Valencia apartment

Trip Start Jul 14, 2011
Trip End Aug 15, 2011

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Where I stayed
Apartment of Olga and Vicente

Flag of Spain  , Valencia,
Monday, July 18, 2011

Arrived in Valencia in the heat of the day.  It was 99 degrees and humid!  I stepped out of the train station and felt the heat immediately.  I couldn't see where the metro stop was, so I went back into the train station and asked a very friendly young woman in a clothing store for directions.  She was really helpful and was able to tell me exactly where to go (I'm so glad I speak Spanish!).  The metro was about 2 blocks away, but included a couple of turns, so I wouldn't have found it without directions.  

The metro was quick and easy, but I got a bit twisted when I came out of the metro.  I had a map, but I ended up walking a couple of blocks the wrong way (not much fun in the heat with my luggage on my back).  I asked mother and daughter if I was going the right way, and they told me to turn around.  So glad I asked!  Once I got myself oriented properly, I found the apartment building easily.  The only problem was that it was a bit of a walk and terribly hot out.  When I got to the building there was a concierge downstairs.  He helped me figure out which apartment I needed to buzz.  Vicente (the husband) answered my buzz right away and told me to come on up.  He greeted me at the door with the traditional Spanish kiss (one on each cheek).  He looked at me and said I probably wanted a shower because I was so sweaty!  He showed me to my room and to my bathroom (yes, I have my own bathroom!), and told me that we would eat after my shower.  Oh, he also introduced me to the cat -- Tomás.  Tomás is quite the character.  I will have to describe him later in more detail.

The apartment is lovely and so is my room.  There are 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, a study, a kitchen and a big dining room/living room.  We are up on the 8th floor and there are huge windows all over the place that open up to let in the air.  There are also two balconies -- one goes right off my room. During the heat of the day there is a small air conditioner in the living room (that was nice!)  so the windows are shut.

 Vicente and Olga are really friendly.  He is 66 years old and semi-retired and has been explaining to me all the benefits that people over 65 get in Spain.  (Truly amazing!)  Olga, his wife, is only 59 and so still works full-time.  Olga is from Argentina, but Vicente is from Valencia.  They are used to having students stay with them; they have been doing it for years.  So they are really prepared.  They have everything I could possibly want, including a plug adapter for my computer and even a cell phone I can use!  They are fantastic.

I am sitting out on the balcony now enjoying the lovely evening air.  Feels so good after the heat of the day.  After my shower, Vicente and I had a wonderful Valencian meal of paella.  Yum!  We chatted for a while and then I went to my room to rest a bit.  I was going to read for a bit, but ended up falling asleep.  I slept for quite a while which is why I am wide awake now on the balcony at 12:30 at night.  When I woke up Vicente said we should eat dinner, so we had another delicious meal that Olga had prepared earlier (an Argentinian tarte).  Then we chatted and watched tv together (mostly soccer, but also a sitcom) until Olga came home.  Olga joined us in the living room and we all talked a bit and then watched another sitcom.  Olga and Vicente have gone to bed now, but I really wanted to enjoy sitting on the balcony for a bit.  

Tomorrow I don't have to be at the university until 5:00 pm, so I will have time to get my bearings.  Olga said it is a 10 minute walk from here and that she will accompany me the first time so that I will know where to go.

And now it is time for bed.

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