Reporting from Valencia
We have arrived and are settled in at Dana's in Valencia. I would have written sooner but after traveling for 24 hours straight without sleep, and then going out to the local wine festival till 11 pm and drinking lots of Vino Blanco among other things for the same amount of time that we traveled, it was better that I sleep. Besides, I don't think I would have made much sense, lol.
The trip was great. The flight to Amsterdam was without event. We made the connecting flight with a few moments to spare, then once in Madrid decided to brave the metro and figure out the three trains it took to get to the train station in the heart of the city. 2.00 Euros vs a 40.00 Euro taxi ride.
The worst part was waiting for the next available train to Valencia, which was either a 2 hour wait for a first class ticket, or if we wanted to travel cheaper, it was a 5 hour wait. There was no perseverating on the decision. First class it was.
On the 3.5 hour ride on the train, we met up with a gentleman from Norway, and Alberto from Valencia who was just returning to his family from his civilian job in Afghanistan. We had a fab dinner and got to sample some of the best local wines and liqueurs.
we rode along seeing hundreds of miles of farms and a few small villages scattered about. When we pulled into Valencia's train station, I felt like I had stepped into the movie set from Casablanca.
Dana suggested we stay up as late as we could so that we could sleep and get onto a schedule, so we went to the local Festiva de Vino in the city. We sampled the wines, cheeses, and sausages of the province, and it was all amazing. The wines were superb, and the cheeses heavenly. I loved the goat cheese which was like mozzarella with a hint of the goat cheese. Then there were the cheesecake samples, and the chocolates.
I have to admit, we were pretty toasted, and ended up taking a cab home as I needed to save my energy to climb the 5 flights of stairs to the apartment.
More to post later, am off to shower!
PS. Photo of sunrise at the Amsterdam airport while sitting on the plane, and the night time view from one of the three terraces at Dana's apartment.