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9 January, 2016

Valencia, Espana.

Comments : 8 Posted in : Travel on by : Ratna

 

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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.

untitled-71  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?

Oranges, Oranges…

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.

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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..

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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.

untitled-10untitled-11. The  great  exterior  leads  to  a  fantastic  interior.  A  real  treat  to  the  eyes.

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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.

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Needless  to  say  I  felt  like  a  kid  in  a  candy  store.

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The  Playa  de  la  Reina  housed  the  beautiful  cathedral,  flanked  by  souvenir  stores  and  cafes.

untitled-56We  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.untitled-26Torres  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…

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Museo  Nacional  de  Ceramica,  the  Porcelain  Museum  although  closed,  had  an  exquisite  entrance.

untitled-84I  ran  my  fingers  on  the  carved  marble  and  marvelled  at  the  magnificient  carvings.

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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.

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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.

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Plaza  de  Toros,  is  a  Colosseum  looking  building  used  for  bull  fighting.  I  was  happy  clicking  pictures,  only  from  outside.

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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.

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With  no  snow  around,  the  nativity  scenes  and  cute,  climbing  Santas  reminded  us,  that  it  was  in  fact  Christmas  season.untitled-99untitled-83

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…

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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.

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By Ratna

(  Recipe  in  the  next  post  )

8s COMMENTS

8 thoughts on : Valencia, Espana.

  • January 16, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    Ah how gorgeous those pictures. i love Spain and even though it is fairly close I don’t visit it often enough. You make me want to go back there right away!

    • Ratna
      January 18, 2016 at 3:26 am

      Welcome to my place Simone. Spain is really a beautiful country. A stone’s throw from your place. ( relatively speaking )

  • January 16, 2016 at 11:18 am

    What a beautiful pictorial journey of Spain Ratna. Isn’t it amazing to be able to visit these beautiful places and experience different cultures. Welcome back and here’s to another amazing year of blogging with new friends and old.

    • Ratna
      January 16, 2016 at 4:01 pm

      It truly was an amazing trip. I cherish my friendship. Wish you a very happy new year Ev..

  • January 12, 2016 at 3:12 am

    We were planning to go to Spain over winter break…we had almost booked the tickets. But then something came up and had to postpone. Imagine if we had and if I had bumped into you 🙂

    beautiful pictures and those oranges….looks so beautiful!

    • Ratna
      January 12, 2016 at 3:40 pm

      Oh, wouldn’t that have been a pleasant surprise? A fan meeting her hero…

  • January 10, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    Welcome back from a little paradise in the Mediterranean coast of Spain, Ratna! Love every image you took and the recount of your daily adventures, during your time there. Thank you for sharing the flavors of your local food encounters, architectural and visual memories. In Spain everything moves at a different pace. Valencia knows how to enjoy life, as it does each cardinal point in Spain. Thank you again for creating a visual timeline of your second trip there. Loved reading about it. Have a great Sunday! 🙂

    • Ratna
      January 10, 2016 at 9:25 pm

      Thanks Elizabeth, It is such an amazing country. I’m totally smitten by her charm. Working with some spanish ingredients for my next post. Your churros are to die for…

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