hope they don't paint over lots of it. Good stuff I was impressed.
  • I decided I really like rounded curvy buildings. And curving random streets, it is fun to get lost.
  • Olives are AMAZING here. Like no where else.
  • I didn't have Pallea but I did have Fideua Negro which are macoroni noodles in a pan with squid ink and squid. It was really good.
  • All pictures here



sounds amazing!

send ham!