October 20, 2013 by jenniebean10
I need sleep. I really really need to sleep. My flight from Detroit to Paris was awful – 9 hours with not much rest, and there were 2 screaming kids across the row from me. The guy next to me kept encroaching on my personal space, and wouldn’t get up when I had to use the bathroom. He sat back in his seat like he wanted me to climb over and straddle him to get out. Why are people so weird? I have this cough that I can’t seem to kick, and it wakes me up at night. Ok so enough bitching and moaning – I’m in Spain! And it’s warm and gorgeous here. It feels like summer still.
When I arrived Friday afternoon, I went on a quest to buy a SIM card, but failed. I’ll get my Spanish number sometime this week. At least in the process of doing that, I explored a bit around the neighborhood (El Botanic) – nearby is the Jardín Botánico, which is a great little park for walking, running, biking, etc. The old, dried out course of the Ríu Túria runs through the city and has been converted into a park as well, so I walked around both. (Check out this map to get a visual of the layout of Valencia, and to see places I’m pinning and going around the city.) I also got to see a bit more graffiti, which I loved seeing last time. I’ve never really been taken by graffiti anywhere else (yet) except in Valencia. Here are a few photos of the cool street art I’ve seen – I may dedicate a post to this later.
Friday night, I went out with Rebeca to meet her friend Marta at a bar in Benimaclet for drinks and to hear a band play. The music was putting us to sleep, so we left for another bar in a different neighborhood, Algirós. I was dead tired and going to take the metro home, but it was CLOSED before midnight! How do I solve this problem? Have a cocktail with my friends instead, ¡por supuesto! Marta took us to Café Infinito, an amazing bar where she knows the owner Frankie, a really nice Irish guy. My brain is working overtime to try and understand all the Spanish going on around me, so speaking with someone in English was such a relief. He wanted to make some nonstandard and interesting drinks for us, and I said I like Frangelico. I’m often indecisive, so I love it when someone just asks me what I like and can do the thinking for me, and make something that I really enjoy. Frankie made some delicious drinks for us and chatted with us for a while. Apparently they have lots of vegetarian stuff on their menu, and Frankie was awesome, so I’ll definitely go back. The area had a few good clubs for dancing, too, but they were dead by the time we went to them. We stopped at so many places that night, and I was going in and out of Zombie Jennie mode, but wasn’t in bed til around 4:00am. Like I said…I NEED SLEEP.
The next day, we took a bus (equipped with wi-fi! this is the future!) down to Alcoy, Rebeca’s hometown. We stayed with her family and had a much-needed quiet weekend, with good company and delicious home cooked meals.
Today, after a pretty walk around the outskirts of town, I came back and learned how to make my first Paella Valenciana! If you didn’t know, paella is a dish that originated in Valencia, and it truly is an identifying symbol of this region. In our paella Valenciana, we had chicken, rabbit, paella rice, red pepper, tomato, garlic, runner beans, butter beans, and Paellero, the paella seasoning with saffron. If we go back to Alcoy while I am here, we’ll cook the paella outside over a wood fire. This time, we stuck to the kitchen. Even though it turned out GREAT, I don’t think I’ll post a recipe just yet since this was a learning experience for me. Next weekend, one of Rebe’s friends will cook a paella for us; he’s supposedly an expert, and I’ll compare our method with his to see the difference. I, too, would like to become a paella expert, so I’ll perfect my technique and recipe before posting it on here!
For now, enjoy the pictures and the process…
Hay muchas fotos en este post. Muchas muchas fotos…There are a ton of photos in this post. Check out this slideshow to just see all of the above, plus others, more easily.