Barcelona to Valencia

Trip Start Nov 10, 2013
Trip End Nov 24, 2013

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Flag of Spain  , Valencian Country,
Sunday, November 17, 2013

The wake up call came at 7:00 instead of 7:30 so Larry set his I-Pod for 7:30. We had another good breakfast and left at 9:00.  We traveled southwest near and along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.  The sun came out and we could see Montjuic Hill and the harbor very well.  It wasn't long until we could Montserrat on the right.  As we drove we saw lots of grape vines and we are still in the Garden area of Spain.  We stopped at a gas station for a restroom and coffee break.  Raymond told us all about the Spanish Invasions over the years.  We could see the Mediterraean on our left.  We saw a large amusement park that was just bought by Six Flags called Port Aventura.  We passed lots of resorts all along the coast.  As we got closer to Valencia we started passing orange groves.

We stopped at an Auto Grill, a place to get gas and eat.  Larry and I got an order of rice with vegetables which we split.  It was like a vegetarian paella.  For dessert we split a chocolate pastry.  Larry had a Cruzcampo beer and I got a Cruzcampo Shandy.  Derek had a chicken sandwich and a Coke.  He definitely has a cold and is feeling really tired.  After lunch we headed to Valencia and got in about 2:30.  We had some free time until 4:00.  We rested in the room and I went down and paid for the optional excursions. 

At 4:00 we met our Tour Guide, Irma, for our tour of Valencia.  First we went to the new city. In 1957 the Turia River overflowed and caused a lot of damage and loss of life.  It was during the time of Franco and they decided to reroute the river around Valencia and away from the city.  That left a dry riverbed in the middle of the city.  Today it is all green space with all kinds of parks etc.  On our tour we stopped at The Arts and Science Complex where we saw L'Hemisfèric, an Imax Cinema, Planetarium, and Laserium which is meant to look like a giant eye.  The L'Umbracle is a landscaped walk with plant species indigenous to Valencia.  El Museu de les Cienties Principe Felipe— Is an interactive museum of science that resembles the skeleton of a whale. It occupies around 40,000 m² on three floors.  It is an amazing place.  We saw other sites on each side of the old river bed.  Next we went into the old city and got off the bus at the building that houses the Porcelain Museum.  The building had a lot of ornate decoration made of alabaster.  Then we walked through the old Jewish section of the city.  We turned a corner and found the Cathedral and Bishop's Palace which are connected by a bridge on the first floor. As we continued around to the front of the Cathedral we found a lovely plaza with lots of shops.  We continued our tour to some shops that change tenants every 15 days.  Shops from smaller towns come in and rent them for that short period.  Right now the theme of the shops is Antiques.  We ended up back on the square at a family owned Horchateria El Signo.  A local drink and ice cream made from the tiger nut is the main feature at the shop, in addition to coffees and hot chocolate the consistency of runny pudding.  Larry and I had Horchata drinks and they tasted really good, with a nutty flavor.  Horchata is supposed to be good for everything from high cholesterol to cancer to fertility.  After our drink we decided to walk around the square.  We stopped at the Cathedral but mass was starting so we headed back to our meeting point. 

When we got there Virginia and Rosario were asking Irma about getting a taxi back to the Hotel because they wanted to go to mass.  I told them that mass had just started in the Cathedral and that I would like to go too.  When Rosario heard that she backed out.  I think she was going so that Virginia would not have to go alone.  Irma told us where to get a taxi and we took off for the Cathedral.  By the time we got there the priest was giving a sermon.  It went on for 20 more minutes after we arrived and I think it was on the Last Judgment.  It was hard to tell in Spanish.  Virginia and I gave responses in English when we could.  We put money in the collection and went to communion.  After mass we got our taxi and arrived back at the hotel shortly after the bus.  When I got upstairs Derek was resting and Larry was on his I-pad.  I got a shower and then we all went down to supper.

They had tables set up for us.  Bev from Darwin, Australia sat across from me.  We had a great conversation.  For supper we had rolls with olive oil dip, a creamy vegetable soup,  chicken with tomato hot sauce and creamy potatoes with roasted sweet peppers and mushrooms.  For dessert we had some kind of cake with pudding and whipped cream layers.  The Hotel in Pamplona had contacted Raymond and asked him to buy us a nice bottle of wine to have with our meal.  He said his company told him the same thing.  So we will have wine with one more meal before we leave Spain.  Tomorrow night we have a meal with alcohol included.  We came upstairs where I blogged, Derek posted stuff on facebook and Larry was looking at things on the I-pad.  We all like the city of Valencia a lot.
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