Valencia, Spain – Day 9

July 3, 2015

Today we woke up, packed up a few last minute things and headed downstairs and grabbed some coffee. Then we jumped in a couple of taxis and drove to the University of Barcelona to meet up with the rest of the CEA group that was going on the excursion to Valencia, Spain for the weekend.

The bus ride took four hours and we stopped halfway to get some lunch/breakfast at a truck stop. This was by far the nicest truck stop I’ve ever seen and had gourmet food and a market inside. It was really nice to get off of the cramped bus and stretch our legs.

Two hours later, we arrived in Valencia! Valencia is absolutely STUNNING. I mean wow. The architecture, the beach, all of it.

When we got checked into the hotel we headed upstairs to check out our room. The bathroom had a foot bath in it! So different from the US. We took a quick nap because we were exhausted from traveling and then we headed out in search of some tapas. First, we went to a weird cafe and had to awkwardly leave after finding the menu unappealing. Then we found a place with good ratings on Four Square and tried it. It was called Vuelve Carolina and was such a hipster scene with busts of animals made out of cardboard on the walls and an interior that was a modernist approach to a forrest scene. The meal was interesting. Addie and I each ordered a California roll and it ended up being a very different take on it – rainbow chard, crab, avocado, and rice paper? It was good, but definitely not what we expected.

After tapas we went to an old castle in Valencia to meet up with the bus to go on a bus tour of Valencia. We skipped the walking portion that led up to the bus tour because of Addie’s injured foot. The bus tour was a good way to get a snapshot of Valencia and at the end the bus dropped us off at the beach.

During the tour we stopped at the Ciudad de las artes y ciencias, which was possibly one of the coolest buildings I have ever seen. Check out these pictures of it and tell me you don’t agree:

After we hit up the beach and it was so beautiful. There was an outdoor market set up where we got some mojitos and then we headed down to the water. The water was super warm, but very salty. We tried to do some body surfing for a little while. Then we watched the sunset and headed back to get some dinner.

We got dinner at a little place the hotel recommended that was totally Spanish, but inexpensive. I had some yummy gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimp). I accidentally ate a spicy little pepper and set my mouth on fire….

After dinner we got some gelato near the Cathedral of Valencia where they claim to have the Holy Grail, the chalice Christ drank out of at the Last Supper. Alison sampled one flavor of gelato that turned out to be made from fish and almost threw up.

We changed and then met up with the big group of people and headed out to find a bar to go to, but with so many people that ended up being a mess and it took a long time to get anywhere. We ended up spending the night bar hopping and we went in anywhere that a promoter offered us free drinks, which happened several times. It ended up being a really fun night. But at the last bar Sarah and I almost got separated from the group when we turned around and everyone had made a mass exit and Austin actually did get left behind in the bathroom.

On a whim, we decided to get some late night pizza at this place on a corner. The pizza was delicious, but the next morning we didn’t feel super awesome about it. We met lots of people outside of the pizza place and talked to them about places to travel.

Then we went home and went to bed.

xoxo J