backpacking part 2: valencia

the next day, we woke up as always. then we went downstairs for breakfast which was a little light for the three euros we paid. then we went for a wander around the twisty windy streets of carmen quarter. until we hit the northern border of the town. valencia is a geographically remarkable city - they tore down the city walls to build a ringroad, and diverted the river and turned it's former bed into a park. and yet the old quarters appear to be prestine, save the truly decent graffitti all over the place. at the end of the park, where the river would have been making it's final descent into the sea, they've built the cuidad - a stunning over the top development, surely influenced by sci-fi book covers. it's what the future was going to look like before cyberpunk. there's an opera house, an imax screen, a science museum, some gardens, and an ocean museum thing (like a sea life centre), all gleaming white ceramic structures floating on the water. bizarrely the sea life goes slightly beyond it's scientific remt and includes dolphin shows, and artic and antartic areas... in valencia... where it's really really hot... there by doing their bit for global warming... yay. after checking out the aeriel view of town from the top of the cathedral and picking up some well nice pizza and quaffing some horchata from a street vendor.. oh man horchata. great stuff. made from tiger nuts, tastes like a savoury banana milkshake... we got the bus down to the cuidad and walked all the way back down the river bed park. we et... somewhere.. and went on a bar crawl in the highly popular carmen region again. we got a jug of 'agua del valencia' - orange juice, vodka, and cava - at the first terraced place that did it, as hordes of well dressed, beautiful people strolled around the night. not a place to think to be thinking about frugality. wandering around a bit, we realised we were out remarkably early by these people's standards and most places were hardly open yet. we found a rocking cafe - actually playing faith no more's 'angel dust' in it's entirety, and caused confusion by sitting in the eating area, where they told us to sit, despite telling them we only wanted drinks. i've got to make more of an effort to learn people's language next time. we had a couple of pints, and as we were leaving they were playing the same cocorosie song that they were playing in the conspiratorius place in maddrid.. funny how stuff follows you around. we wandered around and found jimmy glass, a traditionally smokey and dark jazz and cocktail bar. i had the house cocktail and ended up very drunk indeed. we ambled home somehow.

in the morning the we went to buy train tickets to barcelona, determined not to have a repeat of the madrid incident. there was a long queue and between us we managed our greatest conversational triumph yet, buying tickets for tomorrow, even getting the right train time. so then, pleased with ourselves, we went to the beach. i think we may have got another cheese or tortilla sandwich and an icecream. we walked down the beach and found ourselves at the harbour, which was all done up for some god-awful boring boat race. places like that all always surpirsingly massive. they had a maze that sort of missed the point by having no centre but merely an exit. we had some more horchata and found a bus back into town. how it got to tea time i don't know, but it involved another wander round carmen looking for the veggie diner we'd walked past.. which was closed sundays. wandering around yet more, we found a tex-mex place that was pretty decent. running low on funds and energy, we retired to the hotel. there were no shops anywhere in this town. on a sunday, when the market is closed, you just can't buy food. it didn't help that the hotel was a hotel not a hostel and had no kitchen, although one room was obviously used as one in the past, it had a cooker but a bath was in the way.

we hit monday at last. went to the market to pick up cheese and bread and fruit and got our train out to barcelona.
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