I’m finally back from my 20 day holiday and back to BCN life. Tomorrow starts the second year of my MBA and there’s going to be so much to do, but before it all gets to crazy. I’m going to make a few posts about my amazing travels. Some written while traveling others now. I hope you enjoy!
My original plans to go to la Tomatina with my best grad school friend fell through when their social entrepreneurship project to flight and they needed to go back to India for a pilot test. Therefore, I find myself for the first time traveling alone because I needed to get in Valencia to get to the second leg of my journey in Lisbon. While solo traveling is kind of freeing the introvert inside me is happy I am only doing this for one day only and can connect with friends tomorrow.
It has been a whirlwind of a day starting with my train from Barcelona breaking down and causing me to arrive an hour and a half later than scheduled. (There went my planned long run.) Arriving at 14h, I was eager to get started on the sightseeing and my gracious Airbnb host provided me with a map and a nice route to see a lot in a short period of time. Fortunately, siesta didn’t prevent me from taking in any of the sights.
First stop was a bull ring. It was not open but I took a peek through the grates and was able to get some nice pictures of the outside. I don’t fancy bull fighting, so I’m glad it was not open.
A short scenic walk past the main shopping area brought me to Plaza del Ayuntamiento with an inviting fountain and charming old building.
I decided not to take a direct route and instead meandered until I found the Mercado Central. It was dying down as siesta was on the way and closing time was nearing. I did, however, get a chance to take a quick walk through and find a lovely spot for lunch with a cheap menu del dia. Good thing I had some friends back home to keep me entertained via whatsapp or I would have felt the pangs of being alone more.
After lunch, I was happy to find that the Catedral de Valencia or Santo Grial was open and I would take a look inside. It was well worth the 5€ entry fee. I took the audio tour in Castellano and surprised myself with how much I understood. And tried to get the best picture possible. I am glad there were no restrictions on picture-taking. My favorite portion was the intricately ornate Capilla Major. Plaza la Reina outside the cathedral was a great place to relax for a few minutes before continuing my marathon touring session.
Just a ten minute walk past the cathedral I encountered Torres de Quart. I was the only tourist at this site, which was great for picture-taking. From up top, this former portion of the wall that surrounded/protected the city in medieval times showcased the entire city. I only wish there was at least one other tourist to take a picture of me up there. The right portion of the tower was open, but I was prevented from exploring the left. But, it was still a great sight. There are portions of the wall that show where Napoleon’s cannons blasted through the lime stone.
After all of that exploring it was time to head back for the evening. I picked up some bread and cheese and called it a night. With the 4h wake up call approaching writing this blog post was the last bit of energy I have in me. A great first travel day!