Three-day course in Valencia

In late November I had the chance to attend a three-day course in Valencia, Spain. I’ve previously been to Barcelona and Madrid but Valencia was new for me. I had a full course program but did get the chance to see a bit of the city in the evenings. However, as I decided to only walk around the city I really only saw the part of the city where the course was held and where I stayed (mainly Ciutat Vella).

I stayed at a nice four-star hotel called Vincci Mercat, which was five minutes by foot from where the course was held at ADEIT. I arrived at the hotel late on Monday night, got settled and went straight to bed. The next morning I had breakfast at the hotel (included in the room price): a nice spread including all the usual breads, cold cuts, eggs, juices, coffee/tea, fruits, cereals, etc. There were some nice little surprises like smoothies, tortilla española and gazpacho. After breakfast I ventured out to find the course venue. The first day of the course we had the chance to sample the traditional Paella Valenciana at lunch and I learned that paella originates in Valencia and the real traditional paella only contains white rice, green beans, chicken and garrofó (a variety of lima beans). After the first full day I headed back to the hotel to do some work and stopped at a supermarket on the way to buy some light snacks for dinner.

Lunch began with some tapas
Paella Valenciana
There was even cake for dessert
The hotel had a roof-top pool but it wasn’t heated, so no swimming this time
View from hotel roof-top pool

On the second day, I headed to the Mercat Central for lunch, where a one-star Michelin chef Ricard Camarena runs a restaurant called Central Bar. I had cod fritters and patatas bravas, which were delicious and moderately priced. After the course ended around 4 pm I strolled around the city and snapped some pictures. Back at the hotel I googled for dinner suggestions near my accommodation and ended up at an Italian restaurant called La Vita e Bella. This was the first time ever I visited a restaurant that offered cheaper prices indoors compared to sitting outside on the terrace. I had a Quattro formaggi pizza and a glass of red wine. The pizza was very tasty.

Mercat Central
Mercat Central
Lunch at Mercat Central
I came across this outdoor skating rink while strolling around the city and found it a bit odd in +20C weather
Pizza at La Vita e Bella

On the last day I opted for a quick lunch at Starbucks and must say their salmon-wasabi sandwich was actually very nice. Once again when the course ended I had to head back to the hotel for some work but did have time to venture out for one last dinner. This time I opted for a more Spanish choice and had tapas at a place called Pintxo i Trago. I once again had to try the patatas bravas (one of my all-time favorite tapa) which I accompanied with a cheese platter and a local beer. The food was nice but must say that of all three patatas bravas I had on this trip these were least to my liking (not crispy enough).

Last night’s tapas
My hotel

Friday morning I had an early flight back home. All in all, Valencia seemed like a place worth visiting again with more time to explore the city. Also, the food was great so another trip to explore the local restaurant scene in more detail is definitely in the books.

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