February 20th, 2007 – by: ellechic
Valencia: the church bell tower
We stopped in Valencia
for two reasons: to see the Holy Grail and eat paella Valenciana in Valencia
The Holy Grail - or is it really the Holy Grail? Hmmm... Is
located in the Cathedral of Valencia. I always thought that the Holy Grail has
never been found. Or have I been reading too much fiction novels and watching
too much of Indiana Jones: the Last Crusade? Of course, seeing the Holy Grail
in such a setting kind of wore off its mystery and grandeur. It was a
disappointment. But the Cathedral of Valencia was great. The altar was wow.
Gold and paintings dominated the apse and alcove behind the altar.
Valencia: the church where the Holy Grail resides
The dome, added
in the 15th
century, was white and quite different in its design. After
seeing so many churches and its extravagance, one would think I would develop a
hatred for them. But surprisingly, although I don't get impress with them so
easily anymore, I still find churches fascinating places to visit. Especially a
Catholic church. It is full of contradictions and history and so much wealth,
yet all are intertwined that makes the church unique and special on its own.
After a quick prayer, we ventured out the city of Valencia
We walked down to the town hall where we found a huge fountain in the middle 2
main streets. It looks so enticing to jump into the fountain and have an
impromptu bath! Hahaha… I tried to look for the outdoor market but because it
was February, they weren’t any to be found. Sad, we continued to walk around
and ended up at the shopping area where I bought bags and a couple of tops.
Valencia: church ceiling...
There weren’t much I found that I like. But it was a nice shopping venture for
is probably the city I like the least. I don't know why but it felt empty
despite the crowds of people we saw on the streets. Maybe it’s the modern
buildings that stood out, unbending and cold compared to the natural age and feel
of the city. There were also constructions everywhere. The convention centers
were an eyesore. Architecturally, they were great, but again they just don’t
belong there! I didn't like it. I didn’t feel connected to the city. And it was
For dinner, we had paella Valenciana. Around the hotel were
we stayed at, just about 4 blocks away is small restaurant that serves paella.
Sangria again was ordered which we highly enjoyed.
Valencia: the Holy Grail
Once the paella was ready,
the cooks came out with the whole thing for us to see. Our paella was cooked in
a large paella pan approximately 3 feet in diameter! Unfortunately, I couldn’t
get a good shot of it because there were so much movement that the photo turned
out fuzzy. It was paella Valencia
with olive oil, rice, saffron, chicken, sausage and seafood. It was good. The
rice was moist from the olive oil and mixed chicken and seafood were delicious
as well. I have to say that I still like my dad’s paella Valencia
and in the Village in NYC, there is a Spanish tapa/restaurant called “Paella” that
I frequent for their seafood paella.
I guess one cannot always like every city one visits, eh?