Sent off by the police, we step out of the barcelonian highway. It seems that they have a problem with people walking on highway by foot in the middle of the night, ok. By some forest roads and beach we get back to Tres Estrellas.
Blablacar seems to be very popular in Spain – it is basically cheaper and faster than trains or buses – at least from what we have learned. And definitely more efficient than standing for two hours on the side of busy highway full of speeding and not willing-to-stop cars. Disadvantage is, that sometimes you can come upon a driver, that doesn’t speak any English. With hitchhiking it works somehow, but trying to set up a meeting on Blablacar website in spanish/english gives different results… My spanish is not perfect, but I believe that “Hola, dos personas quieren hoy viajar contigo a Valencia” is somehow comprehensible, even if not correct grammatically. But results in great shock on the face of the driver, when we show up on Placa d’Espana and there is somehow two of us. Luckily we find a place and in five we squeeze into the car and head towards Valencia, and even one of the passengers speaks english!
Generally, people don’t understand when you ask them about a place to camp in the city – some forest, a big park, outskirts – where you can place the tent. Where, in the city? You mean camping field? No, no, just in the wild, some forest would be enough. What, you want to sleep in a park? It is forbidden! It is hard to explain.
On the way I am writing again to Alejandro, whom I’ve met the same summer in Veliko Tarnovo in Bulgaria, where we grilled some sausages and slept in the park. We wrote also on the valencian main page on Couchsurfing, but Alejandro tells me on the phone, that the guy that replied to our request cannot be trusted (?), and maybe he can find a place for us. It is first time I encounter this kind of situation, but I decide to rely upon his judgement.
Some time around 11pm we get to Valencia, completely not knowing where we are. Subway is not working, as well as buses in this part of the city. After the change of authorities in Valencia to other political option than in Mislata (which is a separate “city”, despite it is practically a Valencia neighbourhood) they revoked the night communication between Valencia and Mislata. And that’s where our host lives.
We manage to meet with Alejandro, who offers us los platanos machos (bananas that are edible in their fried form, in contrary to their known sweet cousins) and gives us place to sleep for the next two nights – great thanks!
In the morning we rush to see Valencia and discover the great atmosphere of this city.
We discover also the richness of street art movement in small streets of Valencia. All for my great enjoyment and for questions from Dani (“why do you stop constantly to take picture of every stupid wall instead of beautiful sights?!”).
Except for the street art in Valencia, we are astonished also by two other aspects of the city. First is Riu Turia – river that has flown thorugh Valencia more or less calmly untill the year 1957, when it flooded the city in a “less calm” episode. Revengeful inhabitants split it in two after that, heading one of the parts around the city in a canal, and letting the other part flow through the city. But the wide riverbed was turned into a magnificent, longitudinal park, across which we can still see the bridges. Peculiar view, indeed.
Second aspect is a oceanografic/museum/God-knows-what complex designed by Felix Candela, that catches attention by it’s fish-like form. We didn’t manage to get inside, due to the price of the tickets and our stinginess.
We are wandering towards some bars recommended by Alejandro, in which we can taste the famous spanish tapas – snacks given away with beer, which – as some say – are so big that can suffice as a regular meal. We check several places, where we get few slices of meat and cheese… in the end we get angry and resign from pursuing this tradition.Touristic legend, it’s not like aperitivo in Milano.
We manage to get to salsoteque, where we take a glance on the dancing couples. After that and a round of vodka cocktails we gather courage to dance few dances on the side of the main dancefloor, not to catch to match attention…
After day and a half spent in Valencia we want to go further to Granada. Again with a tested method – Blablacar, this time with Spanish guys that know English. Our place for the night will be the Travellers House – recent project of a Serbian travellers organization. Each year they rent a flat in one European city, hosting everybody who needs it. Last year was Stambul, and this – luckily for us – is Granada
Our drivers are even willing to give us a lift straight to the place, which is a great help regarding the fact, that we get to Granada at 11pm. But good intentions are finished on the steep streets of Granada, where the car gets overheated and breaks down in a very awkward situation.