( Recipe in the next post )
I am just back from Spain , from a balmy plus 21 degrees C to a freezing minus 21 C, less one suitcase and severe jet lagged. Waking up at weird hours has its advantages too, wouldn’t you agree? How else could I sort out the hundreds of pictures that I took, or draft my blog?
I cannot decide was it the warm Mediterranean climate or the warm people, fresh fruits and vegetables or the shot of Espresso that makes me wanting to move there. Or was it the laid back lifestyle and the Sangria? I can’t make up my mind.. One thing is sure though, Spain is calling my name.
It was family time well spent. The day started with Desayonos, or short breakfast.
An espresso with a toast. The choice for the topping could either be butter and jam or tomato puree and fresh olive oil. Later in the morning came Almuerzo, the big breakfast.
Coffee to go, you say? No. No por favor. No please. Life can never be so busy that a coffee cannot be enjoyed sitting down. Comida or lunch was followed by a siesta where all the shops close down. Cena or supper is a late affair. Tapas can be after lunch, while deciding on supper.
Don’t you just love the food time table?
Where do I even start the story of oranges. You see, growing up in India I am used to seeing mango trees, guavas hanging from trees or banana blossom with bunches of fruit attached. After I moved to the west my eyes popped to see apples hanging from trees.
But oranges? I had never seen them on trees. Ever.
Imagine my excitement when I saw rows and rows of fruiting orange trees on either side of pretty much all roads. There were some scattered on the ground too!
Just like that..
The visit to Mercado Central was high on my list. Situated in the old part of town, merchandise has changed hands continually since Roman times.
. The great exterior leads to a fantastic interior. A real treat to the eyes.
From fresh vegetables and fruits, all locally grown, to Paella pans, Jamons, Horchata, Fish and seafood, ceramic dishes, olive oil, candied oranges, almonds, figs, and other fruits, you have it all. Be there early, the market closes early afternoon.
Needless to say I felt like a kid in a candy store.
The Playa de la Reina housed the beautiful cathedral, flanked by souvenir stores and cafes.
We watched the day go by over a cup of molten chocolate and crispy churros in ‘Cafe Valor’. Oh what a treat that was!
Torres de Serranos is a gate that formed part of the ancient wall around the city.Torres de Quart, are twin gothic style towers also built as part of a wall around the city. It bears scars of canons from when the city was under seige by the french.
If only the walls could speak, I wondered…
Museo Nacional de Ceramica, the Porcelain Museum although closed, had an exquisite entrance.
I ran my fingers on the carved marble and marvelled at the magnificient carvings.
Playa de Virgen, is home to the Valencia Cathedral. Built in Gothic and Baroque style, with Corinthian pillars to boost, what a treat to the eyes that was.
We had a day by the beach. Not exactly a day for beach but we made it anyways.
The Mediterranean sea, so vital for the life of this city. Traders, conquerers, visitors made way to the city built in the first century BC.
Paella tasting was a must. Patatas bravas or fried potatoes was a comfort food that we enjoyed with a side of garlic heavy aioli. Sangria can be enjoyed any time.
Plaza de Toros, is a Colosseum looking building used for bull fighting. I was happy clicking pictures, only from outside.
Are you tired of Gothic architecture? Let me take you to Ciudad de les artes y las ciencias, City of the arts and science.
Housing the Aquarium, performing arts building, Science museum this was a super modern architecture.
With no snow around, the nativity scenes and cute, climbing Santas reminded us, that it was in fact Christmas season.
The only regret I had was I did not get as many sunny days. My pictures did not turn out as I wanted them to even after a little bit of help from Lightroom. Oh well, now I have to plan a trip in summer…
This was not my first trip to Spain. You can read about my first trip here.
I really hope this is not my last trip either.
A very happy new year to all of you from this beautiful city of Valencia in Spain. The land of Picasso, Paella, Ponchos and so much more.
Feliz Ano… As they say in Spain.