Barcelona was a dream. Breathtaking architecture and mind blowing food. Read about it here. Now, on to Valencia!
The first mistake my boyfriend and I made planning this trip was over-ambition. We made it back to our hotel from our amazing fourteen course meal at Moments at 1:00am. And then we had to pack. Our reservation had been at 8:30pm, which was also the earliest possible dinner time. Spaniards do things late. My kind of people but not when I foolishly schedule a train to Valencia at 7am the next morning.
So a little loopy, we woke up at 5am and were on our way! Luckily, we got to sleep two and a half hours on the train because then we were off and running.
Our first stop was the Valencia Cathedral. Inside, we took a tour and saw some beautiful art work. And then the piece de resistance, the Holy Grail.
Apparently, this is the chalice Jesus drank out of at the last supper. The Moors brought it over on a ship when they conquered this area in 715 AD. But who knows for sure. There are eight different chalices around the world claimed as the Holy Grail. But I’m gonna go ahead and say this one is real. Because this is the one I saw.
We also saw this:
This is the real human hand of Saint Augustine. It has never fully decomposed. I was unhealthily obsessed with this piece. It was gross and amazing at the same time. OK. Enough about that. I promised you food.
We rented bikes and rode through old town into the City of Arts and Sciences. We were starving at this point so we stopped at a little outside cafe for some sangria and jamon sandwiches. Jamon sandwiches are literally just prosciutto on a baguette with a little butter. But they are DELICIOUS. I also must note that in the U.S. I am not able to drink milk. (I’m an almond milk girl.) But in Spain I had all kinds of dairy products like butter and cafe con leche and I never had a stomach ache! My theory is that there are too many antibiotics or other preservatives put into our food. So thanks for that U.S. Thanks. Oh, and by the way, this was our background during lunch.
Yes, that is real. And no, we didn’t only have one bike. It was just nicer for the picture.
I’m sorry I didn’t take a picture of our jamon sandwich but you can see a typical one in the photo at the top. Next, we rode all the way down to the beach and had a delicious meal of cod fritters (left) and grilled cuddlefish (right). Everything melted in your mouth and the flavors! I can tell you one thing, Spanish food is not bland.
I also had an amazing mango mojito. There aren’t many cocktail options in Spain. Mostly wine and beer. But mojitos they’ve got down. This is also the spot where I excitedly asked, “Donde esta el bano?” And the waiter responded, in English, “Down the stairs to the right. So my basic Spanish wasn’t fooling anyone.
We then rode our bikes back into old town. We were exhausted. Tonight, surely, we would go to bed early. Then I looked down a side street and saw the cutest cafe. It had twinkly lights. Twinkly lights get me EVERY. TIME. So of course we had to stop for some post bike ride sangria.
Next we had dinner back in the main square by the Cathedral. This area is super cute but super touristy, so the food wasn’t the best we had. Our seafood paella was dry and tasted like they had made a huge batch at the beginning of the night and left it sitting over a burner. One thing they always have down, however, is the rioja. And I had mussels in white wine to start, which were delicious.
At this point it’s 10:30pm. We must get to bed early as we have another early train tomorrow. So we start walking back to our hotel when we see a sign that reads, “CHURROS CON CHOCOLATE.” A friend of ours had told us before we left that, whatever we do, we must try churros con chocolate. So what did we do? Duh. Ate some.
And boy, were they worth it! We dipped our churros into that huge cup of chocolate which was warm and rich. I could have drank it! I did, in fact, pick it up and sip on it at one point, but I was trying to appear cultured. If you’re ever in Spain, you must find some good churros con chocolate.
So, with super full bellies, we made it back to our hotel. We had done all that in one day. I told you, over-ambitious. It was now 12:45am. So much for going to bed early.
Next up, Sevilla!