Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Alicante to Valencia

We headed north to Jijona, Spain’s principal maker of nougat. There were nougat factories everywhere. Since nougat is one of my favourite things we made a stop at the nougat museum, where we joined up with seniors from a bus tour to get the museum tour. Of course it was all in Spanish but we got a lot of it. It was very interesting how the nougat and marzipan were made before mechanization. It was all mortar and pestle to grind up the almonds. We completed the tour and received our complimentary honey nougat. It was a bit weird. We bought some regular nougat which we scoffed down last night.

As we continued north we stopped for coffee in Alcoy. In most places we’ve been there have been Santas hanging from balconies. They are pretty cute but in Alcoy they had these black guys. On closer inspection they were actually golliwogs, just like the golly I had as a kid. We haven’t seen them anywhere else.

Last night was spent in Xativa’ the birthplace of the Borgia popes. We had our first rabbit and chicken paella and then visited the nativity scene across from the restaurant. Every town has these nativity scenes. This one had camels, geese, chickens and a harlequin donkey.

This morning we went for our coffee and croissant and then brought the car down to the hotel but couldn’t find parking. I was going to grab our stuff while Seamus settled the bill. The woman checking us out couldn’t get the one visa machine to work. I knew she wanted us to pay cash as she wouldn’t try the other visa machine. I was being bloody minded. We parked on a yellow line and you guessed it. We were towed. So it was off to the police station to pay our fine and then we had to walk to the pound to get the car. It was so maddening and my fault. I insisted on the yellow line.

We arrived in Valencia and drove around and around to find our apartment. It was a nightmare. Again no parking. The apartment was in the centre of the town and was very modern and well appointed when we saw it. I had enough by this time and Seamus asked if we could get an apartment out by the beach’ which we now have. It isn’t the one I would have liked as it was booked but it is a few blocks from the ocean where we had a walk tonight. Lovely. It was 14 degrees. The area is a bit deadsville at night but at least we can move the car around and get parking or take the metro into town. The whole port area looks really interesting and we have a local market.

We did go in the main market in Valencia and it was without a doubt the best market I’ve ever been in. Prices are certainly cheaper than at home. We managed to grab a quick bite to eat before coming out to the beach area in a non descript restaurant, where I had the best sea bass with parsley, garlic and a bit of oil.

Tonight I’ve managed to not be able to work the washer and dryer as well as screwing up the TV. I’m on my second glass of wine to recover from this strange day. Some days Seamus can be very saint like and this is one of them. Thank goodness.


Anonymous said...

just testing to see if comments work

Country Girl said...

And that's all you have to say, Anonymous? Just testing? After this oddly fascinating story?

I love your honesty here, El. Sorry to hear about your sucky day.

Jenny C said...

Poor Bella! It's funny how when you are traveling, you have perfect days and you have days when everything just seems to suck. Sounds like you guys handled it well though :)