Near the end of the year (2015) we randomly found out a return plain ticket from Venice to Valencia, Spain cost only 45€, of course we had to buy it, it was almost cheaper than bus ticket from Nova Gorica to Ljubljana.
Soon after, on the 20th December, we were on the plane flying toward Spain. We landed in the evening and took metro to the city center where we had hotel. Next day we had reservation in a nearby restaurant for paella.
Early in the morning (at least early for Spain) we woke up and went for a walk through the old city center. The city is old but fairly clean, there were a lot of people but not too much, since it was out of season. Despite being December it was quite warm, almost 20 degrees during the day in the sun. City was full of trees, not just any trees, the trees were full of mandarins. After trying one we soon learned why no-one ate them – they were sour as lemons.
In the city center there was the largest closed market in Europe (if I remember correctly). They were selling all sorts of fruits, vegetables, meat and fishes. The biggest surprise was strawberries. They had really big and juicy strawberries for less than a quarter price of the ones in Slovenia. After buying 1kg of them we learned they were also much better than the ones we get here in Slovenia (during the late spring/early summer – we have no strawberries in December), they were very sweet as oppose to the ones we get in Slovenia which are watery almost without the taste. After enquiring a bit we were told that the season for greenhouse strawberries has just begun.
In the afternoon we had a chance to try paella at last. It was so good, almost worth the whole trip just to try it.
After the lunch we had a chance to explore the city some more.
The next day we had a chance to visit the famous beach in Valencia. It looked so nice, very very large full of sand, you almost wanted to go for a quick swim in the sea. We had a nice lunch at the beach-side – again paella of course, with some snagrias to have full Spanish meal.
After the lunch we went to the other side to visit City of arts and sciences.
It was really interesting inside. They had tons of experiments that you could try everything from space and stars to animals. We also saw a 360 degree movie about Jerusalem, it was quite a fun experience.
After we finished with everything it was already night and time to go to sleep. Next day we had something really special planned.
The next day we had “How to make a paella” cooking course. It lasted for about 5 hours and we did everything. In the beginning we went to local market (from previous days) to buy the ingredients. We also bought few grams of zafran alongside with snails, rabbit, chicken and other ingredients. After it we went to the restaurant where me Veronika and another two couples from USA were instructed how to do everything from cleaning to cooking ingredients.
In the end we tried our creations and while it was ok, I think I will stick to going to the restaurants there, theirs is better. 😛
After the course we went to visit the bullfighting arena near our hotel. It was closed few years ago and turned into a museum.
This was our last day in Valencia, but we couldn’t leave without trying one more thing: The black turtle burgers. We read online that it’s a must try after paella and spoiler alert, it was really worth it. Note: you really need a reservation before though, it is packed full all the time.
The interesting part is that the fries are even better than the burgers. They are dipped in the cheese and spices sauce.
After big dinner we went to hotel and took the bus next day back to Slovenia. It was a fun trip and we will definitely go again if we find another cheap flight. It’s a good trip for a few days and if you go outside of summer season it is fairly cheap.