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June 4, 2013 / catherinebwrites

Valencia

View from the balcony

View from the balcony

I’ve just come back from Valencia in Spain.  ( Well it’s a while now, this should have been up ages ago but occasions were conspiring …)  

  I’d been working like a dog and got to that place where mania lurks. I needed a break and fast. And what better place to take a break than southern Spain in late April. Sun, sea, countryside ablaze with flowers, wine, paella, sultry-eyed senoritas, sexy torreros in trajes de luces.

WRONG!   How can I put this? I was very glad I brought a vest!

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Hurricane getting at the palms

It rained every day, hurricanes blew, on the TV there were news of hailstones as big as golf balls and old ladies holding them up to the camera to show just how big they were.  Elsewhere there were two inches of snow. Ay Dios! The Spaniards were truamatised. This is not normal, they kept telling us. Normally we have sun and 22 degrees.

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Cieling of the House of Silk

 

That said, Valencia is a beautiful city.  If you go there you have to see the House of Silk where the silk merchants of old plied their trade.   And the nearby market with the most fabulous fruits, vgetables, breads cakes, meats and a fish market where the fish is so fresh that all it smells of is the sea. The city is surrounded by  the huerta, t flat fields of rich soil where the produce is grown.

Valencia is also the quietest Spanish city we’ve ever been in.   Spaniards normally speak in a loud rat-tat-tat but in Valencia we were struck but how quietly everyone spoke and how friendly every one was and how helpful.  And if you want to eat there you will be spoiled for choice.   Here’s a couple of reccommendations.

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The Ceramic Museum. Baroque or what! Previously the home of a mad aristocrat

Horchata /Orxata.  This is a Valentian speciality.   It’s a sweet drink made from tiger nuts.  Traditionally you drink it with pastries called  “fartons”.  (Yes we did  all the jokes as we ate them) These are sweet feather-light treats that make you swoon with delight.  The place to get your  horchata and fartons is:

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Horchateria Santa Catalina

Horchateria Santa Catalina: This is the oldest hochata joint in town and you’ll find it just off Plaza Marguerita Validaurala, almost opposite la Torre de Santa Catalina.

La Bodeguita  This is small restraunt in the beach village of  Port Saplaya, you’ll find it in the Plaza Mayor.   We wandered in by chance expecting run-of-the-mill Spanish menu and got the most fabulous steaks we’ve had plus delicious vegetables and an orange desert to die for.   We returned later for lunch na had another astonishing meal.   They were not dirt cheap but they were fabulous value and besides la bodeguita  do a set lunch for 12 Euro so you can’t go wrong.   

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Science park- looks like Futrurama

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Inside theHouse of Silk

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