Thursday, 2018 April 19
We wanted to get an early start so we were up at 5:15 AM and were doorbusters at the hotel breakfast.
We then hustled out to the subway station and took it to Valencia Estacio del Nord station. Buying tickets to Xativa was surprisingly easy; the ticket seller was quite helpful despite the language difficulty.
We caught the 8:23 AM train to Xativa (line C-2). It was a pleasant 45-minute trip. I particularly enjoyed the orange groves.
Xativa was gorgeous; Krista and I both seemed drawn to it and after a few hours were talking about how we could probably live there.
We start from the train station and walked west, stopping at the visitor center (the person there was also extremely helpful and friendly). We did a big arc north and then back east, ending up at Beso Garden. We rested here for a while; this also gave me a chance to restart my phone, since Google Maps was acting up. Unfortunately I'd forgotten that the Spanish SIM was passcode-protected and I had no idea what the PIN was, so I was locked out of my phone for the rest of the day.
We walked west again; we were so thoroughly charmed by the town at this point that we started looking at real estate flyers in shop windows. Owning a house in Xativa wouldn't be entirely outside the realm of possibility.
We ended up at the departure point for the tourist "train" (actually a truck pulling a couple wagons) up to the castle and bought tickets. I really enjoyed the drive up; the views just got better the higher up we went, and the driver did a great job of navigating tight city streets and switchbacks up the hill with the train.
The castle was great; I only wish we had had more time (we were on a timeline to catch the tourist train back down the hill). It was hard walking but we managed to cover a lot of the portions that were open in the 75 minutes we had.
By the time we got back down to the town proper it was mid-afternoon and we were both starving, Krista in particular. We found a cafe with a nice shady outdoor spot and ordered the menu del dia. Every single item was delicious, and it was a huge amount of food for just €18 total. It included a healthy portion of phenomenal paella, ham and cheese, peppers, fish, and a drink. I really wish I had recorded the name of the restaurant, because I would recommend it to everyone.
There are some museums in Xativa that we had talked about going to, but we were tired, hot, and uncomfortably full, so we decided to just head back to the hotel. There was some confusion at the train station - multiple trains indicated that they were going to Valencia but we weren't sure which exactly our return tickets were good for. After watching one or two depart without us, we made our best guess and got on one. I'm pretty confident it was the correct train, but we were never challenged so it's rather immaterial.
The Hard Rock is near the train station, so we stopped there again. It was much less crowded this time so we were able to get a pin for Krista's brother. We then walked back to the hotel. We were wiped out so we just chilled in the room for a bit.
We did head down to the bar for drinks and a light (very light) supper. Then back to the room and into bed early. We read and relaxed. It was cooling off rapidly and we expected good sleeping weather.Wednesday, 2018 April 18 Friday, 2018 April 20