Valencia has a Vibe!


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Europe » Spain » Valencian Community » Valencia
September 27th 2021
Published: September 30th 2021
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When we got off the train in Valencia, Spain we received a very warm and familiar hug from the humidity. It felt great as one of our days in Segovia was a bit cool. Even though we know fall is knocking on the door we are not ready for these temps just yet. Our first train ride in Spain went off without a hitch, due to the fact that we've learned over the years to arrive early to avoid any missteps.

We don't have well developed public transportation in the U.S. so when many of us escape to travel we are excited to learn trains, subways, buses or how to drive on the other side of the road. Since we lived in Washington D.C. for a while and have visited NYC we have some past experience before we started traveling the world. We remember on our first trip to Italy we had our train tickets and were standing on the proper platform when someone noticed we were Americans and asked if we had activated our tickets. It was a mad scramble for Dave to run down the staircase across two tracks to validate and get back as I was getting
The City of Arts and SciencesThe City of Arts and SciencesThe City of Arts and Sciences

Amazing architecture… great view from the rooftop bar across the street.
the backpacks lined up to sling on the train. Our hearts were pounding but we made it. We haven't traveled to Europe in a few years and never in Spain so we were uncertain how different the train system would be. All around the world they are basically the same but one or two nuisances can really mess things up.

We decided to get to the Segovia train station an hour before our departure to Valencia so we had time to watch the process and ask questions. We were glad we did because as soon as we arrived there was a torrential downpour and this allowed us to stay dry. Dave and the nice lady at the counter had a conversation in international sign language until she called over one of her co-workers who spoke some English. Dave was ready to use our Google translator. We were worried because the destination on the reader board did not match what we thought it should say. After a careful explanation and her calm demeanor we understood what she was talking about so we sat down and trusted the process. Fortunately, we were able to watch a couple of trains come and go which helped with our confidence. It is a tiny bit stressful as the adrenaline pumps while we figure out all the logistics. We like the feeling of uncertainty as long as it does not last too long. It makes you feel worldly when you can conquer a new rail system without incident. We had a lovely ride to Valencia.

We found that Valencia is a lovely mix of modern architecture and the old. Historically this city has survived the Roman, Muslin and Christian dominated periods. During the Chrisitan era many of the older styles were torn down, covered or remodeled. We are told other cities in Spain have a wider variety but we found enough here to hold our interest for a few days. When walking in Valencia don't look at your phone or GPS as the streets are uneven and it is easy to do a face plant due to major construction! We found things sticking up out of the ground on what were the sidewalks that were not roped off and ramps in unexpected locations.... hazards abound. Many of the roads have lots of construction going on which leads one to believe they are in good
Nothing better than fresh veggiesNothing better than fresh veggiesNothing better than fresh veggies

Central Market Valencia
financial shape. In a year or two, depending on progress, this will look absolutely lovely. You are likely to see a bit of this in our photos although we did our best to crop the barriers out. Our AirBnb is in an excellent location in Valencia with easy walking to most areas of the city.

We've read that Valencia is a foodie town and birthplace of paella. We were gravely disappointed that the paella cooking class that we signed up for was cancelled due to lack of interest. The tapas and wine tasting tour we signed up for was still a go and what a treat. It was a small intimate group with seven of us. 3 from the UK, 2 from Belgium and us. Our group had great chemistry. As a matter of a fact at the end of the 4 hours we were still enjoying each other's company so we jumped in a cab and headed to the Barcelo Valencia for a rooftop drink overlooking the City of Arts and Sciences. What an amazing piece of architecture. Bogi was our guide for the tapas and wine tasting did a marvelous job. The first hour or more we
Stunning architectureStunning architectureStunning architecture

The market in Valencia, Spain
were touring the old town where we learned more about Gothic architecture. We went into a few amazing churches, heard the history of the city over the ages and had time to take many photos as we listened intently to her stories. We arrived at a private patio venue where we were seated in the garden. A series of wines came our way. One champagne type,followed by 3 white wines. As each wine arrived, so did tapas. Slowly over the afternoon we consumed 10 different tapas, 7 in the garden and 3 at the dining table.. On arrival of each wine and tapas Bogi served as a sommelier and described each wine in detail. In addition, we learned the ingredients of these delicious tapas that kept appearing. Our photography skills may have faltered with the addition of wines. LOL. At some point in the afternoon we were moved to a dining table where we enjoyed the remaining tapas with red wine.Yum. The red wine was a big hit. We asked for the chef to come out and take a bow. She did as she served us some port. All in all a fantastic experience.

Anthony Bourdain said, a seduction
Central MarketCentral MarketCentral Market

We are told it is the largest in Europe.
of the senses is to taste and with that in mind we are truly enjoying Valencia.

We enjoyed wandering aimlessly one day, taking photos, sitting in cafes enjoying a beverage and watching people. We had two goals for the day. The first was to head to Cafe de la Horas and have the Aqua de la Valencia that had been recommended to us and secondly we wanted to enjoy the paellla that Valencia is famous for. The traditional paella is made with chicken, rabbit and snails. Being near the ocean Valencia offers a lot of seafood paella but we were in search of the original. What we've learned since our arrival here is that many restaurants would like 24 hour notice if you are having paella. No it doesn't take that long to make it but it is a slow cooked meal and they need planning. The travel gods were watching over us once again. While we were enjoying (really enjoying) our Aqua de la Valencia we befriended an English speaking waitress. We were so impressed with her English that we asked her if she was from the United States. She was so pleased that we had mistaken her
Baby SquidBaby SquidBaby Squid

La Riua Restaurant, Valencia.
for American.... that she beamed. We explained we wanted to go that afternoon and enjoy a traditional paella on short notice. We'd been given the names of two places to go from multiple people but these locations were about 20 minutes from town. We thought.... certainly we can find a good one in the old city.... plus we had the feeling that the other locations were places everyone sent the tourists. Fortunately, one of her friends lives in the old town and speaks very highly of La Ruia so off we went. What a find! Not an American to be found. This was a place all the locals were going after church. The meal was indescribable. Just what we had hoped for! We enjoyed every morsale. We had the baby squid for appetizer and the chicken and rabbit paella for our meal with a lovely Spanish wine. Life is pretty darn good. The photos don't do this food justice but this meal was worth a trip to Valencia.

Most places around the world are proud of their market places and Valencia is no different. We are told this one is the largest in Europe and we cannot argue with it. This place is grand. The Pike's Place market in Seattle cannot begin to compete.

One neighborhood in Valencia is well known for its street art. We find these artists are often creative and very good at their craft. There were two pieces of art I had hoped to see but in all our wandering we never found them. We have included a couple of photos of the ones we did enjoy.

Valencia has an amazing array of architecture and you'll find yourself enjoying the cathedral, the basilica, the City of Arts and Sciences, the Palace of Marquis Dos Quas and Lonja de la Seda which is an Unesco site.

Where we stayed: air bnb

Restaurants to recommend: La Riua

Grasso Napoletano


Additional photos below
Photos: 56, Displayed: 28


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MJ is happyMJ is happy
MJ is happy

Dave is funny.
Never enough olivesNever enough olives
Never enough olives

In our opinion
Calamari Calamari
Calamari

Refreshing with a beer
PoliciaPolicia
Policia

Wondering if those horses can jump those barriers?
Sampling the Agua de la ValenciaSampling the Agua de la Valencia
Sampling the Agua de la Valencia

It taste like orange juice. Dangerous.


30th September 2021

Sounds like a great trip.
Tapas, wine, art, architecture. A winning combination.
30th September 2021

Sounds like a great trip
You may want to consider popping over to Spain. It seems to be going well here. There are crowds but it is not crowded yet. We are taking advantage of this opportunity. Thank you for commenting!
30th September 2021

Yum
Looks like a great time! Isn't tapas just the best way to do a wine tasting? Like, who wants to fill up on a big hearty meal while you're sampling a variety of wines? Much better to enjoy a bunch of different little tasty dishes while you sip. I really miss that. The Spanish know what they're doing.
30th September 2021

Yum
We appreciate you reading and your comments. Indeed the Spanish have solved an issue. The tapas are a delightful treat. They do know what they are doing.
1st October 2021

Valencia
Wow great architecture and all the food pictures made my mouth water! Thanks for sharing. Take care. Be safe. 👋 MM
1st October 2021

Valencia
So great hearing from you. Valencia is full of great flavors. We are enjoying our first trip to Spain.
1st October 2021

Popping over to Spain.
That's always a good idea. We popped over to Majorca for 4 nights a few weeks back. We're currently in Greece (Parga for the second time). I want to go to Italy as I've learnt some of the language. I'm desperate to practise it.
1st October 2021

Popping over to Spain
Sounds like you are doing some great exploring. Have fun!
1st October 2021

I would love Valencia - But I would have bought some street art.
So great narration. It really looks like a terrific place to wander. Paella is a fav dish of mine and , although, the protein selection was "unusual" for me, I would not have passed on that dish. And if you sent me to an area with street art, I would have been describing what I had to do to ship my purchases home ! Keep wine'ing and keep blogging. Glad you are having such a good adventure. Dennis.
1st October 2021

Wall Art
Well....you would have to chip away at bricks or buy a pull-down security door in order to buy the wall art as it is done on those mediums. Kind of a fun mental image, though. We believe you and Dan would like Spain and Valencia in particular. Like we said....it has a vibe!
1st October 2021

Another beautiful Spanish city.
So glad you are enjoying all Spain to offer. I haven’t made it yet to Valencia but I’m sure to get there one day. I’ll keep the recommended paella restaurant in mind, good to have really authentic food. Enjoyed reading all about it.
1st October 2021

Another beautiful Spanish City
Spain is lovely. Add a trip to Valencia to your list next time you are in the area. Don't miss that paella.... it was awesome!
2nd October 2021

Enjoy Valencia!
I am glad you took my favourite transport - a train! To me, it's very nostalgic - the clickety clack track sound, the rhythmic motion of the car and the whole 9 yards... I can see you both are foodies! It's fun to watch Dave playing his tricks on the cooking pan! Have fun.
3rd October 2021

Enjoy Valencia
Tab, so great to hear from you. Thank you for commenting. We love the train rides also and will do several of them on this trip. We are foodies in a dangerous land... LOL.... many taste treats to sample. Oh and the paella was delightful.
3rd October 2021

Delightful!
Looks like your senses have had a rich bounty and your company has been good. Enjoyed the blog and photos!
3rd October 2021

Delightful
Spain has a lot to offer and we are thrilled to experience it. Thank you for commenting. It is always nice knowing someone is out there. LOL.
4th October 2021

love your update
I love learning about Spain through your pictures and descriptions. I find it a good reminder to all of us that even though you both have had MUCH experience coordinating transportation in other countries you still need to get there early and doublecheck everything. And hope US will catch up sometime with our public transportation.
4th October 2021

Catching up
The U.S. will never catch up to these other countries in public transportation. If they do I’ll be long gone by then. All the systems are basically the same but just different enough to mess with your confidence. Yes, we prefer to get there a bit early the first time in each country. Spain has a lot to offer.
5th October 2021

Old and New
Glad you enjoyed the vibe in Valencia. Calatrava surely impresses with his 21st century architecture -- a "break" from the lovely old part of the city. Traveling with you, MJ and Dave. Wish I was eating with you too!
5th October 2021

Old and New
We really liked Valencia. Lots of contrast in this city to keep it interesting and alive. Oh... and the taste treats!
9th October 2021

Paella
Awesome you visited Valencia, I've heard good things but never been myself. I also didn't know that Paella originated here and included Chicken, Rabbit and Snails, as to my knowledge seafood paella is most famous and popular. I make a great Prawn and Chorizo Paella myself 😋
10th October 2021

Paella
We are learning a lot about paella on this trip. The key is getting the bottom layer crispy. Post photos the next time you make it.
9th October 2021
Save the Baby

Save the Baby
Sometimes there is an image or a song that reminds one of a time and place. I wonder if this image will endure in your consciousness not only of Valencia but the plight of the refugee or the displaced. Extraordinary image!
10th October 2021
Save the Baby

Save the Baby
You are correct that some images stay with you a long time. A message delivered on the walls of Valencia. It was a stunning image.
9th October 2021

Winging it
"We enjoyed wandering aimlessly one day, taking photos, sitting in cafes enjoying a beverage and watching people." That's the joy of travel for us also. Takes planning to see the sights but also making time to smell the flowers and watch the World go by.
10th October 2021

Winging it
Watching the world go by gives a glimpse into the culture and never more so than on this trip because of the few travelers. We are able to clearly see the locals in their every day world. Thanks for following along.

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