A Day in Valencia Spain – Market, Yacht Club & the Holy Grail
On our lay days at the first America’s Cup, we took advantage of our time off to explore. I had no idea I would see Valencia, the Valencia market, the Holy Grail and learn how not to order apricot juice. I had two invitations – in the morning Jean-Francoise invited me to the Valencia Yacht Club for breakfast, and at lunchtime, Jason asked me to lunch and sight-see around Valencia.
Jean-Francoise loved to get up early for the morning light. He took me to the Valencia Yacht Club to see the J Boats which are the original America’s Cup yachts.
Valencia, Spain and The Holy Grail
I started with breakfast at the Valencia Yacht Club and walked around the marina to look at the boats that once raced the America’s Cup until 2013 when Larry Elis chose catamarans to race.
The morning was bright, not too hot or humid and had a delightful view of boats.
As the boats drifted waiting to approach the starting line, they sat like swans waiting to launch.
After breakfast, Jean-Francoise dropped me off at the bank where I waited for Jason. He was almost on time, but, no difference because we were on a lay day. When he arrived, he had a million things to share about the America’s Cup race and the latest scuttle butt. So many opinions, so much news, nothing based on facts but, lots of guesses, speculations, and hearsay about the America’s Cup race.
He had a thousand opinions. Jason never asked what I did that morning or what I saw, where I went or who I was with. He just jumped into the conversation, providing play by play. We walked to the market.
As we wandered around Valencia, we stopped for a drink because Jason didn’t want to have lunch. I am always up for eating, especially in a place known for great food.
He ordered apricot juice. In the States, little cafes don’t have apricot juice. The small cafe didn’t understand, and the waiters were so disappointed they couldn’t help. Jason eventually gave up after 20 minutes of trying. They didn’t know what he wanted, and he couldn’t say it in Spanish.
Travel tip: If you have a favorite thing to drink, learn how to say it in the language of the country, so you don’t become an ugly tourist.
After we had left the cafe, we went to the Valencia Market. The market is lovely and has a spectacular glass ceiling and windows that add a unique flare.
You could find just about any food here.
It is reminiscent of the markets in the middle east and those in Italy – it has a Moorish influence.
Valencia Cathedral & the Holy Grail
The Plaza de la Reina is Valencia’s center and one of the city’s landmarks. It has a small arched entrance where history says El Cid rode into Valencia. We saw a sign in Spanish. At first, I didn’t understand it, but it said the Holy Grail was here. I thought everyone was still looking for the Holy Grail. So if the Holy Grail is here, I had to see it! Jason was less interested but came along.
The story is that it was first found right at the Reconquista, in the 13th century on the site of the central mosque. The cathedral is spectacular with styles from Gothic, Baroque and Neo-Classical with three portals to areas each in its style. Here is the full story according to the church, La Catedral de Valencia.
We went to the altar and saw the Holy Grail – the light was low and I didn’t care my big camera during this trip because I was writing as part of the media team. Luckily, I got this photo as we walked up to the altar. The Holy Grail was in another small room. Patiently, we waited for our turn to enter and see it. I asked Jason to hold on so I could get a photo of him and the Holy Grail.
Finally, my turn for a photo. But it didn’t come out, Jason lost his patience and left.
Travel tip: always travel with a high speed low light camera. Bring a DSL or iPhone, or Android. You don’t want to miss a shot.
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