22.08.2014 - 24.08.2014 33 °C
Sun, sand, sangria.
Valencia made simple. Undoubtedly there is much more to the tale of Valencia but 50 days into backpacking, they were the only things we cared about.
We were not disappointed. The long stretch of the Malva-Rosa shore was far less crowded than the other beaches we have visited, and a perfect place to lay down a towel, snooze in the blazing sun and wander up the promenade for some tapas afterwards. Which is exactly what we did. We spent two glorious afternoons camped out on the sand, reading books (fittingly, I've started Orwell's 'Homage to Catalonia') and taking many ungraceful naps in the sun. Valencia has more days of sunshine than anywhere in Europe and really turned it on for our quick seaside sojourn.
Of course, no day spent in the South of Spain without sampling local food would be complete. The easiest way to think of Spain is as a series of unique and independent regions, proudly clinging onto their own cultural characteristics and gems. The food of Valencia is really delicious so I am more than happy for them to keep fighting the power. It is the home of paella, made traditionally from chicken and rabbit. We had four meals during our stay, three were paella. Other treats we discovered were Aqua de Valencia, a mix of their world-reknowned orange juice and prosecco, and a less drinkable shot of Horchata. I don't even know what the latter is made from, but I wouldn't go back for more. Hodge even tried an ox burger.
What we did actually see of Valencia apart from the beach was very charming, a true 'old town' in its buildings and streetscape. But nothing beats the feeling of salt on your skin and sand in your toes. Bravo, Valencia.