Cruise 2013 – Day 5 – Valencia, Spain

Most bizarre dream over the night, involving perfume (a music group) holding some sort of dance audition in my room, Kashiyuka and I share a romantic moment, and then she decided to spread what I can only assume is some form of glue into my eyebrows before tearing it off (ow)… Meanwhile, my cousins are going crazy in the house, my uni housemate Ed is randomly in my lounge playing video games (refusing to get out I might add), Cross and Grant are doing something in another room… Weird.

Anyways, back in the real world, we wake up and go for breakfast, today we decided to try the Windjammer café’s breakfast – the selection is impressive. We eat our fill and then head out to Valencia city centre by bus, the weather is pretty awful for now, with clouds above and light rain, the forecast is for 24 degrees though, so there I am in my shirt and shorts wondering if I’ve messed up (again).

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Ths bus drops us outside a major cathedral in the heart of Valencia, there are lime trees casually growing here, and the background is littered with assorted church towers and statues. We have a little peak inside the big cathedral, but they want to charge people to walk around inside – something my dad is pretty against (charging money to enter a church).

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We walk the roads of the city centre a little, working our way towards a famous market which all of the city reviews say to visit, Valencia is a pretty little place, with quirky streets and nice architecture, it’s a little closer nit than Barcelona though, perhaps a lack of space.

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Our next attraction of the day is Central market, a seriously gigantic indoor market with a variety of stalls. The most common stalls seem to be selling parmaham, but there were a ton of butchers, greengrocers and everything inbetween, there were lots of specialty shops too, we saw one selling only a variety of snails for example, and then there was a huge corner of the market dedicated to seafood – with tons of fresh fish and shellfish on display. I wish we had something similar in the UK, locals must love being able to pop in and grab the freshest fruit, veg and meats in one location.

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After leaving, we had a long walk down to the coliseum marked on our map, we weren’t actually too sure as to what it was, but you see a coliseum you kind of naturally walk towards it, right? Valencia train station was right next to it, so we had a little look at that first. Once again, the architecture and attention to detail inside was crazy, If it were England we’d have just plastered the wall over and called it a day, but here in Spain the wall and ceilings were a mosaic of tiles.

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The coliseum was next door, so over we headed, it turns out it’s actually a bull fighting arena called ‘Plaza de toros’. We got a little look at the inner-outside of it, but unfortunately they wanted to charge 12 euros per person to walk around inside – a hefty 48 euro for the whole family, mum said she’d rather spend the money on gelato (sadly, a figure of speech, though we did have a little..).

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The city of Arts and Sciences – our next goal, was far far away, we walked for ages to get to the connecting park, which itself is narrow yet over a mile or so in length. There was much to look at as we walked through the park though, sets of fountains, a theatre, a giant childrens play area (which, naturally I played on for a while), a set of vending machines which would rob me of a euro, some more fountains… it was a seriously long park.

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Eventually we began approaching The science and arts centers, the ‘Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia’ was first to appear, it’s architecture would seem right at home in the world of Mass Effect or Anno 2070, at the very least its shape, colour and presentation seemed very spaceship like. We had a little snack at a nearby café and admired the architecture (the thing at the top actually just kind of goes over the building and floats, which is pretty damn awesome in my opinion).It only got more impressive as we approached closer, with the nearby floor being a pattern of shallow pools of water surrounded by footpaths and nicely sculpted archways and bridges.

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The building was one of three however, all done by the same architect apparently, and it showed – the next was in sight, still connected by the bodies of water, it was easily as grand as the first, though less futuristic in appearance. The third looked like a whale jumping from a pool of water, or some form of closed clamshell. I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
We wanted to go inside and walk around, but once again, entrance fees would have killed us (the first building is an art gallery, 2nd was a science museum, 3rd is an aquarium), I saw one of the entrance fees being 30 euro per person, im not entirely sure what that entailed but even if it was entrance to all 3, it would be on the steep side. The main problem for us as well as the price was that we were on a timer, the boat would be leaving in 2 hours or so, so at what point does 40+ euro of entrance costs for <2 hours of exploration break even? (though the reality of it would be more in the realm of staying for 1 hour, as my dad is paranoid the boat will leave without him).

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A bus back to the port (or about 10 minutes walk from the port as it would turn out) and we were back on the legend of the seas, a trip to the 9th deck to grab a snack and a lemonade and it was finally time to relax a little (the snack would unintentionally turn into strips of beef in a crusty roll instead of the healthy salad I initially wanted).

I pass the time between then and dinner by keeping up with my blog, going to the gym and having a shower. I am significantly less fit than I thought I was, which is kind of worrying because I knew I wasn’t particularly fit to begin with. I’m hoping my 20 minutes on the exercise bike isn’t going to cripple me when I wake up tomorrow.

Dinner tonight was started with a mixed seafood salad (prawn and a crab slaw with a salad) and then followed by giant prawns and a crab mash and finished with a baked Alaska (ice cream topped in a toasted meringue).

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After dinner we went to see one of the in house performed shows called ‘Absolutely fab’, which was comprised of 90’s music basically, the level of talent on display was surprising, maybe I just underestimate these sort of productions (I was expecting something on a butlins level). We finished the day by having some family photos taken by a professional and then heading to the top deck to have a look around – it was hilariously windy outside (11pm in the middle of the sea, who would have guessed) but we made it to the 11th deck and had a little lay down on the deck chairs to look at the stars, the sky was so clear, I had never seen anything like it before (sadly no pictures).

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Tomorrow we are at sea all day, hope it’s not too boring, im not really anticipating much of a blog post though.