Today I woke up to another glorious day in Valencia. Sadly, it was also our last day in this amazing city. We were heading out to Barcelona later in the evening but we still had most of the day to spend site seeing here.
I made it down to the breakfast room right as the kids were finishing up and this time I ordered from their menu and got a freshly made pumpkin fritter.
I took my time enjoying breakfast and then ventured out. I was meeting the kids at Museu de Belles Arts de València this morning.
The museum wasn’t that far from the hotel, so I leisurely strolled down the streets and across a cool bridge.
I arrived a bit early, so I walked around trying to take pictures of the Museu de Belles Arts de Valencia (Museum of Fine Arts Valencia).
This beautiful Baroque building is also known as St. Pius V Palace and is the second biggest art museum in Valencia and the second most important art collection in Spain.
The museum comprises an outstanding collection of nearly 2,000 works of art, most of them Valencian paintings from the 14th-17th centuries. In addition to the extensive number of native artists, the museum is also heavy on big names such as Goya, Velazquez, Van Dyck, or Murillo.
It was starting to really warm up outside, so I was really happy to see the kids walking towards me and about 5 minutes later the museum doors opened for the day.
This was a pretty decent sized museum with lots to see, so we got started looking around right away.
Here is some of the amazing art that can be found here:
The ceiling was even cool here, it looked like the night sky.
We were finishing up walking around the museum and stepped inside the museum’s cafe to grab a few bottle of waters and the guy was so cute, he gave Mom and I pink bottles and Marion a blue one.
Before leaving we had some fun with a mini photo shoot with the art.
After the museum we needed to head back over the bridge and back into the old historic center of Valencia.
We entered back into the old historic center like the kings of old and walked through Valencia’s main gate entrance, Torres de Serrano.
There were some more of the funerary tombstones and sculptures found in the Roman Necropolises that had been located outside of the urban precincts of that time. One of the most important Roman cemeteries was found in what is now the Mercat Central area where we had been the day before.
We were able to see a small part of the Roman horreum. The horreum was the public building where the harvest of grain and other products of prime necessity were kept to assure the city’s supply.
The horreum when originally built was of notable dimensions that was made of large blocks of dressed sandstone and had occupied an entire city block.
Next to the horreum was the forum from the 1st century AD. The forum was a large public square where the religious, commercial, and legal life of the city took place. It was a large rectangular square bound by porticoes that could be reached by a stairway. It was dominated by a temple standing on one of the short sides of the square.
Next I ventured to the 7th century AD, the Visigothic Period, where an apse is found that is believed to be where deacon Vincent was martyred. The apse is horseshoe shaped and is the only vestige that remains of a building, perhaps a small church, which would have been intended precisely to commemorate the sacred place.
Before leaving this fascinating place I had to stand on the monumental well from the 6th century AD.
This was my last stop on my itinerary for the day, so I left Mom and Marion to finish up what they had left on their “to see” list and I went wondering off on my own.
I just started walking randomly down streets, going in and out of shops, and then realized at some point I had gotten pretty far away so I slowly started making my way back to the old city center.
I was pretty hungry and was determined I was going to find a cool local place to eat but I just couldn’t make up my mind.
Eventually I ended back up in the hub of the old city and I walked around that hub for a good twenty minutes trying to make up my mind on where to eat when I finally gave up and just got ice cream.
Not long after I sat down Sissy found me enjoying my lunch.
And before my ice cream was finished Mom and Marion found us.
We all did some last minute souvenir shopping and Marion and Baby Groot had a refreshment before it was time to head to the train station.
The hotel had arranged a van to take us to the train station and everything was going well. We made it inside with all of our stuff and then Marion’s phone rang. I believe this phone call was the beginning of a very interesting evening.
It was the hotel on the phone letting Marion know that they had forgotten to grab his nice coat and that they were sending it over with a taxi driver. So Marion went to wait outside and I went out to check on him here and there and finally after about 20 minutes the taxi arrived and dropped off his coat.
It was perfect timing because the train just started to load the passengers so him and I rushed back inside and started practically running to the train.
We made it to our train car with time to spare. We had paid the small amount extra for the premium car and got comfortable for the almost three hours it was going to take to get to Barcelona.
There was only one other person in the train car with us. Mom and Marion were in two seats across from me, Sissy was in front of them with her seat and the seat she had paid for for BILB and I had two seats to myself as well. So, we did take up quite a bit of this train car.
We watched the scenery go by and ate an okay dinner and I guess there was an unspoken thing that none of us were going to nap, so when we got to our hotel tonight we would be able to fall asleep.
There was lots of laughing and goofing around going on from our little group and eventually the one poor guy that got stuck in the train car with us got up about thirty minutes before his stop and stood in the middle of the train cars waiting for his time to escape the loud Americans.
When our stop finally came up in Barcelona we did our people train of getting the luggage off the train and we stood there for a couple minutes on the platform while everyone got situated and then the panic set in. I looked up at the side of the train we had just gotten off and the next stop they were showing on the side of the train was our stop, so I freaked out thinking we got off at the wrong stop. There are two stops in Barcelona, so I started pounding on the train car door trying to get them to open up, but they pulled away.
Right before this happened Mom had taken a picture of me standing there with our luggage.
We will go back to this picture in a second.
Marion had arranged with our hotel in Barcelona for a car to pick us up, so he immediately called them and told them we were at the other station and they had the driver call him and she told him she would come there as fast as possible but that it would be about 20-30 minutes to get there.
We went to the entrance and stood waiting outside where it had started to drizzle. I definitely wouldn’t say I felt very safe here. You could tell there were a lot of people standing around waiting to con you or steal from you.
While we were waiting Mom had asked me several times if I had wanted to look at the picture she had taken earlier when we had arrived and I wasn’t in the mood at that time. I was pretty stressed I had boobooed and gotten us off at the wrong station.
So we waited and waited and Marion’s phone rang again, it was the driver, she couldn’t find us. While they were talking I turned around and saw the huge sign that said Barcelona Sants. We were at the right station the whole time! I ran over to Marion and whispered “oops” and pointed to the sign we had all been standing in front of. So the driver turned around and was on her way back to get us. Thankfully, the driver was as sweet as pie.
In that moment I was pretty sure Mom was going to kill me and Tanya was busting up laughing.
It also dawned on me that had I looked at the photo Mom kept asking me to look at I would have figured this out sooner, so I asked her to show me the photo and low and behold there I was standing right under the Barcelona Sants sign.
At least it gave us something to laugh about later.
It was close to midnight by the time the driver got back to us and dropped us off at the hotel. We were staying at the Hotel Colon in the Gothic Quarter which was located directly across the street from the Barcelona Cathedral.
The Hotel Colon is a five star hotel but it was missing something. I think after staying at the Caro Hotel and the over the top service we had there made it a bit harder to stay somewhere else.
When we entered we were pretty much rushed through check in. One guy handled Mom and Marion’s check in and one guy handled ours. I understood it was late and it was nice to get to the room faster but it was a bit off putting.
The hotel clerk walked us to our room and it was a very big room and nice but once you looked closely at some of the details, it could have used some refreshing.
If this had been the first hotel we were checking into on our trip I probably wouldn’t have noticed any of the small details and I most likely would have been pretty impressed. I guess at this point I had been pretty spoiled by our other hotels.
At this point we were pretty wiped out and were getting ready for bed when we realized the toilet wasn’t working, so we had to call the front desk and the same clerk that checked us in came up right away and fixed it.
We got to bed by oneish and we both knocked out.
Stay tuned to see what adventures awaited us for our first official day in Barcelona.