Monday, May 16, 2011


View of the coast from the bus
On Friday morning we packed up and checked out of our hostel and headed to the bus station.  Our plan was to take the bus that left Barcelona at 12:30 to Valencia but when we got there (20 minutes before the bus left) the tickets were sold out (again better planning ahead would have been better as we could have bought tickets online) so we had to take the next bus that left at 14:30.  We just chilled at the bus station for 2 hours where I just read my book and then we ate our lunches.  The bus took about four hours to get into Valencia.  Once in Valencia we had to walk (about 30mins.) to our hostel. Luckily this time we did a little planning as Emily had downloaded a map of Valencia on her ipod so we were able to make it to our hostel without too much trouble. We got checked into our hostel; there was two other girls in our room when we got there, one from Brazil and the other from London and both were there to take a class in Spanish. We tried to find a near by grocery store so that we could get things for breakfast and lunch like last time but we walked all over and could not find one which was a really bummer.  Emily and I walked to a nearby plaza and found a nice outdoor cafe to eat supper.  For ten euros we got an appetizer, main dish and dessert. I was not very successful at ordering.  For my appetizer I got a shrimp salad but it was a lot different than what I expected. There was no dressing and the shrimp where whole (legs, eyes and everything!).  Even though I love shrimp I just could bring myself to peel it to eat it.  I actually had to cover the shrimp up because I didn't like them looking at me. For my main course I had chicken paella; it was good though I had to pick out the vegetables (lima beans and green beans).  For dessert I decide to try was, well interesting.  I am really big on textures of food and this had the texture of a wet sponge and it was just too weird.  It didn't taste too bad, the texture was just really different though I ate most of it.
The dolphin show (you can see the storm coming)
Valencia vs. Real Socidad
      The next day the weather was not very good; it was kind of cloudy and cold.  We walked to McDonalds for breakfast (though they do not serve all the breakfast sandwiches like they do in the states) and then went to the football stadium to buy tickets for the game that night. Then we walked to the City of Arts and Sciences where a cool aquarium was located.  We walked around the aquarium seeing walruses, sharks, sting rays, penguins, and more. Then we headed over to the dolphin show which was really cool! During the show we could see a storm rolling in and were hoping that the show would finish in time. As soon as the show was over, everyone bolted out.  We headed to a mall across the road.  We were waiting to cross the street and it was sprinkling, thundering and there was a really big lighting. We just made it to the mall when it started down pouring! We ate lunch/supper while we waited for the storm to pass.  Luckily it didn't last long and we were able to walk back to the stadium for the football game--Valencia vs. Real Socidad. Emily had to buy a new ticket for the game because she realized at the aquarium that she had lost hers which was a bummer because we were not able to sit together for the game.  The game was nice to watch even though Valencia won 3-0. (Valencia is ranked 3rd in the Spanish 1st division). After the game we just walked back to our hostel and planned the last two days in Spain.
At the beach
     Since most places are closed on Sundays, we spent the day at the beach which was just a short bus ride away from our hostel.  We had a really nice and sunny day, though there was a slight breeze that was a little chilly.  We defiantly got a lot of sun this day and I came back really tan/burnt. That night we had planned on doing a tapas and flamenco tour where they take you out to eat some tapas and then to a flamenco show. We walked to the plaza where we were suppose to meet the guide, but when we got there we realized there was no way we were going to find who ever it was we were suppose to be looking for! Apparently, there was some festival going on and the plaza was jam packed with people.We decided just to stay and watch what was going on. We were in the back so it was hard to see, but it was some sort of processional with them carry a figure of a women and there was a marching band too.  Some people in the crowd were also dressed up, the ladies were wearing intricate  dresses.  We asked the guy at our hostel reception and our tour guide the next day, but neither of them new what was going on.  Later we looked online and found out that it was the Virgin de los Desampardos which is celebrate the second Sunday in May. It is a religious festival honoring the most revered patron saint of the city, Our Lady of the forsaken. What we saw was the official processional wear they carry the statue and some people were wearing the traditional fiesta costumes of Valencia. For more information about this festivale you can check out this website (
The processional
In front of a fountain in the park
       The next day we went for lunch at a cafe in the plaza nearby our hostel. This time we did not eat typical Spanish food but instead just got chicken sandwiches and fires.  Afterwords, we went on a two hour walking tour around the center and learned some about Valencia's history. Finally, when we were done we went souvenir shopping though there wasn't very much to find.  That night, after getting ice cream, we walked through a park that goes through the middle of the city.  It used to be an a river but it flooded so much that eventually they diverted the water and later turned it into a park.  The park was very active as there was many people running, walking,roller-blading,  biking and playing football. After the sun started to go down, we walked back to our hostel and packed up our things to leave early the next morning.  We checked out of our hostel around 7:15 on Tuesday (I had to miss two classes on Monday but it was too expensive to come home on Sunday) and then took the metro to the airport.  Our flight arrived in Dusseldorf (Germany) at around 12:30 and we had a shuttle that took us back to Arnhem (about an hour and half ride) which left at 13:30.  Once back to Arnhem, it was right back into school as I had a group meeting 45 minutes after I got back


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