It was time to leave Barcelona, we loved it but needed a fresh start. So we packed up our things said goodbye to the Born Portal 3.3 apartment and headed for the metro to the train station. I am going to Italy after this to live for four months so I have quite a bit of stuff; one weekend bag, one large rolling bag, and one (larger than average) carry on rolling bag. The metro wasn’t so conducive to carrying all this stuff but we were determined to do it. Then we ran into some missionaries from Michigan who helped carry our stuff up and down some stairs; it makes me uncomfortable how many American missionaries are in Spain but I appreciated the help.

Goodbye Born Portal 3.3!

Goodbye Born Portal 3.3!

Then the train we wanted was sold out and we were so exhausted that after a long wait in line we decided to spring for the 1st class (Preferante) tickets for the next train instead of wait until the evening and arrive in Valencia very late.

a good omen in the first class lounge

a good omen in the first class lounge

With the 1st Class tickets we got into the 1st class lounge where we were thrilled to be able to enjoy free café, juice, nuts, and cookies. I had a chance to go to the photo booth (as I make it a goal to get them as often as possible) and Sister got a chance to buy some medicine at the Pharmacia because she had some bad congestion.

The train was great, the 20 extra Euros for 1st class were definitely worth it. We were served juice and champagne, lunch, and could watch a movie. We of course continued out Rummy tournament (I was still in the lead at this point) and took naps.

The station in Valencia is so gorgeous complete with stain glass squares that say “good trip” in each language. We hopped in a cab and went to the Hotel Expo where we had booked a room for the week. So the reason we booked this hotel: roof pool and terrace bar. The minute we arrived we dropped our things and changed and ran up to enjoy the pool. The view was spectacular and the pool although small felt amazing.

Afterwards we shared a bottle of wine on the terrace and met a group of English guys that were in town for “La Tomatia” (The Tomato Festival which takes place in Brunol a small town near Valencia). They were there for a Stag party and had been the previous year as well so they gave us some advice (goggles, bring extra clothes, etc) and told us about the bus that left from the hotel so we wouldn’t have to take the train. Perfect, Valencia seemed to be welcoming us with open arms.

We ended up enjoying the view a bit too long and once we realized how hungry we were it was pretty late, even for the Spanish dinner. So we went around the corner to a cheap place called “Golden Gate,” I’m a tad embarrassed to say it was perfect. We didn’t order Paella (Valencia is famous for it) or Tapas but instead some simple pasta dishes with red sauce. It wasn’t fancy or specific to Spain but it was necessary comfort food and good wine so we had a good time.

The hotel was just what we needed after all that happened in Barcelona and all the stairs with our luggage on our way out. We were sore and in need of the separate, maid cleaned rooms, with elevators, English news, and a seventh floor view. It was nice to be taken care of, even still my Sister kept our passports in the back of the mini fridge (which locked and had a key). By the way Chad, this reminded me of you cause you were the first person to tell me to keep my documents in the freezer.

So we watched the DNC and sprawled out on our beds and decided we loved Valencia.


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