Let’s go fly a kite

This was the carpet that we walked on between the lift and our room in our Madrid hotel – it took 130 steps – Me Jenny counted (every time). Lucky it was pretty carpet…..

Then we hit the train station ready to head east(ish) to the coast – to Valencia.  I’ve got to say – I LOVE train travel and wish the we had it in WA.  Although the train is so fast here, I want it to go for longer.  Today we travelled at 300+ kms ph!  I only just barely got into my audio book and it was time to pack up and get off.

We got to our hotel and thought as we were on the coast, we should hit the beach – or at least a bar/restaurant near the beach. We asked a young chap at reception for a restaurant recommendation in an area near the marina. He suggested a place about 3kms north off the marina and we just went with it.

So it turns out that the place the young chap recommended was a bit run down, dirty and the table tops weren’t entirely attached the bottoms….. so we went two restaurants down … After deciphering what the hell “duckling grilled octopus” was – turns out it was octopus hearts – don’t you love google translate?

We tasted our first seafood paella. It was ok, but wasn’t as spectacular as we were hoping for. It seemed to lack ingredients. Maybe a muscle or two?  The traditional paella in Valencia has chicken, rabbit & beans, but we were by the sea, so it seemed like the ideal situation to try a seafood paella.  Also – just FYI, the word ‘paella’ refers to the pan in which the paella is cooked.  Did you know that?  We didn’t.

We were lucky enough to be entertained by this lovely chap giving his best “Girl from Ipanema” in Spanish.

When we’d finished we wandered back down the pathway towards the marina….. mainly to walk off the paella, but also do have a squizz at what goes on down here and to get us closer to a taxi…

People were using the beach for all sorts of activities…

Firstly, there were these wooden slatted paths, for people to shower on the beach, but then they don’t have to walk on the sand again – ingenious! Also great for wheelchair users.

In the 2-3kms we walked there were climbing equipment for kids, volleyball nets – like 25 of them – that’s a whole open air arena! There were also were cafes a plenty, places where you could learn to surf, paths wide enough for bikes and scooters, joggers and slow walkers. There were even basketball rings – I’m not sure how people would get a game going on the sand though???  It was late afternoon when people would have finished work and taking their ‘siesta’ – which doesn’t have to mean sleep… it really just means break from work.

We stopped to sit and watch these amazing kites flying.  There were two chaps controlling one each and they were mesmerising to watch…

There was a sandcastle – how amazing is this?  This is ‘sandcastle busking’ – a chap built it and then put the hat out the front to collect money from lookers….. 

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If you zoom in you’ll see he’s added his own drama…

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It’s a shame that I had just given all my change to this guy…

So after a couple of small cañas listening to this chap, we found the taxi rank and headed home… passing this statue in the middle of a roundabout !?  Any thought as to what the hell it might be?

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Welcome to Valencia!

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