Saturday February 27 – Valencia, Spain.
We were well warned before we left London that Valencia can be surprisingly cold in the night, and we were surprisingly cold at night. We had to use the heater in our room to get it warm for sleeping, but we did have a good night’s sleep. It was needed after such an early start to the day.
We were up by 9:00 and it was cold in the morning too, in fact it remained cold all day and I was slightly under-prepared for the wind and ended up being quite cold all day.
El and I were disappointed that there were no egg cups* so we had toast and coffee for breakfast, keeping it light as we were planning on trying a highly recommended restaurant for a paella lunch later in the day. Eating a lot was definitely on the cards.
The house is about 5 kms from the station in Lliria, and I am pretty sure I would have no idea how to get between them if asked! It is on the edge of the town, has very few neighbours and a nice view over orchard land. It is two stories high, both floors are stand alone, and has a nice pool and garden area. Paula and Paul are doing some renovations and the contents of a new bathroom for downstairs is in the lounge. It does not ‘need’ anything doing mind! Casa de Adams from the street.
We drove into Lliria with the intention of getting the train into Valencia, but once we got to Lliria the train was only running as far as the next major town. We carried on driving to Perata so we could catch the train from there. At least parking a car in a station car park is free! It was really cold on the platform and I was very glad when the train arrived and we could get in from the cold.
I acted as a guide and we walked from the same station we used yesterday to the central market. We passed a couple of quite nice bits of street art on the way. I will do a separate street art of Valencia post at some stage, once I have had a chance to try and work out who some of the artists are.
The central market was built in 1914 and definitely shows some Moorish design, especially in the use of tiles. I was quite surprised it was not much much older. There are around 400 stall holders in the market and in the main it sells food. I saw more than a couple of people walking around shopping with glasses of wine in their hands, which seemed so civilised to me. Paula, El and I left Paul to his browsing while we went off hunting coffee and a snack.
We reconvened with Paul and headed off right across town towards the old Turia River bed park, on our walk we passed a couple of quite nice post war buildings. I really like the mix of architecture in Valencia, a very nice balance of old, older and really old.
As it is Saturday town was a lot busier than it was yesterday, and the area we passed through in the south and east seemed to be the more touristed area with the more expensive luxury brands on sale. One of us stopped for a wee shop, no names will be mentioned, but it was not me!
The old Turia River bed has been turned into a long garden path, bizarrely I cannot find out when this happened! But anyway, the park runs for a few kilometres, under bridges, around ponds and through trees. There a sports fields, cycling and running paths and all sorts of things that make this a wonderful place to walk.
The park led us to one of our destinations for the day, though sadly after the walk, and with more walking yet to do, we didn’t have time to linger. I would love to come back here for a sunset or a sunrise, as I have seen some spectacular photos of this site.
The Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias – City of Science and Art, is a magnificent, futuristic precinct of theatres and museums and looks amazing, even in the daylight. It was started in 1995 with the last building being finished in 2005. Walking past was brilliant enough but we would have loved to have had the time to explore inside as well. I loved the clouds and the light here.
We still had almost two miles to go to our lunch date at La Pepica restaurant near the beach. t was a cold and rather dull walk through some inauspicious suburban streets and we were glad when we arrived. Even better was that it was open, they had a table and if we had been ten minutes later we would have been too late, whew ! La Pepica was first opened in 1898, and in the current site in 1923. It has always served traditional Spanish food and we were there for their famous paella. We had one of the fish and one of the meat. I should have taken a photo of the massive paella pans they had there, I would guess over a metre wide.
After an excessively large lunch and a shared ‘champagne’ bottle of cider, we wobbled out for a walk along the beach front. The clouds were still really interesting and I took a few photos of them over the beach.
And this very cool sand castle, the builder creates two a year and maintains them for as long as possible – asking a small fee for a photo.
We caught a tram back from the beach to one of the train stations and then the train back out to Perata. We were all pretty knackered, we had knocked off another 10 miles walking around today and after a big lunch, we ready for an afternoon nap.
We could see the sun setting while we were on the train, but the sky went absolutely mad on the drive back to Lliria. I have rarely seen a sunset like it, virtually the whole sky was on ablaze with orange and red, it was utterly spectacular. I snapped a few photos from the car as we sped towards home.
We stopped at a local Lidl (they are everywhere) and El and I took a couple of final images as the sun finally disappeared well below the horizon.
There was no room for dinner ! but there is always room for cheese, bread and wine, so after getting a really good fire going we sat down in front of the TV, feet up and watched three episodes of series 2 of The Walking Dead… Paul is slowly indoctrinating us into the series.
The fire place has an ingenious systems of pipes in the ceiling, driven by a fan, that blows warm air into the various bedrooms. Once the fan and fire is going, the air blowing into the bedroom is really hot, and it was a nice and toasty night in bed.
Another fabulous day !
*The no egg cup reference was made because Paula and Paul are going to rent their house out in summer, and had been looking at some other rental properties. Someone had commented on one of the houses that they were disappointed there was no egg cups.