Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Wednesday Nov 21 Granada to Valencia

Nov 12-13 Toronto to London to Madrid
Nov 14 Madrid on our own
Nov 15 Madrid on our own
Nov 16 Madrid on our own until Welcome Dinner
Monday Mural some murals in La Latina
Nov 17 Part 1 Madrid City tour
Nov 17 Part 2 Toledo and Madrid dinner
Nov 18 Madrid to Cordoba to Seville
inSPIREd Sunday Puerto Lapice
Nov 19 Seville
Nov 20 Seville to Granada
Tuesday Photo Challenge Tranquil
Week 1 Recap  Nov 12 - 16
Week 2 Recap Nov 17 - 23

Italics are Gate 1 descriptions.

Wednesday Nov 21 DAY 7, Wednesday - Granada Travel to Valencia
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Breakfast starts 7 AM Bags out 7 AM Depart 8 AM

We make two stops.

Today head north through the groves of olives, almonds, lemons and oranges to the garden city of Valencia. 

First stop with its delicious fresh orange juice.

This apparition appeared out of nowhere. I had beard of Benidorm many times as the Brits love to vacation here.

Benidorm has been a tourist destination within Spain since 1925, when its port was extended and the first hotels were built. However, the real "boom" of Benidorm as a coastal resort did not happen until the 1950s, when it became a famous summer destination for people coming from inland Spain, especially Madrid. Today it is known for its hotel industry, beaches and skyscrapers and receives as many or even slightly more foreign tourists as Spanish ones.

Spain is Europe's largest orange producer and two thirds of those orange vitamin bombs come from the region around Valencia. The millions of orange trees are green the year round, clothed in delicate white blossoms in spring and bright orange in the autumn when each tree groans under the burden of some 500 oranges.

Discover this treasure trove of Roman and Arabic architecture before continuing to the City Gates, City Hall and Gothic Cathedral. 

Arrive at the huge Arts and Science City designed by contemporary artist Santiago Calatrava, with its extraordinary avant-garde architecture that includes impressive buildings such as the Hemisfèric and Oceanogràfic. 

We actually do this itinerary the other way around, first the Arts and Science City and then the city tour which meant it was getting dark on the city tour.

You can’t visit Valencia without seeing the City of Arts and Sciences. This ultra-modern scientific and cultural complex – known in Spanish as la Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias – is the largest in Europe, and its striking buildings are fast becoming symbols of the city.


Our guide also provided a local snack and I didn't take a picture of the drink!

Horchata is a very popular drink in Valencia. It is a drink that looks like milk and is made of chufas, which are tiger nuts. These nuts are originally from Egypt, but nowadays they grow them in the municipality of Alboraya, which is located in the province of Valencia. Other than chufas, the drink contains water and a lot of sugar.

Most of the time, a horchata in Valencia comes with a farton; a sweet kind of pastry that goes perfectly together with the horchata.

Back on the bus for the city tour we then disembark and do a walking tour.

With its narrow streets and historic buildings, Valencia’s old town is a charming spot to simply meander. Definitely worth visiting are the market, cathedral, post office, and town hall (located on Plaza del Ayuntamiento,) as well as the Palace de Marques Dos Aguas, the old train station (Estacio del Nord,) and the bullring.

Near San Martín Church is the Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas, a spectacular 18th-century mansion. The Marquise Palace is renowned for its opulently decorated facade with an ornately carved alabaster doorway. This aristocratic palace now houses the National Ceramic Museum, which opened in 1947. The museum presents more than 5,000 examples of traditional pottery from Valencia and the surrounding area, azulejos (blue glazed ceramic) from Teruel, and faience (glazed earthenware) from Toledo and Seville. Other interesting items on display include ancient Greek, Roman, and Arab pottery; fine porcelain from China and Japan; and modern pieces by Mariano Benlliure and Picasso.

The Iglesia Parroquial de San Martín Obispo y San Antonio Abad (commonly known as the San Martín), is one of the oldest churches in the city, built in the 14th century atop the remains of a mosque. We didn't go inside.

John caught this building as the guide was explaining  about lace and fan making.

Just another plaza, I can see John and Andrea in this photo.

A pretty plaza decorated with windmills, seems the display changes every month.

The construction of the Valencia Cathedral, located in Place Almoina-Virgen-Reina, began in the thirteenth century by Bishop of Xativa and was completed two centuries later, in the fifteenth century. The cathedral was built on the site where there was a Roman temple in ancient times and then a mosque. The church was consecrated in 1238 by the first bishop of Valencia, Pere d'Albala, and dedicated to Our Lady by order of King James I the Conqueror.
We'll see more of it later.


Who doesn't love a good French fry??

The Round Square (Plaça Redona)
We all know that squares don’t really have to be square. Valencia has them in all shapes and sizes, but this is the only one that’s actually a circle. A central fountain surrounded by pretty cafes and market stalls give this ‘square’ a warm atmosphere. 

John and Anne should have bought their souvenirs when they saw them! We came back here for dinner and the kiosks were closed.

Cathedral of Valencia is one of the most important Catholic places of worship, where a chalice has been defended as the true Holy Grail - the authentic cup used at the Last Supper, as Vatican sustains. It was also the official cup of many Popes of the Catholic Church, most recently used by Pope Benedict XVI, on July 9, 2006. The chalice dating from the first century was offered to the cathedral by King Alfons el Magnànim in 1436.. And even if it is just a legend, the cathedral attracts countless pilgrims every year.

I'll admit my attention was wandering at this point. On the bus at 8 AM and it is almost 7 PM and we haven't checked in to the hotel yet.


The Palace of the Borgias (officially and in Valencian, Palau de les Corts Valencianes, Palau de Benicarló or Palau dels Borja) is an aristocratic palace of Valencian Gothic and Renaissance styles. It is now the headquarters of the Valencian Parliament.

The palace was constructed in the 15th century to be the residence of the Borgia family in the capital of the Kingdom of Valencia.

This impressive landmark is a symbol of Valencia. The Torres de Serranos represents an ancient gate of the Old Town and recalls an era when the town was surrounded by defense walls. The town ramparts were built in the 14th century on top of Roman foundations. In 1930, the Serranos Towers were restored to their former glory. From these massive towers, visitors can take in sweeping views of the cityscape. The archway of the entrance gate features decorative Gothic details and two shields of the city.

Finally we are taken to the hotel and get checked in.

Hotel Tryp Oceanic

The City of the Arts and Sciences is a 15 minute walk away from this hotel. The hotel is within three miles of the Plaza de Toros, Playa de la Malvarrosa, Jardin del Turia, Mercado Central, and Jardines del Real Valencia.

C/ Pintor Maella, 35
Valencia, SPAIN 46023
P: +(34)-96-335-0300

The rest of the day is yours to discover independently. 
Well, obviously, this didn't happen since it was gone 7 PM when we got to the hotel.

Tonight, enjoy dinner together Nope, no thanks!

There is a group dinner tonight but after two horrible meals we skipped it with Anne and Bob. I also saw Miami Duo sneaking out on their own.
We are in Valencia, why would we want to eat in a hotel when Valencia is the birthplace of paella!

We grab a cab and head back to Plaça Redona with Anne and Bob.

Rabbit, chicken and snails.

The server dishing out Anne and Bob's paella.

Overnight: Valencia

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