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Valencia_1200_1437Today we’re in Valencia, and we booked on an excursion -‘Discover Valencia’.

(A slight digression here on the importance of reading Horizon carefully – it’s the most up-to-date document a passenger has. We discovered that we had four different starting times for our excursion. The original excursions brochure, the ticket, and our detailed itinerary all gave different times between 10:30 and 11:15. Then Val checked today’s Horizon yesterday evening when we received it and found a starting time of 9:35, and that was indeed when it started. A good job she checked, methinks.)

The excursion itself lasted for about four and a half hours, and we were on our feet for about two-thirds of that time (which was fine, and why we had booked it). It began with a visit to the new ‘City of Arts and Sciences’, which we just looked at from a distance (with a bit of a stroll as well). Then we drove into the old town and walked to, in turn, La Lonja de la Seda (the old Silk exchange building, and very reminiscent of a small cathedral); the main food market; Plaça de la Redond; and Valencia cathedral. There were a couple of periods of free time, one of them being for almost 45 minutes, but in general it was quite a busy excursion. All in all we enjoyed it a lot. It made me think I’d like to come back to Valencia and see more of the city at a more leisurely pace. One area of concern, however, is that thanks to the financial crisis the regional government is finding it very difficult to keep the new developments maintained.

Tonight we’re having a meal in East, which now features new menus ‘inspired by Atul Kochhar’. We’re looking forward to it. Tomorrow we’ll be at Barcelona, where we’ve booked a guided tour of La Sagrada Familia at 11am. I’m not sure what we’ll do after that, and the uncertainty is compounded by the fact that I’ve left my Barcelona guide book at home. I have received a withering look from Val.

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