ValenciaValencia, almost forgotten sister amongst the shine of Barcelona and Madrid, provides a harmoniously combine the remnants of its farthest past, with the most innovative and avant-garde buildings from the new millennium. It is a sort of laid back city which offers a Roman past harboured in its down-town area and the advanced massive architectural project called The City of Arts and Sciences.It was easy to visit the down-town area as I had already purchased the unlimited metro and bus pass. My host helped me with the areas to visit and how to reach there. The down-town area boasted of the Gothic architectural buildings and cathedrals with a lot to discover by walking or cycling. It was easy to rent a cycle and roam around in city, but I preferred to walk. There was the famous Valencia Cathedral, The Barri del Carme neighbourhood, The Mercat Central and a labyrinth of streets all displaying Spanish-style buildings with large balconies and windows. There were a good number of restaurants where I enjoyed mouth-watering cuisines when I got a bit tired of walking. It was a good way to relax and engage in a chat with locals and other tourists while I enjoyed the beauty of Valencia.
We took a self-guided walking tour of Valencia, for which itineraries and maps are easily available. Most of the attractions can be well covered on foot. It has a unique mix from medieval to modernist architecture, with massive shopping complexes along the wide, tree-lined streets. There are long, wide stretches of beaches which have not been commercialized yet. However, this city definitely deserves more than one day.
We heard that Punjabi Curry is a small traditional Indian food restaurant situated close to the promenade, just along Calle la Niña. The interior of the restaurant is rather small, simple but tidy, and they make up for the large outdoor seating area at the front where you can enjoy watching people go by and listen to the sound of the sea while waiting for your food.
Suki the owner told us upon arriving that he can also speak English and offered us the option for either a Spanish or English version of the menu. The service was prompt and friendly, all of our needs were catered for.
My husband and I were more excited than the children as this has been the first time in over a year since we have sat down in a traditional Indian restaurant. Some things we took for granted when we was back home, however, this time is a more special and ´new´experience for us… I mean… how many times have we sat in a curry restaurant on a Saturday lunch time that over looked the beach?
I found the menu very typical of an Indian restaurant, with the usual options of pakoras, samosas and bhajis for starters. For the main meals, the husband and I opted for lamb jalfrezi, saag aloo, nan breads and mushroom rice, while our eldest son chose the lamb bhuna along with plain rice. The portions were generous and the I would give their rice the best ever rate for fluffiness if ever there is one. I can simply describe that the food that we had here is what I would expect from a good traditional curry restaurant, authentic, flavoursome and yet reasonably priced.
Finding the place is not hard and there is available parking along the main road. They also offer take away service if you live within a 5 mile radius, sadly for us! They also offer a Menu del Dia for the price of €8.95 and a Menu de Noche for €12.50 from 21:00 pm onwards. The hour and a half drive was worth the trip, along with great food we also get to spend a few hours in Calpe admiring the beach and town.
Valencia is a very pretty city. Horrible traffic (traffic lights every 200m!) and no parking (like many other cities in Spain). But apart from that, it is really well taken care of.
Apparently, back in the day, a river used to cross the city from one end to the other. Due to regular floods, the people of the city diverted the river. Now, the space that was once the river bank is occupied by a park that extends for about 14Km. You can go from one end of the city to the other pretty much by walking or cycling along this park. There are even municipal bikes available for rental all around but for those you need to have a city card.
The other thing that stands out in Valencia is the “City of Arts and Culture” which is a futuristic looking complex that includes an IMAX cinema, a museum of science, an auditorium for different events and an aquarium.
I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned this in my blog before that every year on my birthday I travel. It’s a pact that I made with myself long time back. My goal is to visit all 7 Continents before I turn 35.This was back in 2014 that I did backpacking through Spain and Ibiza was my last destination.