Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Valencia, Spain (Caro Hotel, Carrer de l’Almirall)

Another good nights sleep! I was up by 8:00 a.m. and hungry, and was looking forward to having an Egg McMuffin. I got dressed and walked to the nearby McDonald’s only to discover that they didn’t open until 9:00 a.m. What? On to Plan B and remembered that Starbucks also serves a breakfast sandwich. Problem solved and enjoyed their breakfast sandwich maybe a little more than McDonald’s.

When I returned to the hotel room I was feeling the need for more sleep. I woke up a little before noon and got myself ready to walk back to the City of Arts and Science. But first, get the room ready for housekeeping. This involves pulling up the covers on the bed, throwing away any loose trash, putting away my clothes and locking up the laptop and iPad in the safe. Also, I put the card on the bed letting them know that my sheets do not need to be changed, my towels that I would like to be replaced are on the bathroom floor and I always leave a tip as well. It takes about 5 minutes to do all of this but I don’t want housekeeping to have to work around my stuff to do their job.

And then I was on my way to the City of Arts and Science. I’ve not been in a city where the river has been so obviously diverted. In Portland, several of the streams that ran through the city in the early days now flow underneath, as with probably other cities. But to divert the river and put in a park in its place is unusual. The park, about 20 – 30 feet below street level, is well maintained, a number of interesting bridges (all unique) pass over the park and it is used extensively by joggers, bikers, and people who are out for a walk, like me.

The walk to the “City” is expected to take 30 minutes or so. Really enjoyed just walking along and viewing pretty much what I saw yesterday. I appreciate having the time to look at everything in more detail. I was interested in a bridge that had drains that emptied into the ground below via sculptured eagle heads that catch the water from the street above.

It wasn’t long before I was at the City of Arts and Science. Still find the place interesting to see. To build just one of these buildings would be quite a project, but to build several large buildings, and not have it be part of a Worlds Fair or hosting the Olympic games is almost unheard of. I walked through the very long museum atrium and out the other side. Today I saw a Ducati parked in one of the fountains.

I started to walk to where Valencia meets the sea but it was almost another 30 minutes away so I headed back. By this time I was a hungry but couldn’t decide on where to eat. I sat down at this one cafe and waited for 10 minutes and no one came to take my order. It wasn’t busy, but I wanted to get back to walking and looked for somewhere else. Then I saw a Burger King and picked up a small cheeseburger and a water, then continued walking.

Took pictures of a couple of bridges, with one that had two rows of red roses. My pictures don’t do the roses justice. In full bloom and beautiful.

Praying Mantis Sculpture 

As I started to get close to the hotel I saw a large monument arch a few blocks away. The arch was in Plaza de la Puerta del Mar (Square to the Door of the Sea) and the arch is a replica of the gate had been opened in the wall in 1356. It was reformed several times, the last in neoclassical style in 1843, and finally demolished with the rest of the city wall. Was interested to find out why the center of this arch/gate was blanked out. Discovered it was because it had a reference to Francisco Franco. Ah, that explains it.

To say I was tired and sore after my walk would be an understatement. It wasn’t long before I was napping. I sleep for nearly two hours and ready to find something to eat and thought a salad from McDonald’s would be just right.

I wasn’t up too much longer after I finished my salad. Found a program on YouTube regarding Windsor Palace then went to sleep. I had walked nearly 20,000 steps today. Nice!

Tomorrow, I leave for Seville. The flight is in the afternoon so I’ll have a little more time to walk around the city before going to the airport.

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