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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Valencia, Spain - A Trip to the Market

Dear Family and Friends,

We arrived in Valencia, Spain yesterday afternoon around 4:00 pm.  It was sunny and hot....maybe 85 degrees.  We are staying in a large hotel and when we got to our room the room was very hot.  The sun was coming through the glass window and the room was quite hot.  I tried to get the air conditioner up and running....but it didn't work.  Chuck went to the front desk to find out how to make it work.  The desk clerk informed him that there is no air conditioning until May 1st.  Ssshhsh!!!!

We waited until the sun was setting and went on the street for dinner.  After the sun went down the outside air became much more pleasant.  Unfortunately, when we returned to our room it was still very warm.  We tried to open the window, but it would only open about two inches.  Not enough to cool things off.

We slept with no covers. There is one of us who does not do well in the heat and she can get cranky without air conditioning.   Luckily we were both able to sleep.

This morning, we dressed in short sleeve, light weight tops, slathered ourselves in sunscreen  and headed to the historic city center.

It was a great walk because it was early enough that the sun was not too hot.  We ended up at the big old market and that is what the post today is going to be about.

The market building....

This enterprising guy was outside the market.  From a distance, he looked like a statue of a street sweeper.  In reality, he was a mime.  Check out the money he could sweep up if he'd just move that broom.

We thoroughly enjoyed walking around and gawking at everything in the market.  We were amazed by the similarities we found to our Cuenca markets.  We also found some new (to us) food.

Here is a shellfish new to us.  They look a little like shrimp, but they aren't.

Sardines...packed to go.

Here are live snails. It looks like they are trying to make a break for it.

We would would not be surprised to see this guy in our markets in Ecuador.

New to us mushrooms..

and these too....

New to us produce....

The sign says "Sea Asparagus."

These are funny looking tomatoes....only they cost about three times what the regular tomatoes cost.  I saw one cut open.  Looks similar but different.  I wonder how they taste?

I have been coveting the style of shopping cart this lady is pushing.  They are everywhere here in Spain.  They have four wheels and push like a stroller.  Really nice when the load gets heavy.

How about some cheese?

or some ham?

or olives?

how about olive oil?

Here is Chuck checking out some jam.

Here are some spices.  Those are dried red peppers hanging in the air. Reminded me of a trip to New Mexico.

There was a shoe repair man and also these couple of guys who repaired clothes.....just like in Ecuador.

Even outside the market building reminded us of our Ecuador markets.

They had vendors selling plants.

and vendors selling all sorts of goods.

Check out these paella pans.  All sizes.

We didn't see a man with goats and selling milk or  a vendor selling horse or donkey blankets or a vendor selling fresh cut flowers.  And of course we didn't see cuy.

After checking out the market we were hungry so we went across the street to a sidewalk cafe and had a snack.

Chuck had fried Camembert cheese.

and I had calamari

After our snack, since it was such a nice day, we decided to take the two decked bus tour of the city.  Just like in Cuenca, the clouds came in, covered the sun and the temperature dropped about 20 degrees.  There we were on the top of the tour bus, in short sleeves, freezing our a**es off.

Tonight we should sleep nice and cool.


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