Day 32 – The birthplace of Horchata

Greetings from Spain, and happy Halloween! Now that our number has, alas, been reduced to two, it is apparently time for me to start contributing to the blog and photo efforts. So, continuing from where Janak left off…
On our last full day in London, after seeing Pat off at the airport, Janak and I went through the British Museum (pieces of the Parthenon!), then to Evensong at Westminister Abbey (we walked on the graves of Newton and Kelvin, and on Maxwell and Faraday’s memorial plaques), and then to 221 Baker Street (they put a Holmes museum there and gave it the correct address, although the place where 221 should have been was a gym). All in all it was a busy evening. The next day we went back to the Museum, which was full of all the stuff the British took when they had an empire. It was interesting to see in person all the things we’d seen in books in our history classes. After that we left for the airport, and finally arrived in Spain around midnight.
It turns out that the Girona airport is far away from Barcelona, and the hostels there were either full or very expensive, so we decided to spend the night in the airport. This was about as comfortable and restful as it sounds (Janak insisted on sleeping upright in the chairs as a matter of principle, but I recommend the floor).
Bright and early the next morning, we took a bus into Barcelona and found that we had no idea where we were, or where the nearest train station was. Janak’s first conversation in Spanish thus began: “Donde…estoy?” Fortunately, everyone has been very helpful and patient with our linguistic struggles (well, Janak’s linguistic struggles–I’ve mostly been silent), so we made it to the trains and to Valencia. Janak’s efforts to get us to the beach today were quite entertaining. We had a whole bus stop full of people arguing about the best way to get there and then trying to figure out how to express this to us. We did make it there eventually, thanks to one particularly helpful gentleman. Janak took a dip in the Mediterranean.
So Valencia is an amazing city. It’s a bit like Edinburgh and San Diego got together and had a baby. The combination of nice climate, beaches, and the Spanish style of architecture with narrow criss-crossing streets, tall buildings, and castles and churches is great. And there is so much quality food everywhere, it has been difficult to stay in budget. We are in the birthplace of the horchata. They are delicious. La autentica!

Alright this last bit is Janak: Guys, with the absence of Pat, we are switching formats of picture uploads to Google’s Picassa (hi Prakash!), because its easier for me to link to my account. Enjoy the first pics of Spain – we realize we aren’t professionals like Pat, so excuse the out of focus or tilted horizon or what have you. Cheers

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