21 November 2007

Hasta Luego Valencia

Without further ado, the end of our travels to Valencia. The city had been really scrubbed in anticipation of Americas Cup, which breezed through the city a few months before we did. You could really see the effort they had taken and it was appreciated. The downtown was so tidy you could almost eat off the sidewalk. You certainly could eat on the sidewalk at all the outdoor cafes!! The sidewalks in the commercial center were made of marble, really lovely but cruel on slippery soled heels!! I can only imagine the horror that is a rain shower there.(Sturdy soled shoes essential next time....)
This amazing ceiling is located in the central post office, which is located on the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, right across the street from the building pictured above. This post office was filled with amazing lighting, carved wooden doors and beautiful marble floors. It would not seem strange to hold a wedding reception there...really! I cannot imagine a post office worker there 'going postal', it is such a serene atmosphere.
Thses crayon colored buildings were just across from the Mercado Central. They housed toy shops, restaurants and cafes. As you can see many of the buildings have lovely wrought iron balconies. What you cannot see is the intricate tilework below the balconies, very old and decrepit but amazing. Things are so spartan now that no one takes the time to decorate what is seen, mich less what is not usually seen. After gazing up Cindy and I entered the Mercado.
(Vegetarians, please turn away!!) This is a shot of one of the many butchers in the market. This covered market was constructed in 1928 and, if empty of shopkeepers, would resemble an old train station, the ceiling arched and ornate. Row upon row of butcher, fruiterer, cheeseseller, etc. We ate lunch with the food we purchased here, it was amazing. It does close at 1430 so make sure you hit it early enough in the day!!!

We loaded up on fruit, cheese and bread for our evening train journey to Granada. The grapes were the size of your thumb and burst with flavor ( and seeds).

We contemplated buying a paella pan, as the local specialty was so amazing, If anyone knows, why can you order it in increments of 2?? The pans lines up made us want to buy one until we remembered our small Euro stove tops could not accomodate these pans. our paella eating would be confined to reataurants.

The hotel kindly let us check out late ( gracias!!) but we still had an evening to kill before our train at 2am... Luckily for us there was a music festival being held in the Plaza de la Virgen that night, and it was free! Our 'seats' were the sidewalk, so the Lonely Planet book made a dandy buffer between the white of my pants and the ground. Music and dancing from Cuba, Senegal, Argentina, France and many other countries was amazing. it is always a treat to stumble upon things like this. It filled the time and entertained us until out train was due to leave.

We made our way to the train station and boarded our train. Cindy was unable to print the tickets but had a reservation number and seat numbers. The train operator, RENFE assured us that was no problem. When we got on we could not locate our bunks. That is because our tickets were for the night before........Seriously. I envisoned a night sitting on our bags ( at least I had a good paperback). Luckily they found us a berth for 2 , after we bought more tickets. It is not a coincidence Cindy and I call our travels 'Stupid Girl Tour'. This was her stupid but I certainly have had my share!! After the back and forth of buying new tickets, we were on our way to Granada...

1 comment:

laradunston said...

Valencia is one of my all-time favourite places - love the eating and drinking. And that's a great use of a Lonely Planet guide! ;)