Gallivanting around Valencia ...
My trip to Valencia was based around my participation in the famous La Tomatina festival, hosted in the small town of Bunol, 45 minutes outside of Valencia. The festival is the biggest food fight in the world with tonnes of tomatoes being thrown by thousands of people just for the sake of it. Check out my La Tomatina post for more details on the festival.
I joined up with a Topdeck tour and some of my friends in Valencia, where we were able to explore the city before the beautiful chaos of La Tomatina was to start. We participated in a short walking tour through the main areas of the city, learning about the culture and history of the region. Wandering through the beautiful streets we came across an incredible restaurant, that from the outside didn't look like much, but boy, it was absolutely insane. Located in an alleyway, covered with graffiti, Trenca Dish, a local restaurant was where we ate one of the best meals of our lives. Cheesy, creamy cannelloni starters, perfectly cooked steaks and flavoursome seafood risotto filled our bellies; placing us all well and truly into food comas and all boasting food babies. Of course our meals were also accompanied by goblets (the size of our heads) of sangria.
Our dinner experience was above and beyond, so good in fact that we lost track of time and ran late to rejoin our group for an evening of pub crawling. Now I wouldn't really call it a pub crawl, it was more of a club crawl, but nevertheless it was a great night catching up with friends, meeting new people and enjoying the Spanish nightlife.
The next day I got out to fully submerge myself in everything the city had to offer. With the weather unfortunately not putting on its best show, I had to get myself an emergency poncho. It rained on and off throughout the day, so unfortunately the plan to spend the day at the beach went straight out the window. I walked into town via Jardins del Reial, the Royal gardens, which were absolutely beautiful, before continuing along through Jardines del Turia, an urban park that was created after the Turia river was diverted to prevent further flooding of the city.
I continued on, into the old city and climbed up El Miguelete, the bell tower of the cathedral for a panoramic view of the city. Entry was only €2, and luckily I just bet the rain.
I also made my way to the Mercado de Central, which was really interesting to see, and compare to the one in Barcelona. After enjoying some churros con chocolate by the market, I wandered towards Lonja de la Seda, the old silk exchange and popped in for a visit.
Feeling completely tourist-ed out, I headed for the main shopping street to ensure that I had all the essentials for tomorrow's food fight. We went back for dinner to the same restaurant, after having all been thinking about how good our meals were the previous night. The staff remembered us and the chef gave us all a gift for coming back again. Our seafood risotto, had extra seafood in it and the steak dishes got a side of truffles. If you ever go to Valencia, you need to go to Trenca Dish.
The weather improved slightly later on so I managed to get a visit to the beach in. A short 40 minute walk from the hotel had me dipping my toes in the sea and enjoying feeling the sand between my toes. Although it wasn't the prettiest beach, it was definitely a nice ending to my Spanish getaway. But, before I knew it I was on the metro to the airport and back to London. Until next time Spain.