Barcelona to Valencia
27.06.2015 - 13.07.2015 33 °C
This morning we left bustling Barcelona and headed south. The scenery quickly changed to farmland between the hills. The fact is Spain is 40% mountains. These hills were denude of any vegetation and it reminded me a good deal of Greece – rocks, rocks and more rocks. During our early stage of travel, we passed the Monserrat Mountains. The road system is marvellous. We stopped for coffee and apple cake at some little outpost.
Tom continued to impart his knowledge of the history of the Iberian Peninsula from the Celts, Visigoths, Vagabonds and Muslims, not necessarily in that order.
Our next stop was at the seaside town of Peniscola (pronounced pen-is-col-a). There was a festival happening so Tom was unsure if we would be able to get in. Luckily we were able to drive right to the port. We climbed the hill to visit the township that is built on the remnants of a Moorish outpost. The winding streets and white buildings reminded me of the Greek islands. This outpost is washed by the Mediterranean. It was very hot but an amazing visit. We had lunch at the fish and chip shop at the bottom. Ross and I ordered cuttlefish and calamari and Bill and Denise had sol fish. With chips included, it was a delicious meal.
Following lunch we continued our journey towards Valencia. We checked into our hotel, clean but certainly not 5 star. Our first outing was to the Science Centre. The architecture of this building and those around it was very modernistic. One building looks like the Opera House. The architect was a student who followed Gaudi ideas but unfortunately the tiles have fallen off and it was being repaired. All the buildings are white with blue tiles. Huge water features connect the different structures. The town of Valencia once had a river flowing through it and, following a very bad flood they re-diverted the river to run outside the town. All these buildings are built in the river and the rest of the area is gardens and sporting facilities.
The local guide took us on a walk of the old city, the architecture being a mixture of baroque, renaissance and modern. It was a very interesting walk which started at the castle gates and led to a square bounded by a cathedral. Once we completed our walk we set off in search of the camera battery. It was very hot. We tried in the department store but they suggested we go to their next store that had computer gear. We followed the broken instructions given to us, found the store only to find that they had none either. The next suggestion was to find a store near the bull-fighting stadium and the train station. Finally we had some luck and handed over 29 euro for our spare battery. Even though this was quite a long walk, we all enjoyed it but Uncle Bill’s feet were killing him. It was great to have time to have a closer look at the bull fighting ring and the station, the latter being decorated with oranges in honour of the city – Valencia.
After a brisk walk back to the hotel we made our 8.30 reservation for dinner. After our sizeable lunch, Ross and I had a plate of Valencian paella each which was tasty despite the chicken being cut like they do in China, bones and all. Denise and Bill had veal and fish. All in all we had a fantastic day.