Mold, Processions, and Tow Trucks
Trip Start Apr 25, 2007
17Trip End Oct 03, 2007
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That was until we opened the door
The next day we returned the key and hastily drove straight to Valencia. Thinking we would have no problem finding an apartment to stay in (what is wrong with us???), we drove straight to our favorite lunch spot in Valencia, a paella counter in a booth on the edge of the central market. It was closed. In fact, all the outdoor booths were closed and empty, hopefully for renovation and not for any other reasons. Incredibly disappointed, we parked the car on the street in front of the market which we noticed was getting ready for some sort of parade or procession. When I asked some locals how long they thought we could park the car there, they told us confidently, "At least two hours!" An hour later, after wandering our favorite neighborhood, asking at all the hostels we knew and calling the owner of the apartment we had stayed in two years prior, we still had no place to stay
Glad we had saved our little Peugeot from a horrible fate, we parked it on a quiet side street where no harm could come to it and went again to an internet place, where we booked a hotel for 60 euros. This was the Hotel Venecia, right in the center of Valencia, on the Plaza Ayuntamiento. Newly renovated, we had a small but nice room, with a bathtub and an incredible view from our balcony over the whole square. We were happy, even if it wasn't an apartment and we couldn't cook. Curious what all the hubub was about, we went down to the streets now lined with people and joined in.
The first thing we noticed was that everyone was incredibly somber. Not what we were used to from when we were in Valencia before, when every other day seemed to be a reason for fireworks, rockets, and general mayhem and celebration. This crowd was considerably older, very well dressed, and serious. When I asked what it was, someone said, "Corpus", with an all knowing nod of the head. Not being religious I asked Dan, who was technically Episcopalian, but as usual, any question I throw at him concerning religion got me an eye roll and a "How should I know?"
The next morning we decided to head to the America's Cup port to see if I could find anyone I knew from my time in New Zealand, and......the car was gone from its safe little parking spot! *&^%)*$! This car was bad luck! 140 euros and a cab ride later we had retrieved the Peugeot from the tow lot and were depressed beyond belief. Nevertheless, we wandered around the port and I left notes for some of my friends, one of whom we eventually saw and had coffee with the next morning. Unfortunately, upon leaving the parking garage after having coffee, yes, you guessed it, we crashed the side of the car into a parking garage barrier........! We spent the afternoon in silence at the beach, vowing to never go near this car again. What happened to little Verdita, our first rental car that served us so well??!!
That night we strolled around Barrio Carmen, the area of the old town with restaurants, bars, and night clubs. We ended up at an "upscale" restaurant where the waiters cleared our plates before we were finished and the food was just ok. Strolling back to the hotel we decided that even though our time in Valencia had been a bit of a disaster, we still loved the city and wanted to come back again someday. Tomorrow we were on our way to Peniscola, the town of Papa Luna.