I'm writing this while lying on the beach in Valencia, Spain, fresh
from a dip in the Mediterrean! The beach is pretty crowded, but with a
good mix of people just enjoying the sun and sea. The water is just
chilly enough to cool you off, but not too cold, and the sandy beach
is really clean. Long story short, it's pretty nice here!
Jessie and I spent the morning touring the historic district. Notably,
we visited the Cathedral of Valencia, which, in addition to some of
the earliest Renaissance paintings in Spain and two works by Goya,
holds the mythic Holy Grail! The cathedral and its art were really
beautiful and an audio tour was included in the admission price, so we
were able to hear all of the history, which I love. My favorite area
was the chapel containing the Grail. The chalice itself was neat, but
I was more impressed by the circular stained glass window above it! it
was really simple, with an image of the chalice in the center
surrounded by a colorful background, but with the light streaming
through, it looked pretty magical! Also, we couldn't find a single
angle in the chapel from which to photograph it. It just shows up as a
circle of light. Very cool to go with the Grail. No, we didn't spy
Indiana Jones or any evil Nazis, so I think it will safely be there
when you visit.
Yesterday, we were very hot and very tired by the time we arrived at
our hotel (I don't recommend Ryanair), so after some showers and air
conditioning, we spent the evening exploring the Turia Riverbed Park
across the street from our hotel. Open a new browser window and Google
Image search "Ciutat de les Arts i de les Ciencies' and Valencia. You
will hopefully see what we discovered on our walk - It's actually year
2025 in Valencia, and everyone lives in a biodome with perfectly
manicured parks and buildings that look like spaceships! We took our
baguette and cheese dinner to the park and enjoyed the evening breeze
and the super cool surroundings. One interesting thing was that since
the sun doesn't set here until almost 10pm, regular people were out
jogging, biking, and walking their dogs at 9:30pm like you'd see
people do after work in the states. I wonder if people are more tired
due to the long days or have more lively lives because there's time to
do all those things we say we'll do but never have time for.
After the beach, we walked along the shore until we found a restaurant
just opening for the evening (at 7:30pm) that serves paella, the
famous dish of Spain that originated here. Since we were the first
ones in, we got a prime table on the patio facing the sea and had
seafood paella cooked just for us! I wasn't a fan of the crayfish, but
the rice and shrimp were bueno, and the whole ambience was wonderful.
The perfect way to end our visit in Spain!
We leave for Paris in the morning! Can't wait for our biking tour!