Hey! Look- I’m here! I pretty much disappeared for the last couple of weeks because I have been out and about and running around. I’m not really sure where the time has gone, but I have been spending a lot of time getting paperwork done (Spain and their visa process aint no joke), food shopping & prepping for my epic birthday party last weekend, spending time with L who is abandoning me in T-minus 6 days (not really abandoning….just leaving me hah….kidding….), teaching a few private lessons here and there, anddddddd I went to Valencia a couple weekends ago! So I’ve been busy, to say the least.
L and I wanted to do one last trip before the year kicked into high gear, but we agreed that it needed to be close and short and not too ambitious, since we only had a few free days. He suggested Valencia, I googled it, we bought tickets….
…and the rest is history.
We went from early Friday morning (via Renfe) until Sunday afternoon. Short and sweet. The first day, we found our AirBnb, which was one of those hotel-like AirBnbs, which has it’s pros and cons (always clean, relatively easy to check in…and cons: doesn’t have basic cooking things like oil, doesn’t have coffee (but has a coffee pot), doesn’t have toiletries you might have forgotten). Then we went out and explored! Valencia is small, but incredibly beautiful with it’s winding, small streets, cafes, bars, restaurants, and history.
**These photos are all blurry because I didn’t realize the camera was in Manual Focus #bloggerFAIL
“stop taking pictures”
These trees were massive! They were from Australia (but probably had the graffiti put on them later. Bad bad…)
Ok maybe we didn’t realize the manual/ automatic thing until much later in the day. FAIL!!!!
Balcony goals ^^^^
After all that walking, we were ready for lunch. It was already after 4:00 pm and while lunch here is much later than in the States, 4:00 is still pushing it. We headed to El Mercado Central (lots of restaurants and bars in one hall) in search of some foood.
These “swimming pools” are actually “La Ciudad de Las Artes y Las Ciencias” (the city of the arts and sciences), a huge, state-of-the-art complex dedicated to art and science. It was an amazing building and grounds, as you can see.
But then- success
What a venue, right?!
He liked it 😉
Speaking of dinner, it was AMAZING (caps are so necessary). Valencia is known for their paella (ie Paella Valenciana) and not only had I never had paella in Valencia, but I had never had paella in general. “Isn’t it just arroz con pollo?” No. No no no no no.
The picture looks bad because the lighting was not very good, but it was so good. The rice is chewier thanks to the shallow depth of the pan and the entire thing had such good flavor. We traveled quite far to have this, but TripAdvisor says it’s the #1 place and it was! In Spain, paella would typically be eaten as the mid-day meal, but we didn’t want to have to leave the beach the next day to go have paella, so late paella eating was going to happen. We ordered paella Valenciana, which traditionally has chicken, but this one also had rabbit, peas, and SNAILS (if you agree to having them). We agreed, as you can see. I ate one! I am good on the snail front for the next 75 years of my life, I think (they still had antennas!!!)
Before the paella, we started with a tuna and avocado appetizer since the waiter told us the paella would take 45 minutes (um, lie).
But the appetizer was good (albeit fishy) and held us over before that monstrous dish of paella arrived. We also had a bottle of wine to wash it all down.