Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Valencia, Spain: The Real Paella

I said good bye to the awesome city of Granada I and hopped on my first ever overnight bus ride. After 8 hours of irritably uncomfortable sleeplessness I arrived in  Valencia. My phone and tablet were both flat so I was in search of a power point and breakfast. I found both in the same cafe with free WiFi as a bonus. I was soon joined by a group of young Spanish people on their way home from a night of clubbing with beers in hand. A few of them sat with me for an entertaining breakfast. Before leaving I searched the address of a hostel I had a couch lined up for the night with a Greek girl but she wasn't available until the afternoon and I really wanted to ditch my lugguage.

Valencia is the 3rd largest city in Spain. Every touristy city in Spain will be full of bars/restaurants that sell paella, with very mixed quality, I had never tried it during my 3 months in Spain. Paella is a Valencian dish and I was holding out.

After settling into the hostel (another more expensive room for a cheaper price) I explored the city before searching for lunch. The main streets were lined with bars selling paella. I walked a few streets away from centre where I stumbled across a nice restaurant where I received an amazing 4 course meal (including 1 course of paella) cheaper than just a plate of paella in the main streets. This is probably the best value restaurants I've been to with quality food... A bit of Spanish was required as the staff spoke almost zero English.

I returned to the hostel for a siesta before meeting the Greek girl for a tour. Valencia once had a giant river running along the city but it no longer contains water, instead there are now parks, sports fields, tennis courts and many other things on the riverbed. The city still has many bridges over this empty river. After the tour it was time for drinks... Another visit to 100 Montaditos and it was Sunday so 1 Euro half litre beers. People are generally intrigued by how I can afford to travel long term without working,  which I usually brush off with a bit of fun, but this Greek girl really wanted to know my exact salary in Australia... beware of Greek girls. She was still entertaining.

The River from a bridge

After many drinks it was time to return back to my hostel.

I was up early to pack and go. I had a ride lined up at 7am with 3 Italians to Nice, with a quick stop in Barcelona for a passenger change, another Italian. After 1000km and 4 Italians I was finally back in France after 3 amazing months in Spain and Portugal.

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