Saturday, October 22, 2022

valencia stole my heart

after two long pandemic years, it was so nice to travel again. and even better, i got to travel somewhere new! i went to valencia in spain. it was for work, but happily it coincided with spain's national day (they also celebrate columbus, apparently), so i had one day off in the midst of it. or actually, not really, since i sat at the hotel and worked for most of that day. which wasn't really that bad, because it's quite energizing to work from a different location. and at least i got to experience the festive atmosphere of everyone having a day off mid-week. and i ate some truly delicious food.

it was perfect weather - warm, balmy evenings, where a dress and sandals were enough and no jacket was needed. the food in valencia is incredible everywhere we tried. they have so much local produce, so it hasn't traveled to get there, which also makes it surprisingly affordable. the tomatoes were probably the best i've had since those from my dad's garden at the height of summer during my childhood. 

it also struck me that all this talk of inflation and a recession was really not in evidence in valencia. there weren't empty stores and restaurants and bars were full and stores were buzzing. it made me wonder how much that story is over-blown by the media. i do know that inflation is real (every time i go to buy butter and milk), but i'm not sure that people are holding back all that much. unemployment is at historic lows and it seemed like the economy was buzzing along in spain. i wonder what storylines we are being sold and to what purpose.

i wish i'd had more time in valencia. i'd love to have explored a whole lot more. the cathedral there claims to house the real holy grail and i didn't get a chance to see it. since it was work, we had some long days, but they were also great and on the whole, i felt that old feeling that i used to feel - that my batteries are recharged by travel and new experiences. i will definitely be returning to valencia, hopefully with husband and the child (who is actually a young woman these days) in tow. although i will never get to experience it for the first time again, seeing it through their eyes for the first time might be a close second. it's such a chill, laid-back, secure-in-itself city, that it's definitely worth another visit.

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