Sunday, January 29, 2012

Day 10 - Valencia -> Barelona

Morning Valencia!
Today we shall begin the day with a half day tour at Valencia, the third largest city of Spain.

Bull ring stadium!



left: me in the city.
right: Western view from Our Lady Square, with the Apostles Gate, the transept tower and the Obra Nova.

behind us is the Valencia Cathedral and Little Michael Tower aka Torre Del Miquelet



Towers of Serranos, one of the twelve gates that were found along the old medieval city wall in Valencia.
It is considered one of Valencia's most iconic building and is one the best conserved monuments in the city.





manhole of Valencia!




the tour guide explaining the origins of the Gothic Cathedral and the slow transformation of additional towers and other parts of the church.


after the tour guide explained a little about the history of Valencia and the city square, we were given some time to take some photos and souvenir shopping!

pretty lamps but i didn't buy any home...don't know where to put them!

we settled ourselves at this little cafe where they made their own pastries and wj had a cuppa hot chocolate which was very thick. And we used the toilet here too!

wj's thick chocolate. $3 euros
After our short break, the tour guide brought us to La Lonja where back in the olden times, people trade for silk, paper and sugarcane.

The Lonja which is declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and opposite the Market which the tour guide brought us to take a look and browse around.


The Market! Bustling with activities!

wj posing with small to large cast iron pans meant for paella cooking!

ceiling of the market



we were given about 2 hours at the market and to settle lunch on our own, as we weren't really excited about grocery shop, so we went down to the main street for some real shopping! and brought back bags of Zara and Massimo Dutti, to the amazement of our tour members!!!!


Here's the flower market along the way to the main streets....


For lunch, as we were so short of time, we had a slice of pizza and a cup of soft drink for $2 euros.
Soon we board onto our coach and said our goodbyes to Valencia and we are heading towards our last city of Spain - Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia and Spain's second largest city!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Day 09 - Granada -> Valencia

O_O ....4 more days and it's goodbye spain!

sadness.

breakfast at 730am. Rise and shine!
Today will be one of the longest coach drive from Granada to Valencia (home of oranges)...

Pitstop for lunch: shared a pasta with fish and hot soup with a bottle of lemonade.
And we bought some caramelised almonds to munch on the coach. $4.50euros for a pack.


after what seems to be a forever journey....our tour leader brought us to City of Arts & Sciences by Santiago Calatrava and Felix Candela!!! which is totally not on the itinerary!!!
WHAT A SPLENDID SURPRISE!!!


shadow of our coach...

L'Àgora -a covered plaza in which concerts and sporting events are held

El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe - an interactive museum of science but resembling the skeleton of a whale. It occupies around 40,000 m².
It is the most important modern tourist destination in the city of Valencia. The City of Arts and Sciences is situated at the end of the former riverbed of the river Turia, which was drained and rerouted after a catastrophic flood in 1957. The old riverbed was turned into a picturesque sunken park.
L'Umbracle — a landscaped walk with plant species indigenous to Valencia (such as rockrose, lentisca, romero, lavender, honeysuckle, bougainvillea, palm tree). It harbors in its interior The Walk of the Sculptures, an outdoor art gallery with sculptures from contemporary artists. (Miquel from Navarre, Francesc Abbot, Yoko Ono and others).
El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía



L'Hemisfèric - an Imax Cinema, Planetarium and Laserium. The building is meant to resemble a giant eye, and has an approximate surface of 13,000 m².


How exhilarating the whole entire experience! we were so eager to leave the group and start walking and taking pictures of the place that after our tour leader gave us a time and venue to meet, we immediately ran off! and finally we met up with the rest at the souvenir shop then we realised that the tour leader was looking for us cos he wanted to change the meeting venue.

see how big this cast pan is!!! it can feed the 27 plus tour leader!!! and still have leftovers!

Dinner was provided and we were having Seafood Paella which originates from the city of Valencia! Most Spaniards consider Paella as their National Dish!

Valencians used seafood instead of meat and beans to make paella. Valencians regard this recipe as authentic as well. Later, however, Spaniards living outside of Valencia combined these two recipes and mixed paella was born.

Paella usually has a layer of toasted rice at the bottom of the pan called socarrat in Spain. This is considered a delicacy there and is essential to a good paella and I had lots of it because i had a second serving so the waitress gave me lots of the socarrat!

Continue to:
Day 8 Spain
Day 10 Spain