Valencia 39 27.68N 000 18.87E

Charles & Maggie Bevis
Sat 21 Sep 2013 16:51
We arrived off Valencia in the early evening of Wednesday 18 Sept, with the sea turning very choppy as we approached the port entrance, mainly due to a truly massive sea wall enclosing the big-ship harbour to accommodate the frequent arrival of extremely large container ships and the occasional cruise ship.

As we tied up, we met our neighbours, a very friendly couple named Gary and Val from New Zealand, within minutes of our arrival, we were invited onboard for a drink and we spent a very pleasant hour or so getting to know them, they were also able to give us some useful tips on getting around here.

Thursday - For our first full day, a twenty minute walk took us to the tram stop where we rode into the city for the princely sum 3.90€ each, this being a return ticket.

Valencia is a really lovely city with many beautiful buildings - it's a joy to wander all over the old parts and explore, so much character and so much to look at. Smart shops, literally hundreds of cafes and restaurants to choose from on every street and in most of the small alleyways too, wide boulevards with tall trees overhanging them providing shelter from the sun, and so many beautiful ancient buildings to look at wherever we went. Architecturally, Valencia is smart and savvy compared to many places we have been in Spain, easily comparable with Granada, if not just a little better dare I say!

There is a most magnificent market building, lovely to look at from the outside and once inside, it takes your breath away, not because of thestyleof the building but the huge array of stalls selling really excellent foods of every kind imaginable all produced in Spain and beautifully presented and well priced - a foodies heaven!

I had used up our really good olive oil a few days back so I've been looking for more, the oil in the supermarkets is ok and whilst good for cooking, not of the quality I wanted for salads and dressing etc. However, I just knew I would find some here and wasn't disappointed. For just 9€ I was able to buy a bottle of the gold medal winner and it is delicious.

With so many bars, cafes and restaurants, there is strong competition for get "bums on seats" at lunch time when there are the most people about. For 10€ each, sometimes even less, it's possible to get a really good meal, comprising starter, main course, desert and a drink, together with the obligatory basket of bread, you just have to choose which one to go to.

After lunch, we wandered some more and eventually found our way back to the tram station which would return us to the port.

Gary and Val joined us for drinks around 7pm and after a couple of bottles of wine, they departed and we sat down to a quick, late supper. A very pleasant day indeed.

Friday - bikes out today and we decided to go wherever the cycle paths led us. The city has miles and miles of cycle paths everywhere you go, so it isn't difficult to find yourself travelling many more miles than you first thought you would.

There is a huge park running through the city and within the park are several very large and very modern buildings, all purpose built to house a large variety of sporting activities, such as rugby, swimming, diving, cycling, gymnastics, etc., etc.

After a couple of hours cycling, we found ourselves within the city again, it was easy to decide that we should find another nice little restaurant for another bargain lunch. We lost our bearings a few times and couldn't find yesterday's location, however, the restaurant we settled for didn't disappoint and once again, four courses for 10€ each and another delicious meal.

After a bit more cycling around the city, we realised our rear ends were becoming tender, so time to head back to the boat. Another light supper and an episode from Game of Thrones and we crashed around 10:30.

Val and Gary left first thing this morning but we are expecting to meet up with them again next year as they are leaving their boat in Almerimar, which is where we will be returning g to for the bimini to be made and fitted. They're also thinking of cruising Italy next year, which is our plan also. It'll nice to think we may bump into them again, they were good company and Val is the absolute double of our lovely friend Pat, who lives in Sydney.

We have decided to stay for two more nights. The marina here is not only good but very cheap. Two nights here are as cheap as most other marinas have been charging us for one night, so an easy decision to make.

Saturday - today we cycled out of the Marina and turned right away from the city and along the seafront. There is a fabulous beach here and a great promenade. Again, cycle lanes are everywhere and it's full of roller bladders, runners, walkers and cyclists. Its a beautiful clean beach with good facilities and good activities. Ambulance stations, lifeguard stations, hundreds of little cafes line the promenade, and all very clean and very pleasant. A real outdoor lifestyle and I'm totally envious. Lots of people out enjoying everything, no hassle or aggravation, just people outside enjoying themselves - great.

After riding the promenade to its farthest point, we turned away a d headed back toward the local town area in search of a supermarket to top up on supplies. A real community in the streets just a short distance back from the beach, very friendly and very atmospheric.

By now, we were both feeling as though we'd stepped out of a western film, our rear ends were hurting and we were beginning to waddle, so instead of exploring any further, we headed back to the boat and I made up my Interpretation of a typical spanish lunch, after which I took to my lounger and Charlie retreated under the bimini for a snooze.

We leave here tomorrow morning. We have only one more stopover port before arriving in Sant Carles on the 24th, and that's the end of the line for this year! Where did it go?