Day 8: Valencia

day8
26 August 2014
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I woke up and worked on my MRP until I felt like I got enough done. I had snacks to keep me going. I then headed out for late lunch / early dinner around 4pm.

On my way, I stopped at a souvenir store to buy postage stamps and mail off my postcards to friends in Canada. It’s just over €3 for 4 postage stamps, and my friends are receiving them in the mail now about a month after I had sent them, haha.

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I ordered a paella Valenciana and sangria for €6.50. I’m in serious doubt of the authenticity of the paella since it was on a main and touristy road, but it didn’t seem likely anymore that I would have gotten paella at all while in Valencia with most places being closed in August. I thought the paella was alright, and the sangria was great.

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I made the mistake of sipping on a whole lot of the sangria before I got my paella. By the end of my meal, I really didn’t want to get out of my seat. The sangria, hot weather, and lack of sleep made me really want to just fall over and take a nap in the middle of the sidewalk. I managed to just sit for a while until I felt ready to get up without keeling over.

I walked over to an ‘artisnal gelato’ place in front of the Cathedral of Valencia. In addition to the usual suspects, this place offered some interesting flavours including Red Bull, gin & tonic, olive and vinegar, and tomato. The one that drew my eye was the salmon flavored gelato. The worker stared at me for a second and gave me a sample spoon first. It was great because it actually did taste like salmon, and it was awful because it actually did taste like salmon. :X The worker must have seen it coming, haha. I got a small cup of the Ferrero Rocher and donuts flavours instead.


The gelato was amazing, and this was particularly my favourite place during my travels in Portugal and Spain! It was probably for the best that I was leaving Valencia soon; I would just skip meals and camp out here for gelato all day. I enjoyed my treat on a bench in the shade of the nearby plaza/park. An old lady sat down and greeted me, and continued trying to converse with me in Spanish. Haha.

I headed back to the apartment, stopping by a supermarket for water and snacks for the bus ride tomorrow. Yay, large bottles for €0.50~ I had still been feeling a little lightheaded from the heat and sangria.

Back at the apartment, Javier talked to me about the mess and chaos to expect at La Tomatina. A previous guest they had had lost the spare key to their apartment while there. He tentatively asked me if I was enjoying Valencia (I guess because I was on my laptop MRP writing all the time) and I assured him that I was! He told me part of the extreme heat was due to the winds coming in from the Sahara. Well. :|

I headed back out around 9:30pm to make it to a flamenco dancing performance at Radio City at 11pm. It was a 20-30 minute scenic walk with art and a garden. I arrived at Radio City around 10pm.

Radio City was easy to spot since it was the only place open on that alley. Cover was €10 and included a drink. The place is pretty cozy and the area near the stage was already feeling a little cramped when I arrived. I got a gin & tonic and luckily managed to snag a lone seat in the second row.

There were four performers: two singers (one also a guitarist) and two dancers. The show started with solo flamenco dancing with the other performers clapping and stomping along to a beat. There was then some singing and guitar-playing, again along with clapping and stomping to the rhythm. Then came the flamenco dancing and I captured some video, but really the fancy footwork and sounds were so much more intense live. My heart jumped a little at each stomp!

There was a short break with a costume change before more singing and dancing.

The show was about two hours long and amazing. I didn’t linger too long there and instead found a donor kebab place in the nearby plaza.

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At the kebab place, there were three British guys arguing aggressively with each other; two wanted to go back to their room but one insisted they stay out and wouldn’t hand over the key. :/ They continued their arguing while the kebab workers patiently got the last few orders out before they would close for the night. My kebab was literally the last one they made before closing shop. And it was so delicious!

I didn’t stay out late and walked back to the apartment. I had to get ready for La Tomatina early the next day! :D

portugal&spain

Portugal: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5
Spain: Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 | Day 11 | Day 12 | Day 13 | Day 14 | Day 15 | Day 16

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