Monday, 7 December 2015

Europe Travels: Valencia, Spain

21/6: Valencia, Spain 

Manchester > Glasgow > Edinburgh > Scottish Highlands > Aberdeen > Lisbon > Porto > Madrid > Valencia

Selfie in the train to Valencia ^_^
We took a morning train and arrived at noon. 

It was a rather quiet Sunday in Valencia as we did not expect most shops to be closed.

Museum of Fine Arts of Valencia

Visual consumption + edutainment

After visiting the museum, we walked over to the other side of Valencia which was separated by a bridge. We chanced upon this pizza restaurant and got some pizza takeaway because we were too hungry to wait till lunch.

Torres de Serranos
These large guard towers were from the 15th century and they had been appropriated as a prison before. Just look at its sheer size!

Sunday's relatively quiet streets

I was rather surprised by the vibrant street art culture here. They really liven up the atmosphere and mood.

All the OOTD fanatics will rejoice! There are numerous photo opportunities with these wall murals.

The narrow streets and alleys were almost deserted except for a few tourists and passerbys so it kind of felt like an abandoned neighbourhood, one with lots of charm of course.

Plaza de la Virgen - an old square in the heart of Valencia's historic district
This Turia fountain features Neptune and 8 naked women.

Basílica de la Virgen de los Desamparados

Valencia Cathedral

So huge!

Loving the vivid colours of the residential buildings!

Lunch at Bodego De La Sarieta

You know your paella is freshly made when the waiting time is at least 20 minutes for it. We had the traditional Valencian paella and rice with eel in seafood broth.

The authentic paella originates from Valencia and contains rabbit meat (so we had ours with it). It was my first time trying rabbit meat and it tasted very similar to chicken, albeit saltier. Meat was very tender and the rice had well absorbed the flavours of the rich stock.

Cheesecake with chocolate sauce for dessert

A walk through El Carmen

Pretty florals

and more artsy fartsy murals..

Real Parroqua de los Santos Juanes

Embroidery artwork spotted beside a shop's front
Can't stop commenting on how pretty all these are!!

So cute too

One-eyed monster hehe

Tourists and their inseparable accessory - the Camera.. haha.

Quirky alternative neighbourhood around the Old district

Fell in love with this embroidery patchwork art the moment I saw it. This portion looks as though it is out of place yet it fits in so compatibly with the colour scheme of the buildings.

Traditional Valencian pastries at Horchateria Santa Catalina

We had a Spanish teabreak of Horchata liquida and ensaimada. The Horchata is a popular soft drink in Valencia and is made of water, sugar and tigernut. The ensaimada reminds me of something like a soft and sweet brioche bread.

Much needed cold drink to cool off in the summer

This beautiful cafe has a long history of over two centuries and is one of the most famous in the city. Even the wall tiles are so pretty.

We had wanted to try Horchateria El Siglo but it was closed.

Chocolate croissant gelato.. SAY WHAT?

Horse carriage ride in the city center

Bakeries are every bread's lover weakness and looking at these display counters filled with rows and rows of bread and pastries make me happy. They look like they will make good takeaway lunches hehe.

Nutella-filled pastry coated with sugar
The nutella fillings were so yummy (what could possible go wrong with nutella?) and I could only imagine how awesome it would have tasted if this pastry was served warm.

More eye candies hehe

We were surprised to see llaollao in Valencia and of course we had to get a sanum. Oddly, I did not spot any llaollao stores in the city centre of Barcelona even though it is the second largest city in Spain.

Someone please explain to me why llaollao is so addictive.

The milkshakes at Muusse Milkshakes looked really yummy but I was too full for that.

This other side of Valencia has such a contrasting modern look relative to the old district.

Plaza Ayuntamiento

Valencia City Hall

The vibrant mix of architectural styles in Valencia is such an eye-opener.

With still some time to spare, we randomly picked a park to go as the weather was not as hot as it was in the afternoon (which made it torturous for park explorations). Our choice was Jardí del Túria (Turia Park) and it was one of my highlights of this trip because there was a mini funfair complete with rides!

Ferris wheel - an iconic funfair ride.

This made me sad.. These ponies had harnesses on them which were attached to the inidividual bars, thus effectively constraining their movements. At least this seemed less cruel than the ones in Prater right? :(

Funfair games

Old school rides

#europexploreRS :)

We also caught a glimpse of the sun setting near Puente de la Exposicion Bridge (aka the ornamental comb bridge due to its unique shape) which is just beside the park.

Estacio Del Nord
Can our train stations look like this too.. So pretty!

Chocoalmendra churros and frappe for supper at Churro Planet
We finally had our first churros in Spain! How can we miss having churros here right?

Before the night ended, we ordered their original churros with hot chocolate sauce to try.
The serving of chocolate sauce was quite a generous one but it was overly watery and diluted :(

We ended our night in Valencia with an overnight bus trip of nearly 5 hours to Barcelona.

Next stop: Barcelona.

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