Half Term Getaway to Spain: Part 2

Beautiful view of Valencia from the top of Torres de Serranos

Valencia really was a beautiful city with a very interesting mix of cultures, history as well as modernness to it – evident from the buildings across the city.

Plaza de Toros de Valencia (bullring)
Valencia Nord Train Station
Valencia Central Market

Being a my usual foodie self, my first stop on my last day in Valencia was the impressive centre market. It features a wide range of food ranging from the famous Spanish JamΓ³n, fresh meats, fruits and sweets as well as different kinds of preserves. It certainly took a long time to go around the entire place! πŸ˜‰

Of course it won’t be Spain without JamΓ³n! 🐷
Love all these exotic fruits! Shame I can’t buy them all home!
β€œSnacking” in the food market (from top left going along the row): spinach empanada, pepito carne (fried stuffed sandwich), mandarin juice, JamΓ³n and an apple semifreddo dessert 🀀 (thought it was a cake but it turned out to be ice cream!)
And a surprise buy! πŸ˜‚

I then headed the city centre of Valencia, visiting the grande and historical town hall as well as the central post office.

Correos (Central Post office)
Grande ceiling in the post office
Valencia Town Hall
Beautiful chandeliers!
The Laws of Valencia standing at the centre of the room!
Exquisite ceiling
The Valencian Flag
The old parliament

After a long walk in the heart of Valencia, I then headed back to the direction of Plaza de la Virgen where I was last night to visit the Valencia Cathedral. But before that, I stopped for a little tea break sampling a local drink called Horchata, which is a milk made from tiger nuts, typically accompanied with a sweet pastry called Farton. πŸ‘Œ

Horchata with Farton
Valencia Cathedral (entry for 8 Euros – though I got away with a student discount again! πŸ˜‚πŸ‘Œ)
Main altar of the cathedral
Beautiful chapel πŸ₯°πŸ₯°
Love stained glass whenever I visit a cathedral!
Underground of the cathedral
Eek πŸ˜¬πŸ˜¬πŸ’€πŸ¦΄πŸ¦΄

After wondering through the town some more, I then rode the bus to the more desolated Pinedo beach which sat on the outskirts of Valencia, enjoying the breezes from the sea before riding back to the city again. 🌊 🌊

Pinedo beach

And after a few drinks at some bars and places across town (getting a little light headed lol), I settled for a final light dinner at a couscous bar near to my hotel in the Russafa area. The waitress was so lovely and welcoming, and we had such a nice chat about the city and travelling (turned out she is from Miami, so we got chatting about America which I longed to visit!) πŸ₯°πŸ₯°

Couscous buffet bar for a light and healthy dinner! πŸ˜‹

And don’t forget it’s Halloween this Sunday! πŸŽƒπŸ‘» Stay safe and enjoy the festival! πŸ˜‰

Day 1 in Plymouth: Magnificent Coastline

This trip is especially exciting to me because this is the first time I will be staying in two different cities in consecutive days. πŸš‚ After a fairly short one hour train journey from Exeter this morning, I finally arrived in the city of Plymouth.

Arrival in Plymouth
Sundial at the city centre

The vibes of Plymouth were most definitely very different from Exeter. The place felt a lot more busier and commercial, but I was most looking forward to seeing the beautiful coastline by the hotel. It was still quite some time though before I was allowed to check in when I arrived, so I first made a short trip to the Plymouth Market in the city centre.

Sign of Plymouth Market
Scenes inside and around Plymouth Market

Visiting marketplaces always bring back some childhood memories when I used to follow my grandpa around in the wet markets in Hong Kong. Though the Plymouth Market was nothing like a wet Market, the snapshots of the stalls and the pedestrian bridge nearby brought back a nostalgic feeling. ❀️

Cornwall Street Fish Bar
Fish and Chips – the quintessential British food

I decided to drop by Cornwall Street Fish Bar for lunch after seeing its reviews online. It seemed very popular among the locals as many were visiting when I was there today. I really liked the crispy batter around the haddock- probably one of the better ones I had. Though, personally, I feel the mushy peas could do with a touch more seasoning. But what I will remember the most are the warm atmosphere and the sense of community here. ❀️

So after lunch, I decided to head straight to my hotel for a brief rest. It was still before my check in time, but I decided to try my luck as it was hard work carrying my suitcase around town. However, when I finally arrived at the hotel, I was surprised to find out the front door was locked! 😨 (Turned out the owner went out for some shopping, but thankfully they were able to get back as soon as I called. πŸ˜…) While waiting, I went ahead and took a stroll around the beautiful coastline. β˜€οΈ (And then again after I dropped my luggage in the hotel.) The view was absolutely breathtaking! 😍😍 (I honestly couldn’t get enough of it! ☺️)

Here is a thank you πŸ™ to the kind ice cream van lady who gave me piles of tissues after a seagull pooped on my shirt πŸ˜‚ (What is it with me and seagulls lately!?)

Lastly, to finish off a perfectly beautiful day by the sea, I decided to go to KUKU for a delicious Japanese dinner. πŸ˜‹ Absolutely loved the two appetisers of scallops and oyster! ❀️❀️ The beef was slightly overdone, but the teppanyaki vegetables had a nice grilled flavours to them. The sorbets were a great, refreshing way to finish the meal- I especially enjoyed the orange sorbet! 🍊

Seared Scallops
Tempura Oysters
Seared Diced Beef with Teppanyaki Vegetables
A Trio of Sorbets (From the left: Orange, Plum Wine and Pineapple)
And enjoyed an happy hour! πŸ˜‰πŸΈ

Now, I am sitting on the bed, looking forward to tomorrow with a full stomach and a slightly tipsy head! πŸ˜‚

A Story in the Food Market

As my break from work is approaching to its end, I decided to visit the famous Borough Market today. The market is well-known for being one of the largest and oldest food markets in London, and also for its diverse array of speciality food, including hot, cooked food and some very luxurious choices.

(Speaking of which, I did buy some very nice multi-coloured tomatoes to take home from this stall. More on that later!)

Food market always reminds me of my hometown in Hong Kong. Both are buzzing with people and full of energy. One of my favourite things to do though, obviously, it’s try all the different kinds of food available here! On a side note, make sure to have some cash with you. Not all of the stalls here accept card payments. Despite having been here before, I still managed to bring only changes and ended up having to go outside to get cash in a bank. (Only to later find out there was a cash point inside the market a few feet away from where I was standing! πŸ˜“)

Some of the stalls I had previously tried before, so I decided to experiment more today and somehow ended up heading down a seafood route. My first stop was something very British – Fish & Chips! The place was apparently award winning and had quite a queue running down in front. (Mind you pretty much every stalls here have long queues…)

The chips were great, though personally I prefer a crispy batter on the fish. I had a hungry child sitting next to me that was waiting for his mother to get their food, so I ended up sharing one of my chips with him. (Gave him the smallest piece, how generous of me haha!) The lady next to them though offered him all her leftovers! πŸ˜‚

My next stop was the seafood stalls on the other side of the market. One of my favourite things to eat there has always been the grilled Dorset scallops sprinkled with crispy bacon bits. This is something I always eat whenever I am here.

To finish off, I decided to visit the seafood stall next to it, served by two very cheeky, charming lads. We ended up talking about drinking and heavy night outs. (Swear they were flirting with all the customers haha!)

Now, I am not a huge fan of raw seafood, however these oysters were so sweet and tasty, I actually wanted to go back for more! I ordered three types of oysters: Utah beach, Ostra Regal and the last one I can’t remember now… πŸ˜… I couldn’t tell the differences between them anyway, but they were all delicious!