Monday, November 30, 2015

Valencia, Spain

The day we spent in Valencia was probably my favorite day of the entire cruise. We started out at the Mercat Central, one of the largest markets in Europe. I've been to a lot of markets and this one was absolutely amazing!

We started off with churros and chocolate at l'Orxateria, which is located just outside one of the main doors. We then spent the next few hours exploring the massive market. The building has beautiful stained glass looking skylights and some walls with impressive tile murals.

Of course it is filled with the normal market wares; butchers with all cuts of meat, fishmongers and strange looking sea creatures, fruits and vegetables galore. This market had some unique stands including one that had all pickled things, an incredible olive seller, another with fresh and dried mushrooms, fresh juice vendors, and a stand with many different kinds of snails!
After browsing the market, as well as picking up some snacks for aperos that night, we asked around for where to go have lunch of the regional specialty- paella. Everyone told us that you have to have paella at the beach so we grabbed a cab and headed to Playa de la Malvarosa. The beach here is beautiful! If I had a few days in this gorgeous city I would happily spend them at the beach!
The beachfront walk is lined with restaurants all advertising delicious paella. We picked a place randomly, well actually we picked it based on their gintonic selection, as everyone told us that most all the places down here would be great, and spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying a long lunch. Destino 56 was delicious but it really took forever as the kitchen forgot one of our paella orders! As these dishes are made-to-order they take about 45 minutes each. But we enjoyed our gintonics, delicious mussels, amazing calamari (both sent out on the house) and finally two different paellas; one seafood and one rabbit and artichoke.
That evening we had a very nice dressy dinner at the ship's AmphorA restaurant.

My favorite day was one spent leisurely checking out good food and eating good food in a beautiful setting with good friends. For me it doesn't get much better than that.

Photos here. Next stop Mallorca.

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