I apologize for the delay. I miss two days already (I know!) I had few projects to complete, plus a day visit in a small town, Sagunt, located in the northern part of Valencia province of Spain. Sagunt is also known as Sagunto in Castilian. It is a lovely town, it reminds me of the scenes from the Mama Mia! film.
The 3rd VeganMoFo post is about our second week + vegan eats in Valencia, Spain (August 25 – 31, 2013), including some sightseeing spots. I’m falling behind on photos and blogging I hope I can catch up.
Day 7: August 25, 2013
The weather was pretty gloomy and overcast, but plenty of lighting for photography. From our Day 4 event, we visited one of our favorite neighborhoods in Valencia: La Gran Via. It belongs to the Exiample district (2nd) in Valencia.
This is another neighborhood next to the La Gran Via neighborhood: the El Pla del Remei. It also belongs to the Eixample district (2nd). Both neighborhoods are located in the city centre.
We crossed the Ponte del Mar bridge (also written as Puente del Mar.) overlooking the big “pond” and gardens and surrounded by beautiful palm trees. “It was rebuilt after flooding in 1591 that destroyed the simple wooden bridge that stood in its place, and for centuries was the natural route connecting the city with the port” (Valencia City Guide).
After crossing the Ponte del Mar bridge, we discovered an empty street, Calle Serrano Flores towards the Mestalla Stadium, the football stadium in Valencia, Spain & the home ground of Valencia Club de Fútbol.
Lovely tiles representing Valencia, Spain and the Mestalla Stadium, a stadium in Valencia, Spain
Mestalla Football Stadium in Valencia, Spain and the gloomy weather (it wasn’t raining at all)
The weirdest, yet popular flea market, “El Rastro” at Plaza de Luis Casanova next to the Mestalla Football Stadium that sells loads of junks including stolen items. There are a couple of antique paella pans that appeal to me. The market opens early on Sundays. The market was packed, be careful of thieves & pickpockets.
“El Rastro” at Plaza de Luis Casanova next to the Mestalla Football Stadium; the paintings are probably stolen.
We headed back home, and crossed the big bridge known as the, Pont d’ Aragó or Puente de Aragón.
You can see the architectural complex, City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias in Spanish) from the bridge. The museum is the most important modern tourist destination in Valencia, Spain.
Below the Pont d’ Aragó or Puente de Aragón bridge is a public urban park and gardens known as the El Jardín del Turia. It has landscape art, playgrounds, fountains, street furniture, bike lanes, and ponds.
A selfie snapshot at a modern bathroom/furnishing shop in central Valencia (don’t give a damn about the designer in the reflection); I want that mirror in my bathroom at home!
The previous tenant left a bag of dried Spanish large white beans (alubias blancas largas in Spanish). I soaked them overnight in a large pot of water. They became massive after soaking overnight. I simmered the beans for about 3 hours until tender. I used in the pasta with tomato sauce and Parmela‘s newest vegan parmesan.
The vegan cooked meal itself is very affordable, especially for two people. Dried Spanish white beans = free, thanks to the previous tenant. vegan Parmela = free, thanks to the lovely founders for letting me test them. The jarred pasta sauce is very cheap, about €1-1.50. The multi-colored farfalle pasta is about €1.
Day 8: August 26, 2013
It was another ugly and gloomy day, but no rain yet. It was our first time to try the metro in central Valencia. We took the metro to Maritim Serreria and continue with the tram to Neptu (all on one ticket) to visit the Playa de la Malvarrosa (Malvarrosa beach or “Playa de Levante”), just north of the port. It is also a topless beach, hehe. The beach gets really busy during the sunnier days, weekends and holidays, but not that day. The beach is easily reachable from city centre by metro, bus and car as well as foot and by bicycle using the bike path.
Isn’t the Metro ticket cute?! A one-trip ticket costs €1.60. We bought the ticket for 10 trips (or 5 round trips), for €7.20 + €1 for the paper ticket (total: €8.20). Save the paper ticket to reuse it for refill or recharge.
The ticket machines do not take 50 notes and only returns change in coins. The highest note it will take is a €20, but they also take cards, so long as the card has a pin # (which I don’t remember for my credit card, ugh!). So we used cash instead.
For current schedules, pricing, and information, please view the website here.
Stopped at the Marítim-Serrería station on the purple line of metro to explore the neighborhoods near the beach.
Exiting the Marítim-Serrería station, this is what it looks like outside.
Cute little streets near the Malvarrosa beach or “Playa de Levante”
Walking along the Paseo Marítimo, you will see the beaches: Playa Las Arenas, Playa Cabañal and Playa de la Malvarrosa. The restaurants located next to Playa Las Arenas (near to the port) are famous for their paella.
Day 9: August 27, 2013
I didn’t take a lot of photos that day, except for Instagram. My best friend came to visit us for a week, so you can tell that this post will be shorter than the first week’s. She spent a year in Tokyo studying abroad, flew to Germany then to Spain to visit me, then back to Oregon.
We also bought few vegan grocery products that were awesome:
I mentioned the vegan magdalena (little Spanish lemon sweet cupcakes/cakes) in my other post about vegan groceries, you can read it here. Did you see the word, “Producto Vegano” (Vegan Product in Spanish)? I got excited when I read the labels, especially the “Sin Huevo Sin Leche”, which means without/no egg, without/no milk.
Vegan-friendly crackers/snack with different herbs and spices. They are pretty tasty, easy to finish, plus full of spices. They are pretty good with hummus.
One of my favorite European brands, Valsoia, it is an Italian brand. I had their vegan ice cream sundaes in Stuttgart and Rome. They are pretty good. Now I’ll try this vegan cream for my pasta dish this week!
This is our favorite pasta by Delverde: Spinach Tagliatella Nests. It costs €1.60, perfect for 4 portions. They are really good with Spanish extra-virgin olive oil and vegan parmesan. The brand is available worldwide.
Day 11: August 29, 2013
Took pictures on my Instagram, view here.
For dinner, we made a simple vegan pasta dish: Spinach Tagliatella Nests with Au (Spanish extra-virgin olive oil, see below photo) and Parmela vegan parmesan (I brought them with me to Spain). An omnivore loved it.
It is one of our favorite Spanish extra-virgin olive oil. We got it at El Corte Inglés (read our review about the supermarket here) in central Valencia. The Au olive oil has mild peppery tones, perfect for garnish, but not for dipping.
Day 12: August 30, 2013
Took pictures on my Instagram, view here.
We also bought a few interesting vegan grocery products:
Just like the vegan magdalenas, we also found a €2.05 vegan plum cake at Ecorgánic Ecomarket, the nearest grocery (read our review of the grocery here). The product is labelled vegan. After trying the vegan magdalenas, I like them better than the plum cake. The plum cake tastes like a lemony dry bread. it’s better to have it with a glass of nut milk or soya milk, to keep it moist or perhaps on vegan yogurt as a topping.
Another product from Valsoia (Italian brand), vegan nutella! Oh my goodness, this is the best vegan version of Nutella ever! It’s creamy and tastes like Nutella! Nutella used to be my favorite sweet indulgence in my early University years. And plus, four vegan vanilla flans from a French brand, Sojasun. Man, I would eat this everyday!
Four vegan vanilla flans from a French brand, Sojasun
For dinner, we made vegan Oriental cous cous (I didn’t like the seasoning package we bought, I prefer to make my own) with sautéed and garlicky courgette, onions and grape tomatoes. We also had it with hummus & very-cool Sriracha from the supermarket El Corte Inglés (read our review about the supermarket here).
Day 13: August 31, 2013
We took our friend to the same beach we went on Day 8. The weather was amazing: sunny and perfect to get awesome tans. You will see the difference in the weather between Day 8 and Day 13.
Loads of photos to share…I enjoy taking photos in the neighborhoods near the beach/port in Valencia.
Amazing vegan dinner ever: frozen vegan pizza by Valsoia for about 5 euros. Very delicious, great for 1-2 pax. The vegan ricotta is light and not too greasy. Plenty of healthy veggies (asparagus, red pepper, courgette, spinach). Highly recommended for travelers! The Valsoia brands are only found at the supermarket El Corte Inglés (read our review about the supermarket here).