Today we found a high tech laundromat. So high tech that we didn’t know how to work it and ended up donating 4 € to the next guy wanting to use the drier‘ ‘cos we put money in the wrong machine and pressed the wrong buttons. Anyway, it’s good to have clean clothes again! And it was nice to help out the locals with their laundry!
Later we headed back into the old part of Valencia and We finally got to see a “Valencia Orange”!!
The Silk museum wasn’t necessarily on our “must see” list, but it was the final part of a package we purchased for yesterday’s church visits. It will always be most memorable as the place where I lost the second hat of the holiday!!! Having packed two, I am now down to zero. Not a bad effort in less than a week!!!
The Silk Exchange , Lonja de la Seda, on the other hand, was worth a quick visit.
As the heat of the day increased, and the number of Spanish out and about decreased, we decided it would be a good idea to hire bikes and go exploring. Like Barcelona , the cycle paths, bike lanes and little cycling traffic light signals make it incredibly easy to get around.
Back in the 50’s, the Turia River flooded badly, causing wide spread devastation in the city. As a result, the town planners decided it would be a good idea to divert the river elsewhere! The old river bed, running 8 or 9 kms beside the historical centre, has been turned into a massive park land filled with cycle and walking paths, skate parks, picnic spots, exercise equipment, gardens and fountains. There was even a cricket game!
We took this route on our quest to see the sea, and have a quick dip in the Mediterranean. It was shady and much cooler but most importantly, it was flat!!
We had a stop off at the “City of Arts and Sciences”. What an amazing space! Yes, it is surrounded by vast “pools” of clear, cool, clean, enticing water and yes, it was a very hot day!!
Much to our amazement, and disappointment, not a single person was swimming or wading, not a single toe being dangled! Forbidden! What a waste!!!
You could , however, go on the water, using a variety of “water craft”. It appeared to be a popular pastime with the many visitors, but I wasn’t having a bar of that. If I couldn’t go in, I certainly didn’t want to pay to go on.
We entered the Science building, for a quick look around. Whilst outside was spectacular, inside was a little underwhelming. It was a bit like our Questacon in Canberra, but not as much fun. The air conditioning was nice though!
We navigated the final kilometres to the beach via the city cycle lanes. It was now that we found where all the Spanish go to cool down.
Trouble is, it wasn’t cool! The trek to the beach down the wooden pathway was long and hot. There is certainly no lack of sand in this part of the world. But there was an obvious lack of surf! Grahame dipped his whole self in the mistaken assumption that this would be a refreshing and cooling experience. I dipped my feet with the same hope.
It was around about now that DOMS – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness- (remember that hill climb a few days ago? ) had set in fully. Legs, hips, calves and knees were beginning to protest. It was hot, it was sandy and I was in pain. Grahame was too!
There can only be one solution!
We flew back to the bike hire place in record time, skulled a litre of water and limped around the corner to a shady outdoor cafe and ordered a whole jug of sangria, not a half jug as on previous days!
Now that was cool and refreshing , and much more effective and satisfying than the trip to the beach. And by the button of the jug, the DOMS was gone too!!
After an hour of “recovery time” , we wandered further into the old quarter looking for the perfect paella. Found this guy reclining back in his own little fountain, grapes on his knees keeping cool and fed!
If only I could have done that at the City of Arts and Science!