Our cruise on the Mediterranean in November had been going for over a week at this point. Believe it or not, living on a cruise boat can start to take on a tiny bit of monotony. Sleep in, buffet, lounge by the pool, buffet, take a nap, buffet, read a book, buffet, chat with friends, buffet, lounge by pool again, buffet. The days at sea are relaxing, but once the novelty of sitting around wears off, it borders on boring. At this point we had spent almost a whole month of 2013 on a cruise boat. I can hear what you are saying. "Po-or Kelly! She has cruised around Europe so much it has become boring!" I know, I know. I hate me a little bit too right now.
On to Valencia!
We left the choppy seas of the open Atlantic behind us and sailed into the calmer waters of the Mediterranean with Spain's east coast in our sights.
One of our first stops in almost every new city is the large, medieval cathedral that dominates most European city-centers. Valencia's cathedral is dated to 1270 AD. I don't know how old the McDonald's is that shares this square with the centuries old cathedral. And for our group the McDonald's was more inspiring than the cathedral. They had WIFI after all. (Cut us some slack. We've seen a lot, I mean a lot of cathedrals.)
It seems like almost every old, cool thing we want to see in Europe is in some state of repair. I guess when things have been around for 800 years they need a little upkeep.
Valencia is the home of paella. That wonderful dish of spicy rice, vegetables, and sometimes meat. So of course we had to have some.
This tower looks misplaced among these modern looking apartment buildings. But this tower was likely here for hundreds of years before the apartments.
While we were here I wanted to get some pictures of orange trees. After all, isn't that what Valencia is famous for? Its oranges? Turns out the oranges that are so yummy, valencia oranges, aren't from Valencia at all. They are from California. They are just named after this town in Spain because oranges grow here. Bummer. So enjoy this picture of some non-valencia oranges in Valencia.
After some paella and non-valencia orange trees, we walked around Valencia enjoying the unique Spanish architecture.
Here is another side of the cathedral. If my describing Valencia seems a little ho-hum, that's because I felt a little ho-hum about Valencia. Don't get me wrong, it was beautiful! But it was our third stop in Spain and Valencia just didn't seem to jump out at me the way Seville, Cadiz, and Barcelona did. Maybe it was just that it was overcast that day. I should go back on a sunny day and see if it really grabs me.
We sat by this fountain and had ice cream. It was pretty good. As I sit now thinking back about our day in Valencia, I realize it was a fairly relaxing day. No rushing, no driving, no feeling like we missed something. So actually, a pretty cool day. Scratch that. Very cool.
We completed our circuit of Valencia and took one more chance to pose with flowers, palm trees, and oranges. What I've come to decided is that even a mildly boring day in Spain is still pretty darn good compared to any regular day.
Up next - Rome, Italy!
Want to read about our day before in Portugal? Click HERE for part 1 and HERE for part 2.