Valencia, Spain (Caro Hotel, Carrer de l’Almirall)
Not so good of a sleep last night. It could have been the coffee I had later in the day. But no matter, I was awake and ready for a new day regardless. Today, after I got ready, I walked over to the nearby McDonald’s and ordered an Egg McMuffin and a cup of coffee then walked up to the Segway shop for my 10:00 appointment. I decided to skip the hotel’s breakfast (which is rather expensive for what you receive) and go to what I know is safe, reliable and easy on the pocketbook.
I arrived at the shop a little early and had time to look around a bit before 10:00. While waiting, I was given a form to complete, a helmet and then met my guide. She explained, while she had tears in her eyes, that her nephew was in the hospital and her family was very concerned. I was deciding whether to cancel the tour but figured that this is how she makes her living and if she was up for giving a tour then so was I. She kept apologizing and I said it was okay, that we’ll do as much as she is able to do, and then we were off on the tour.
We rode quite a ways down the former river bed and park before stopping for some pictures then proceeded along to the city’s performance center. She was telling me that many famous people have performed in the center. And I said, “Justin Bieber too?” She laughed a little and said thank you for making her laugh. At that point I knew we would be okay. It was a long way to our final destination, the City of Arts and Sciences.
When we arrived at the City of Art and Sciences I was blown away. I saw pictures earlier of this location but wasn’t expecting these vast futuristic buildings that I was seeing. The opera house, science center, gardens, and movie theater. It was like stepping into the future. My guide said the buildings were completed in 2006. I took a number of pictures, but because the buildings are so big, I couldn’t get everything in one picture – or even several. This “city” is about four blocks wide and maybe 15 blocks long.
After rolling around this “city” on our Segways, we proceeded back down the other side of the park to the old part of Valencia. She showed me this one church that had a large stained glass window and pointed out the Star of David in the design and explained that the rich Jewish people in the city loaned money to build the church and this was their way of showing thanks. We rode through the Barrio del Carmen where many artistic people live and also showed me an archway that was once used to separate one of the quarters in the old city. There was segregation within the city, comprised of various religions and ethic backgrounds that made up each quarter. Now, everyone is lives where they please. She explained that the city is now very open and welcoming to everyone.
We came to the end of the tour and said our goodbyes. She seemed to be a little better emotionally and hope that her nephew gets better. The tour turned out very well and she gave me ideas on what I can visit over the next couple of days.
When I returned to the hotel, because of my lack of sleep the night before, I took a long nap and when I woke I thought about what to eat for dinner. I wasn’t too hungry, so walked to Starbucks and bought a turkey and cheese sandwich. I had some apples and bananas in my room and will made do with that.
After I finished with my blog update I tried to watch some programs on Netflix but was still very tired and was in bed by 9:30.
Tomorrow I’ll revisit the City of Arts and Sciences and walk around it on foot. It is a few miles away from the hotel so it will be a good walk.