Coast to Coast



18 – 21 April 2019

It’s Easter and its raining in Valencia. AEMET (Spain’s Met Office) has a strong wind and heavy rain warning for the whole Easter weekend. Glad we’re not walking.

Cold, wet and windy – time for hot chocolate and fresh churros

Valencia has many beautiful old churches and civic buildings, impossible to photograph in the rain. Cobbled streets, slightly run down, incredible street art – barrio El Carmen looks so like San Telmo in Buenos Aires. Well, one of the major artists is from Argentina!

A street in barrio El Carmen

Valencia – founded by the Romans in 138 BC, occupied by the Moors in 714, conquered by the Christians in 1238 became one of the most influential cities on the Mediterranean in the 15th and 16th centuries.

17th century Basilica (L) and 13th century Cathedral (R)
14th century Serrans Gate – the ancient city wall was demolished in 1865
Portal de la Valldigna from 1400 separated the Christian and Moorish parts of Valencia
Valencia Central Market, built in the early 1900s but a market has existed on this site since the 14th century
Valencia Nord train station built early 1900s, still functional still beautiful
We really wanted to see the Resurrection Parade on Easter Sunday but it was cancelled due to rain
Luckily Carmen’s vermouth bar was open

Paella – the Moors introduced rice cultivation to Valencia around the 10th century. We headed south, an hours bus ride, to El Palmar on Lake Albufera where the paella originated. Of course we had to have Paella Valenciana: short-grain rice, chicken, rabbit, broad beans and green butter beans with fresh rosemary, sweet paprika and saffron. Valencians say anything else is not paella but “rice with things”!

Traditional Paella Valenciana with chicken, rabbit and beans
Lateen – classic hand built Lake Albufera boat