The tour group split today. Some people stayed on our double decker bus and headed to Toledo, while the rest of us came to Valencia (on a smaller bus). The bus was completely full and a guy who looked like Fabio in front of me had to recline his seat all the way back the whole time. My face was probably 6-7 inches from his seat. I usually don't get claustrophobic, but I couldn't stretch my legs and I just felt very closed in. And the ride from Granada to Valencia was a good five hours. The only thing that saved me were the breaks and the scenery (beautiful). Luckily I also fell asleep for a bit.
I was the ONLY English speaker on the bus today
Ok, enough whining. :) We arrived in Valencia around 4:30 and got settled in at our hotel, Tryp Oceanic, which is very nice. Valencia is Spain's third largest city, after Madrid and Barcelona, and it sits on the coast. I opted out of the Valencia city tour and decided to take a walk toward the port and the site of the 2007 America's Cup. Because this place has a "mini gym" (see pics), I decided to run on the treadmill. I only went about 3 miles, but it felt great. After my run, I got ready and headed out Restaurant Tapelia, recommended by a hotel staff person. They are supposed to have decent paella (founded here). The restaurant was adorable. Very modern and white tablecloths and black chairs and simple decor and candles. I had olives, bread, a glass of red wine and the seafood paella
Tomorrow we head to Barcelona, where my "tour" will end. I'm not sure what I'm going to do for my last night here. Maybe just stroll? That seems to be one of my favorite activities. I might take a run/walk toward the beach, as we actually do not leave until 10 am (whoo hoo!!).
I'm starting to miss home a bit, as wonderful as everything has been. Yesterday I talked to a couple from Baltimore who happened to be at my cafe. Other than that, I have not run into many folks from the US. Some of the Argentinians were singing songs/anthems on the bus. I was tempted to break out into a stirring rendition of the "Beer Barrel Polka" but decided against it. :)
Birth place to Paella
Thursday, April 05, 2012
Valencia, Valencian Country, Spain and Canary Islands