Ah, Valencia, that sparkling region on Spain’s Mediterranean coast: home to fine food, exquisite wine, sparkling citrus orchards (the Valencia orange originated here), beaches and bodegas — and today, the new Oceania Riviera.
The distractions here are plentiful enough to keep the energetic traveler on the go 24/7. But to truly appreciate Valencia and to tap into and understand its ancient soul, there is one thing you simply must do: nothing.
That’s what Valencians do for the most part each afternoon. Of course, siesta is to Spain what Starbucks is to America, a chance to re-energize and face the remains of the day. So plan accordingly when visiting Valencia. Sightsee in the morning, rest in the afternoon, and enjoy the evenings back on Oceania Riviera.
I enjoy a visit to one of Europe’s oldest-running food markets, Mercado Central, where we sampled Spanish hams and cheeses. Situated in a huge Art Nouveau cast-iron building, Mercado Central is still where Valencianos shop for fresh seafood and produce.
We continued to Horchateria El Siglo, which serves up the “world’s best horchata,” according to our guide, Jose. Horchata, by the way, is nothing like what you may have experienced in Mexico. Valencian Horchata is made from tigernuts, water and sugar, and it originated in Valencia during the period of the Muslim presence here from the 8th to 13th century. So it’s an old tradition.
Horchata originated in Valencia during the period of Muslim presence here from the 8th to 13th century. As in the rest of Spain, Valencian Horchata is made from tigernuts, water and sugar. In the old part of the city, Horchateria El Siglo has been serving up the cold, refreshing beverage here since 1836. For more photos, click Valencia’s Horchateria El Siglo.
To be continued…
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An avid traveler and an award-winning journalist, Ralph Grizzle produces articles, video and photos that are inspiring and informative, personal and passionate. A journalism graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ralph has specialized in travel writing for more than two decades. To read more cruise and port reviews by Ralph Grizzle, visit his website at www.avidcruiser.com