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  • Day9

    Tourists

    July 18, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    We really wanted to go to Bioparc today but I just couldn’t get going early enough so we’re playing tourist today. I found the great app called GPSmyCity. It has self guided tours of many cities around the world. In fact, there are 8 different tours just for Valencia. I made my own tour selecting places we’d be interested in and then organizing the walk to be the most efficient. I loved how I could use the gps to figure out if we were going the correct direction. It also gave some brief information about each stop. I highly recommend it.

    We had 9 stops on today’s route.

    1. We started at Mercat Central, which we visit just about every day, to eat breakfast. I had fruit, fresh squeezed orange juice, a tortilla española, and an empanadadilla. It was all very good.

    2. Then, we walked over to the silk exchange, right next door. The silk exchange is the chief tourist spot for Valencia and was the hub for trade in the 15th century. The building is absolutely beautiful and the court yard was a very relaxing place.

    3. Our third stop was Plaza Redonda. It’s a round, plaza (square) with a fountain in the center. We visited this before but wanted to see what it was like in the daytime. The last time we were there, a large dog on a leash jumped into the fountain.

    4. Iglesia y Torre de Santa Catalina or Santa Catalina church was our next stop. This is a church that was built over a mosque in the early 1200’s. The interior has been redone several times thought. The tower on my first post is from this church and Georgia and I climbed all 136 twisting stone steps. It was very scary at the top because you had to walk this narrow ledge to get past the staircase.

    5. Our next stop was the Plaza de la Reina. We have been here many times and it was the start of our hop on, hop off tour.

    6. On the other side of the plaza is La Catedral (cathedral). Georgia and I did not go in because we felt we weren’t dressed modestly enough though we saw many tourists go in wearing what we felt was inappropriate for a church. We plan to return because the holy grail is said to be inside. It is only a couple of blocks from our apartment.

    7. Next to the cathedral is Basilica de la Virgen de los Desamparados, which is a church. Again we decided not to go in but we will return because the interior is supposed to be beautiful.

    8. The basilica is adjacent to our next stop, the Plaza de la Virgen. We’re we’re not convinced we were in the correct spot because the is a fountain depicts a Neptune surrounded by 8 naked women. The plaza dates back to Roman times and was the original location for the Valencian forum. This is an area with many outdoor restaurants.

    9. Our last stop was one I was really looking forward to, Torres de Serranos. Theses are on of the two sets of towers that were gateways to the old city section. They were built in the 1300’s and are the largest in Europe. You are allowed to walk all around it and up to the top. There were a few areas where the floor had squares cut out of the concrete and it was replaced with plexiglass so you could see straight down to the ground. Georgia and I definitely got a workout here.

    After playing tourist, we decided to try a menu de día, which is a common lunch offering. Since lunch is the big meal of the day, you get to choose an appetizer, main course, and dessert. Though our food was just OK, you couldn’t beat the 11 euro price tag. We’re going to find a better place and try it again.

    We completed our day by heading to the beach for a swim. The water is amazingly warm and we just like to sit and float our where we can barely stand. What a treat to have warm ocean water so close.

    Tomorrow Georgia is going scuba diving and I’m renting a bike to ride through the 9 kilometer Turia Park.

    I've numbered the pictures to correspond to the above numbers.
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