Spain: Valencia

City stop #2 in Spain: Valencia! Like the orange and paella.

There’s a stall at the Portobello Road market that has paella that my husband absolutely LOVES. When we lived closer to the market, he would go just for the paella and bring it back to eat. He does that now, but not as often since we live farther away. Whenever we have guests in town, we bring them there and the people there know us (well him) really well. When we were discussing where to go in Spain, we chose the obvious cities such as Barcelona and Madrid but we had time for a third. It was basically a done deal when he realised that the chicken paella he is so fond of is called “Paella Valenciana”.

Valencia is a good place to go for a couple days. I have to admit, I had a rough time when we first got there. We went the wrong direction when we exited the train station and ended up in a part of town that was hard to navigate. We ended up finding our way to the nearest metro which looked abandoned (probably because it wasn’t in the main part of town). I think it was compounded by the fact that I was extremely tired from waking up super early to catch the train from Barcelona to Valencia. In any case, we made it to our hotel without too much more delay. After grabbing a quick lunch, we headed back to our hotel to take a much needed nap.

The best way to see the city is to just walk around and explore. There is also the area called the City of Arts and Sciences or Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, that has some good sights as well as the largest aquarium in Europe. Turns out, the weekend we were there was the annual training even for Mercedes Benz salespeople. They had hundreds of Mercedes Benz’s parked for them to test drive, including new 2013 models not yet released. It was pretty neat. The weather was really cooperative while we were there so we got some nice sunshine and got to escape the cold London weather.

The central market in Valencia
The central market in Valencia
Inside L'Oceanografic (the aquarium)
Inside L’Oceanografic (the aquarium)
There's a neat tunnel to an inner viewing dome. Notice Joe almost squashing a kid :)
There’s a neat tunnel to an inner viewing dome. Notice Joe almost squashing a kid 🙂
Bird inside a domed wildlife area
Bird inside a domed wildlife area
Cute little penguin :)
Cute little penguin 🙂

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Sharks
Sharks
Inside the tunnel viewing area
Inside the tunnel viewing area
I took this because my mother loves seahorses. They were so little!
I took this because my mother loves seahorses. They were so little!
Outside of L'Umbracle
Outside of L’Umbracle

Before our train to Madrid, we stopped by the bull-fighting museum. It included being able to walk around the bull-fighting ring. I can’t say that I agree with bull-fighting, but it was an interesting experience nonetheless.

A stuffed bull. To be honest, it made me quite sad
A stuffed bull. To be honest, it made me quite sad
There were some matadors training while we were in the bull-fighting arena and I got some photos
There were some matadors training while we were in the bull-fighting arena and I got some photos

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