The Road to Valencia: Pastry, Quiche and Trains

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The limbo time waiting for trains and planes is tough. You need to remain aware of your surroundings, ensure there are no changes on the status, and wait with a bunch of weirdos who are worse off than you in terms of anger and nervousness.

I hated to leave the pool area of B Hotel, but as the rates rose dramatically for the next two nights, I decided to grab a train to Valencia. Before I left Barcelona though, I grabbed pastries, quiche, coffee Americano and a piece of cheesecake at the bakery, Enrich.

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I have to admit that it was a shop that I had wanted to eat from last summer, but by Barcelona (after two weeks in Morocco and a few days in Madrid) money was tight. Without any posted signs as to cost, I had opted for other food venues. However, this time I was able to procure all of this for a mere 7 euros, and it was a great way to start the day after my swim. The quiche was creamy and the pastries were nicely tarted up with fruits. The cheese cake was light and cheese based, unlike American style cakes; I enjoyed them all. Off to the train station.

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I arrived at the station two hours early as my room needed to be vacated and I did not want to drag my bags far. Despite carrying far less than ever before, they are heavier than I want. Why can’t I have 2 pound bags that hold everything I could ever need. Still, there were many women carrying suitcases they could not even roll themselves let alone lift onto a train rack. If you cannot carry the bag you packed, the perhaps you should stay home.

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The train ride went well enough, but my arrival left me totally at a loss for where I ended up in Valencia. Train stations are hit or miss in relation to their proximity to where you hope to end up. Barcelona, Montreal, and Munich were pretty great, whereas Osaka, Jaisalmer (actually everywhere in India), and Valencia confused the heck out of me. Few signs left me walking in hot sun for a while, but eventually I figured my way into the subway system. I do not know what it is about me on this trip, but I have been stopped five times so far by Spanish speakers for directions. Maybe I look Spanish, maybe I appear to know where I am, but the reality is that I speak no Spanish, and am totally lost but do not care.
Tonight I will shower and go out for a short walk. I really only have tomorrow here, so tonight is recognaizance and supplies. The Hospes Palau de la Mar is a minimalist boutique hotel in the heart of the city. Not fun per se and the cost of mini-bar items is a little insane, but the linens and shower seem superb. Oh, and I saw my first ever orange tree just outside of the Metro. Nice.

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