Friday, April 22, 2005

Valencia, Spain

Valencia, Spain
All right, enough of being land locked. I'm heading to the coast! Found HOME Hostel even though the directions on the internet weren't quite right. And they tell you to take the bus, but it's probably just as easy to walk since the bus does a big loop. HOME hostel is the biggest yet. Holds about 110 people, four floors, funky, clean, english speaking and there is a roof top terrace with a view of the city. Not nearly as pretty as Madrid, but it's got character.
Spent some time drinking with Ross, Mike, and Jenivere (US), Chris (UK), and a crazy group of 10 Croations who brought there own home brew. It's made from Plums and tastes like a lighter whiskey. They wouldn't take no for an answer so the bottle kept going around.
Took a walk with a group from the hostel down to the Musuem area. Long walk, but a nice one. Our route was an old river bed that has been converted to a park which runs through the whole city. Picked and ate a wild Valencian orange. A little sour, perhaps not quite ripe enough. Passed a public skate park and a really cool park for kids. Gulliver's Park from Gulliver's travels. It's a huge recreation of Gulliver tied down to the ground. It's designed to be climbed on via steps or ropes and then you slide down on of many huge slides. We couldn't help letting the kid in us come out and gave it a try.
Very interesting modern architecture in the museum center: Music center, Science, hemisphere building, Aquatic World. On the way back stopped at one of the old city fortress gates. Took in the nice view and headed back for roof top cervazas and some chess. Later on Pam and Andy enticed us to go out for a few drinks.
Next night warmed up playing cards with Chris, Jack, Kyle, Megan, and Grace. On the way out picked up Ian and Owen and went bar hopping. First place closed at 1 am??? I thought this was Spain. Anyway onward. Found a funky place playing good music. The very gay bartender suggested we join him later at Club Bouncy. Ahh, thanks, but I don't think we will be making it. Off to Radio City- Pub/Dance hall, but didn't stay too long. We just wanted to check it out, plus Megan was uncomfortable as apparently the guys there couldn't resist grabbing her butt.
Woke up Sunday without any real plan. Chris wanted to watch the Formula 1 race so we walked all over the city trying to find it on the tele, but to no avail. So we decided to walk to the beach. Must have been 5-6 miles, but when we got there we were pleasantly surprised with a kite exhibition/competition. Small kites, big kites, humungous kites and trick kites. Watched guys fly two kites at once, pairs flying in syncopation and groups of 12 or more also flying in line with each other. All to music blaring from a PA system. Water was about 62 F, nice long and wide beach with a dark heavy sand, 3 foot messy surf, but it looked like it could be good given the right conditions.
Back at the hostel, more drinks, more chess and some card tricks. One Spainish girl almost had us convinced she was pyschic until she confessed she was working with an accomplice. Very sneaky!!
Next day: the pope died. Throngs of people having morning parades which we assumed was for the pope, but as it turns out they were already planned. For what I don't know, we just had Easter a week ago!Later at night I dragged Chris to a bar which was supposed to have an open jam night, but when we got there they had a jazz band playing. Oh well!
Tommorow off to Barcelona.....Adios amigos