Trip to Valencia- Horchata and Paella

February 7, 2011

Two weekends ago we took a bus trip to Valencia, the third largest city in Spain and the (currently) most important port-town. We stayed at a B&B and our room was located in a separate building from the main one. (this marks the start of our experimentation with cheaper accommodations) The room was a bit chilly and we had to share three bathrooms with 5 rooms, but, overall, it was quite comfortable. The “breakfast” part of the B&B was delicious and free. The only real problem with the setup was that we got lost trying to find the random apartment building after a day out on the town. We tried the key in at least 5 doors before we realized we were on the wrong street.

The outskirts of Valencia were a bit dodgy but the historic city center was charming. We went to the city of arts and science, which is a massive area with about 5 museums. It was like a modern, sci-fi version of museum campus in Chicago. We got a day pass so we could pop from building to building. We spent so much time in the aquarium that we only managed to see the science museum before the place closed. The next day we went to a cathedral (again, we have seen about a million). This cathedral was very special though. It had the holy grail… yes! the holy grail.  It didn’t look like it was protected all that well so I wondered why someone hasn’t stollen it. The cathedral also had the arm of Saint Vincent. His arm was withered within a glass box and went from fingertip to elbow. He had some rings on his fingers. It was sort of creepy.

Our favorite part of Valencia was the paella and horchata. Horchata is a traditional drink that sort of tasted like liquid cookie dough. It was great. On the way back to Madrid there was a snowstorm. I was nervous because I was sitting, without Sean, in the front seat. I didn’t know if Spaniards knew how to drive in the snow since it doesn’t happen all that often, unless you are in the north. One of my students told me it is like cars “waltz” on the road when there is snow. The front window was fogged up except for a 6×3 inch space the driver could peak out of. I was sweating, trying to create a sentence in Spanish like “can I wipe the window for you???”. Luckily, the snow occurred at the halfway mark of the trip and the driver eventually pulled over for a break. Phew!  We give Valencia 4/5 stars. -b

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