Birth place to Paella

Thursday, April 05, 2012
Valencia, Valencian Country, Spain and Canary Islands
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 . Everyone else is from South America or Mexico. Elena and Raul also went to Toledo, so that kind of sucked. Elena has been like a mom to me these last few days. Always talking to me and always so nice.

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 . All of it was great! It was a great way to end the day.

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. :)

Hasta manana!
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joe feliciano

the paella looks amazing.


So did you actually get to run? How was it? I'm sure the scenery was amazing. Enjoy your last day!


I did run, on the treadmill ! It felt really good. The only thing was that the sauna was off the gym room, and it was HOT. I was just drenched. But it felt good to do it. I might try to run/walk to the beach tomorrow and catch the sunrise. Better get to bed. Joe, it tasted awesome!


I "tried" running one morning in Barcelona. The only problem is that around 6 am, the drunks are just going home! haha. So I didn't like it. Comments, hisses, etc. Nasty.


How are you with the seafood in Europe? I always have trouble with the heads and eyes on fish and shrimp. I'm never sure how to eat it properly, so I never order it. It's a bummer!

3 miles only? LOL. That's a lot for me.

If you were the only English-speaking person on the tour that day, is the tour in Spanish?

Yes, you should stroll. It's one of my favorite things to do, too. You never know what you will find!

Glad you had a such a great trip!


I did ok with the seafood. Ana (tour person) still spoke in English for me. I was guaranteed to have an English-speaking guide. I think it's ok, though. I like hearing stuff in Spanish, so I can work on it, just like those who want to work on their English. :)