Day 17 - Monday 14 September 2015
We woke up on our last day in Barcelona and spent the morning packing our bags and tidying the apartment. We'd been there 8 days so had gotten pretty comfy. Jazz also made a few calls to her family.
Before we left we had to rush out and get some cash out and also get some breakfast on the run. We felt like as soon as we were looking for an ATM & bakery their were none but we had seen so many the last few days.
Our suitcases were really heavy and we were tired after just getting them down the stairs.
We were hiring a car and driving to Valencia so we caught a taxi with our heavy suitcases to the Hertz office at the train station.
There were quite a few people at the car place so it took a little while but we got the keys and the lady talked us through things. We had to walk around the corner to an underground car park to get the car. It was a black Opel car, kind of SUV like. They drive in the RHS here so the driver sits on the LHS. It took us a few minutes to figure out the GPS but once we did we set off. It was pretty scary because you instinctively look right when you come to a road but need to be looking left for oncoming traffic. We had a few scary moments (when we almost drove into oncoming traffic at a roundabout) but overall it went quite smoothly. I was back seat driving and annoying Jazz because I felt like she had no awareness of how close the right hand side (which I was sitting on) was getting to the side of the highway.
We were getting hungry and needed a bathroom we so stopped in a town called Castello for lunch and a drink. We picked one of the first places we came across because we were busting and it was really bad. We ordered burgers and they were the worst! Not even burgers really.
We were both disappointed and hit the road to drive the rest of the way to Valencia.
When we got to Valencia we found our apartment with the help of our GPS but couldn't find anywhere to park. We ended up parking somewhere a few blocks away and figured we could ask our host when we met her.
We got to our apartment just before 6pm and we were greeted by Mariana who was waiting for us with her kids.
Our apartment was a loft so it was right at the top and we had to climb 5 flights of stairs. We were all puffing by the time we got to the top but the place was super cute, we love it. It was one big room with a bathroom attached but the way it was spread out it felt like it had lots of space.
Mariana didn't know anywhere to park and said there is nothing nearby except for locals and you need a permit.
We looked up parking places but again there was no where close and we started to feel like hiring the car was a liability.
We wandered down the street towards where we thought their might be parking but it was full and all for residents anyway.
We found a police officer on the street and asked him where we could park and he told us about an underground parking lot that was open 24 hours. He gave us the address and we made our way back to the car and looked it up.
It was in the middle of a square called Plaza de la Reina. Plaza is pronounced "plartha". We found it with the GPS and it was a bit under 1km away from our place. We were going to walk back and were also worried about carrying the cases up the stairs so we consolidated the things we thought we'd need into one suitcase and walked through the town dragging our suitcase through the street.
Jazz carried it the first way up the stairs and when she got tired, I carried it the rest. We were both exhausted by the time we got to the top.
We got settled and did some washing to make ourselves at home. Mariana had suggested a restaurant called La Comisaria to us saying it was her favourite place so once we were ready we wandered down the road to that.
There was no one else there yet because it was still pretty early (in Spanish terms because it was 8.30pm).
The waiter was very friendly and suggested the 5 course degustation menu, it was only €25 each! It was delicious and Jazz even ate a prawn and liked it! We were very full and satisfied by the time we left.
On the way home we went to the deli that was near our place to buy water & wine, the essentials!
We got home, hung out the washing and sat on the rooftop terrace to have a glass of red before bed. Already we really loved Valencia, it had a lot of the charm that Barcelona had but without the chaos and so many tourists. I think we were also very appreciative to be in a quiet neighbourhood after being in the noisy gothic quarter for 8 days. No more sleeping with earplugs!