Saturday, January 14, 2012

Adios...if only the hours could be longer

All I wanted to do when I woke up was to go out and mingle with the people here...in Valencia.  Hubby suggested that we take a bus down to the city centre.  The Mercado (market) was the place I had listed that I wanted to visit in Valencia. 
Mom, Dad & Children
Bus rides had been fun rides right from the first time we took one.  I enjoyed watching the people on the bus. 
The streets in Valencia as with that in Madrid are pretty narrow.  Despite that, the bus drivers are able to manoeuvre the bus round bends and 'squeezing' through parked cars (by the side) with ease.  They are amazing drivers.
Mother with baby in a pram in a bus. (not common in Malaysia)
Elderly with shopping cart
I saw an elderly woman with shopping carts in many parts of the city.  I could not help thinking that they are very healthy and independent.  The woman in the picture above, we bumped into her again when we walked to Plaza de la Reina.  
Mercado Central 
We walked to Mercado Central from the bus stop.  The first thing I noticed was the ceramic tiles.  The building plastered with ceramic tiles looked beautiful. Valencia is well-known for beautiful ceramic. I only have one picture of the market from the outside.  Obviously, I was not the one with the camera at that time.  Hubby held it (as always) for safety reasons.  There were many people shopping at the stalls outside the market. 
Cleanliness prevail
This Mercado (market) is unlike the one we visited in Madrid, Mercado San Miguel.  It is not so 'tourist orientated' and there are less people.  The things are cheaper.  I walked around and enjoyed the environment of this clean Market.  It is a wet and dry market just like what we have in Malaysia.  There was a difference, the din and smell was a whole lot less.  In addition, it is neater and cleaner.
Cerdo (pig) & oreja (ears)
Rabbit (Conejo)
Yellow Mail Box (In Malaysia it is Red)
I would not believe it had hubby not taken a picture to show me.  Hubby saw the ceramic painting hung on a wall on the way to the men's toilet!  
Beautiful...As I see it
The tourist spots in Valencia are located quite near one another.  From Mercado Central  we just had to walk around to visit the Cathedral, Plaza and many others.  We do not have any on our list to visit so hubby said we would take a walk and enjoy the surrounding area.
Puerta Barroca (The Iron Gate/Baroque)
of Valencia Cathedral
El Miguelete Bell Tower at Plaza La Reina
Iglesia de Santa Catalina
Popular place for a glass of Horchata 

Porta dels Apòstols (Apostles Door)
Porta dels Apòstols
The Turia Fountain (remember to sit and listen to the flowing water)
Plaza de la Virgen (Virgin)
Spotted..Dog following owner
Basilica of Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados (back view)
(Basilica of Our Lady of the Helpless People)
We must have walked in a circle as we returned to where we started, the Mercado.  I spotted a stall with the name Horchata.  Horchata is a popular soft drink made from chufas (tiger nuts), water and sugar.  I had it on my list of things to eat/drink. I could not find it in Madrid and Toledo.  We ordered the Horchata and a plate of churros to go with the drink. I decided to nip into the market to look for food.
I loved the taste of the Horchata. It tasted like a cereal drink with milk.  Something like Horlicks (not exactly though). I think a dash of cinnamon was in the drink too.   However, the Horchata was too milky for hubby's taste.
I saw a stall selling many different types of Paella (pah-eh-yah).  I already had Paella Valencia and stood there wondering what the rest were.  I told the young woman at the stall that I wanted Paella.  She replied "Si".  I said Paella.  I was to find out that I have to state what kind.  There are so many different kinds.  I bought one portion of Paella Mixta and one portion of Fideuà (fi-de-wah). 
I found out from the young woman at the stall that I have to state what kind of Paella I wanted.  If only the word Paella is used, no one would understand me.  They would give me the pan as that is also known as Paella.  My host Paula gave me a list of names of rice dishes namely; Arros  a banda, Arros al Jorn, Arros amb bacalao (I know this has fish in it.),  Paella mixta (obviously mix), Paella de pollo and Paella de marisco.  I know the last one as it always appeared in pictures with large prawns.  I took pictures of four kinds but I only know two of them.  
Arroz Negre (Squid Ink Rice)
Paella Valencia
Fideuà
Fideuà is a dish typical to the Valencian community and quite similar to Paella.  Instead of rice, thin noodles or pasta is used.  The Fideuà tasted something like our 'mee goreng'.  
The snacks we had!
From the market, we walked to the center of the city.  The City of Arts and Sciences was our next stop.  We had to go there by bus, as it was too far a distance to walk.  Bus services are prompt in Spain so travelling around was easy and not expensive (€1.30).  In addition, Paula's house is strategically located.

L'Hemisfèric

We decided we would go to Oceanografic. 
At the entrance to The Oceanografic, we discovered that we needed 2 hour and a half to complete the tour.  That meant there would not be enough time to visit the Arts Centre.  The Oceanografic closes at 6:00 pm
There are different marine eco-systems such as the tropics, the Antarctic and the Arctic inside the Oceanografic.  We started with the tropics.  
The Aviary
Watch out for bird droppings!
Mola (SunFish)-the world's largest bony fish
Dolphin Show- It is Free
A Beluga (white whale) swam pass us.
Then...she swam back to where we stood!
I do not know why I agreed to visit the Oceanografic.  I never liked to see anything in captivity. The Beluga that swam pass us swam back to where we stood.  It stopped and just looked at us.  I accidentally dropped the backpack over the railing and it looked down.  Then I raised my hand and it looked up. I tried waving and it looked left and right. We figured it could see us. The Beluga stayed where it was for quite a while. Sadness overwhelmed me as I stood there and stared back. I wished I could wave a magic wand and make it go back to the sea.  That I felt is where it belonged. I could not imagine any creature held captive and swimming in the same environment repeatedly...forever. I did not want to watch her/him anymore.  A few yards away there was a pair of walruses.  One was swimming in circle repeatedly.  Are they under stress?  I could not help wondering.  Hubby would not allow any pictures taken after the shots of the Beluga.  He said I got myself too affected.  I did affect me and I still am... 
She captured my heart
It would be more worthwhile to visit two places.  We only managed to visit the Ocenografic as that alone took us 2 hour and a half.  We arrived too late.  **It is quite a distance to walk from one place to the other so allow some extra time if you intend to visit. 
General Ticket:
22.80 euros --- Oceanografic + Science Museum: 25.00 --- Oceanografic + Hemisferic: 25.00
Reduced Ticket:
17.20 euros --- Oceanografic + Science Museum: 19.00 --- Oceanografic + Hemisferic: 19.00
School Group Ticket:
10.90 euros --- Oceanografic + Science Museum: 12.30 --- Oceanografic + Hemisferic: 12.30
Adult Group Ticket:
16.00 euros --- Oceanografic + Science Museum: 17.60 --- Oceanografic + Hemisferic: 17.60

L'Hemisfèric (evening view)

It is a unique and spectacular building.  The ball in the center represents the pupil of the eye.  The whole structure represents a large human eye, the eye of wisdom.  This building houses a large sphere that forms the largest film auditorium in Spain.

Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia (The Valencia Opera House)

El Museu de les Ciencies Principe Felipe (Prince Felipe Museum Of Science)

There was a break in communication on our last night.  We could not understand what Paula wanted and she did not know what we meant.  As such, both of us went out for dinner and both of them waited at home for us, for dinner!  Malaysians have their dinner at around 7 – 7:30 pm we later explained. According to Paula, Spanish people have their dinner around 9 pm.  We joined Paula and Paco for their dinner (Spanish style). For both of us, it was supper.  It was our last night with them and I was happy that both of them invited us to join them. 
Both of them made sure we eat as much and as many kinds of Spanish food before we leave Valencia.  They bought Chorizos and Spanish cheese (I could not remember the name.), nuts, etc.  We spent wonderful time getting to know more about one another.  They showed us their new hobby--building miniature villages.  I finally understood the idea of the houses, barns and little dolls. Both Paula and Paco are down to earth and unassuming.  The room we stayed in were reasonably charged and all extras added without our request.  Paco even gave hubby two copies of CD as a gift. We could not have felt more comfortable with our stay.  If you are planning to travel to Valencia, try them out.  We spent three days and three nights, I wished it had been more.
Loving and Wonderful Couple
:o)

4 comments:

Mr.Clive said...

beautiful, is all I can say. ;)

Bubbles...ooo said...

Yes Mr. Clive, the place and the people. Both are just as beautiful. :o)

Miquel R.Nielsen said...

great put up, very informative. I ponder why the other specialists of this sector don't realize this. You should proceed your writing. I'm confident, you have a great readers' base already!
DCI Marketing 746002 LitterMate Recycler - Beige

Bubbles...ooo said...

Thank you for the sweet words of encouragement. Hope to see you here often. Best regards. :o)