Two weekends ago, I took a trip to the beautiful city of Valencia in the south east region of Spain. Being that I’ve practically lived my whole life in Southern California, I needed a little break from the big city to frolic along the beach and enjoy half naked old people (to whom gravity has not been very kind to) baking in the sun.
My trip had a rough start but what’s a mere glitch when I’m heading off to one of Spain’s most beautiful cities! I spent most of Friday on a bus to Valencia but as soon as I got to my hostel I unpacked and headed out to explore Old Valencia. One piece of information that might have been useful to me is that basically everything shuts down in the city at 9pm. But, I was not given the fortune of knowing this information and so, I took a few pictures and headed back to the hostel for some shuteye.The view of Plaza de la Reina at night.
I had a schedule planned out for the next day, but when I woke up, it was drizzling and so I changed my plans but right as I was about to step outside, the rain stopped and the sun shone bright. Too lazy to change my plans AGAIN, I headed over to the flea market in Benicalap and boy did I do some work! Everything was so cheap and I headed back to my hostel with about 3 more pounds of goods and mind you, I only brought a small backpack to carry ALL of my things -.- but on the bright side of things, I did get a nice arm workout. I headed back into the city center for lunch. Paella, a traditional Spanish rice dish apparently originated in Valencia because Valencia takes great pride in their greatest crop which of course is… rice. Surprising eh? I thought rice only grew in Asia! Anyway, Valencian paella has one very special ingredient – rabbit. Yes, you heard correctly, rabbit. If you know me at all, I will try (almost) everything at least once but I would be lying if I told you that images of cute little bunnies didn’t pop into my head while I was ordering my food. In the end, of course it was DELICIOUS and tasted like chicken.. no surprise there. The little restaurant I went to was very Spanish and had interesting wall decorations of plates?… I don’t even know, but with a glass of Valencian wine, and a plate of Valencian paella, I was content. There’s little Thumper…tasty little beast.
After my wonderful meal, all I wanted to do was curl up and take a siesta; it doesn’t help that I downed a glass of wine on an empty stomach. But, the allure of exploring the beautiful buildings in the city was too great to pass up. So, I slapped myself awake a few times and headed to the city. Needless to say, it was one of the best decisions of my life. My eyes couldn’t handle the beauty of the architecture in the city! It also didn’t hurt that the day was warm and beautiful. It definitely was reminiscent of my time in Viña del Mar in Chile because there were palm trees dotting the city alongside beautifully old buildings.I can’t remember the name of the plaza but La Catedral to your left.El Mercat Central or Mercado Central of Valencia. Unluckily for me, it was closed every time I went because it opens from 9am-2pm everyday and is closed on Sundays. The Mercado Central is supposed to be an amazing food market, so yeah, I definitely missed a glorious opportunity to pack on the belly fat.La Lonja, or the Silk Exchange in Valencia is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and represents the typical Spanish gothic architecture of its time. Strangely, it reminds me of Monty Python….Plaza de la Reina in the daytimeBeautiful street art by my hostel.Chanced upon a Valencian wedding!And a nice refreshing orxata or horchata Valencia style sans all the yummy goodness of a Mexican horchata. This one I tried because it’s a traditional Valencian drink, but personally, it tasted like pasty sugar water…. not really my thing. But it did give me a nice little refuge from the rain!
Valencia Part II coming soon!