Friday, 11 September 2009

Espana - Valencia

Well, I made it out of England, and finally got to the contenient after 6 long months. I flew from Gatwick Airport, which isn't too bad to get out to from where we are, a case of catching the train out there, compared to the other London airports, which I have had described to me as not particularly accurate in being described as London airports, kind of like calling Hamilton Airport "Auckland-Hamilton airport".

Anyway, I got out there, and then found my plane ended up being delayed, as there was an issue with some intercom, so instead of leaving at 5, we left at 8, which was about when we should've been in Spain. Not a huge deal, but frustrating, as it meant when I got there, instead of a 1.50 euro metro ride, it was a 20euro taxi fare, and I didnt get to go out on the first night.
Dinner the First night. Thats cruton sticks in something like potato salad

So, the first day in Spain, I woke up, and hunted out some breakfast, and looked for things to do. I ended up buying some cheese and a roll of salami, and some fruit, and eating them in a rationed, yet probably not a healthy portioned fashion.
I then went for a look in the old town, which was close to my hostel. I ended up meeting up with the tour leaders and other guests at a bar accidently, and had a drink with them. I then proceeded towards the beach, having a small look at the America's cup village.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out the rumour about Mediterranean beaches was true (I'm not going to spell it out for you).

I can't remember if I actually had a swim that first day, or if I decided against it for time and security reasons.

In the evening there was a meeting in regard to the Wine and Water festival we were heading to later on, and of course La Tomatina, the next day.

Later on, we hopped on a bus and headed to the Wine and Water festival, which was in a village about an hour away. For the first few hours it was pretty boring, as the party started in the bullring, which had sold out, and I wasn't particularly keen on supporting anyway. Then, at midnight, the people came out, and basically everyone marched behind a band, and at various intervals you could rush and get your vessel filled up with wine. It was a cool atmosphere, although rather lonely (in a twist of fate, I had ended up with my own twin room, but it meant I didn't have a 'buddy' in the same situation.) I didn't end up having much wine, not being a red wine connoisseur, I drunk 2 glasses, and threw 1 back up, I know, I measured...

This all finished at about 4am, so we headed back to the hotel, to be up and off to La Tomatina at 8am. I think the lack of sleep made La Tomatina not as fun as I thought it would be. It also was a bit more violent than I expected, with overenthusiastic locals, and I had had fantasies of being able to eat the tomatoes as well, which wasn't the case. After finding a spot, it was probably an hour before the tomato trucks came, and so there were full on t-shirt fights going on (you would get your t-shirt ripped off you, and then they tie it in a knot and throw it at someone. Because of the roughness, I didn't take my camera, and hence don't have any photos of it.

After all the throwing, headed back to the bus, enjoyed some paella, and went back to the hotel. I think I probably had a swim in the hotel pool, before sleeping for the best part of the afternoon and evening.

The next day was the day for checking out. Because of the full on nature of the day before, I hadn't planned my next move. Anyhow, I checked out, put my luggage in their storage, and went to a hostel a friend had recommended. They didn't actually have any vacancies, but made several recommendations, including one just around the corner, which I ended up at (for the rest of that week, it turned out). I just had to run back to the hotel, get my bag, and check in, before they closed for a couple of hours for siesta (which was the main reason why I didn't leave for a week, because I couldn't do so much when it all closes for 2 hours each day). Unfortunately whilst running back to the hostel, I tripped on the bit where they have left the pavement clear for the tree roots, and cracked the screen of my camera, which has meant I have been taking photos for two months without a screen.

Anyway, got there, then went walking, ended up at the beach, and had a swim, and enjoyed the warmth amongst other things.

I can't remember the specifics of the other days, but they included more swims, a free walking tour, a Tapas tour, which was fun, and worth it, checking out the market, checking out a museum, and checking out the city gate, which was like a mini castle.

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