Thursday, August 11, 2011


originally posted May 15/11

Thanks for the emails. Sorry I can't respond to them all, but I do
read them all.


Today is another travel day of sorts. We are moving from the Westin to
Valencia Mansion in Old Valencia. Its a good thing Jos booked this
place because we might have missed this part of the city. The map was
a bit confusing and we thought we had seen all of the old city, but we
had not. Matteo and Koyola are the owners of the B&B and are really
nice people. Koyola answered all of our questions and showed us a map,
pointing out all the visit-worthy places. He recommended two
restaurants to us for lunch and dinner. The lunch place was Tapenarie.
After telling him about our food adventures, he also recommended a
restaurant we could eat at for dinner. Their friends were visiting
from out of town and he offered to make a separate reservation for us.

Once we were given the rundown of everything, Jos and I left to
explore. We were also getting hungry so we went in search of the
restaurant which took a while to find.The map was confusing us.
Eventually we found it. The food was SUPERAMAZING! The funny thing
was, that Matteo and Koyola were there too! It was quite funny - it
was like we would be following their food trail. The set menu of
appetizer, entree and dessert was between 10 and 12 euros. Jos ate the
potato fish soup and I had the SUPERAWESOME goat cheese salad with
figs, dried apricots and raisins. For the entree, I had squid grilled
then covered in its own ink (kind of like Filipino squid adobo) and
Jos had duck with rice. For dessert, we had coconut creme caramel (SO
AMAZING). It was like eating a coconut macaroon with creme caramel.


We went to the Plaza de la Reina which I dubbed Chachkaville, because
of all the chachka-like stuff (from ceramics, magnets, wooden spoons,
religious art work) people were selling. In the past, I would have
purchased one or two homemade trinkets, but I'd rather buy useful
things. Although the paella magnet looked tempting, I did not purchase
it LOL.

Visited the Catedral de Valencia which apparently houses The Holy
Grail. There are also numerous relics throughout the church including
someone's intact arm and hand...though I can't remember who it
belonged to. The architecture is exquisite and so is the artwork. I
will never understand how artists were able to create art and build
structures and sculptures of such huge scales. Ahhh Cathedrals,
churches...we always take so many pictures because there is so much to
see. Also went to see the Bascilica de Virgin's square which was hop
hop hopping. Passed by the big market, but it was closed. We also
visited La Longa, which is also known as the Silk Exchange which had
very interesting architecture. Jos' shopping drought continues...

Our goal was to get lost in Valencia and that is what we did. LOL.
Thanks to my superawesome sense of direction we went around in circles
a couple of times. It's not my fault there are no parallel streets and
that they all used the same types of material for their houses
hahahaa. We finally got back with 5 minutes to spare to get ready for
dinner. We met Matteo and K with their friends downstairs and headed
to the restaurant. This place is their secret gem kind of restaurant.
Matteo told me that they have never recommended it to any of their
guests and I told him it was probably because we had told K that we
were big foodies and willing to spend the money for good food.

We ordered:
Salad topped with a gigantic portion of Buffalo mozzarella with mandarin oranges
Thinly sliced shrimp with avocado
Tuna tartar with with mango
Thinly sliced beef tartar with parmesan cheese
Chocolate brownie
Nora white wine & Naia white wine

I forgot to mention that Matteo was so helpful. At Tapeneria and at
the dinner restaurant, he came over and translated the menu for us. He
also recommended some dishes for us. We could have muddled through,
but his help was definitely appreciated...not to mention, his
recommendations were great! Jos and I finished dinner before them and
Matteo gave us directions back as we were sure we'd get a bit lost. We
managed to get home safely. I was dead tired as always...this journal
is late because of my fatigue and I still owe you a few more.

Hope all of you are well! If I have forgotten anything, I will try to
add it to the next journal.

-Sam & Jos ^__^

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