Archive for Valencia

31 May 2010

You Know You Have Arrived In Spain When …

Comments Off on You Know You Have Arrived In Spain When … Spain, Valencia

IMG_0268
Gillian looking puzzled – Valencia silk market

IMG_0291IMG_0289
Valencia Science Park

Your suitcase rattles raucously over the labyrinth of rough paved streets; church bells peal and echo off nearby buildings; birds chirp loudly and the sky is unnaturally blue.

In the centre of town 20,000 people line up single file to touch the feet of the Virgin and look into her eyes. By 11pm, the snaking line is showing no sign of letting up. We resist the temptation, and instead settle in a quiet bar for vino and tapas, and leave with our clothes and hair smelling of smoke.

The central market is more like a cathedral than a market with vaulted ceilings stained glass windows …. and lots of food.
IMG_0381IMG_0379
Valencia Central Market

IMG_0319
The central market sells the smallest tastiest fish but this little guy was at the Valencia Aquarium and was not for sale

IMG_0411
Let the lunch commence – Rachel, Encarna, Naomi and Gillian

A day later we are seated at a bar on the edge of a large sunny plaza, drinking beer, and shots of something that tastes like Ouzo, but our Spanish friends insist is nothing of the sort. We are waiting for lunch, a special lunch being prepared just for us by Encarna, Rachel’s grandmother, who pops down to the bar from her apartment to keep us informed of the progress. Not much longer now. And then we are given the signal and we make our way up to Encarna’s apartment where a feast of local specialties awaits us. Heaped servings later, exploding at the seams and slightly tipsy, we work our way through a range of liqueurs, wines and spirits – ultimately coffee mixed with brandy, until it is all too much and we have to lie down – to die.

We are woken a short while later. Let’s go to the park. Oh nice, a stroll. No, a drink or three. And we sit in the park drinking beer watching children play, while our temples pulse.

IMG_0423
Danny, Rachel, Gillian and Marian – how about we have another  drink

Later we go for a drive, Marian at the wheel (after many hours of steady consumption), AC-DC blaring through the stereo. The pulse has become a throb.

We are bound for Granada; hopefully the excessive Spanish pace will let up a little, but I don’t think so!