Valencia. Horchata and Farton. A must try.

It looks and taste like milk but it is not milk, it taste sweet but it has no sugar, it’s contrary to what is written about it on the internet but it is what we were told while on a tour. A traditional refreshing healthy white drink that is popular in the mediteranean diet and originated in Valencia.

It is made of Chufa (Tigernut).
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Horchateria El Collado-The first place where we tried horchata. This shop prides itself in making horchata for 125 years!
The health benefits of horchata: It has no cholesterol. It helps to reduce the cholesterol and the triglicerids due to its composition in greasy acids similar to the olive oil. It provides essential amino acids (arginina is important). It possesses a big energy value (ideal for children and sportsmen). It presents excellent digestive properties for its content in soluble fiber, amino acids and starch. It contains iron, zinc, copper and the same quantity of magnesium as the milk of a cow or goat. It is diuretic for its high content in water. It does not contain gluten, lactose not fructosa. The horchata without sugar can be drunk by diabetic people. It is ideal for hypertense people due to its low content in sodium and absence of caffeine. It is advisable for the prevention of the arteriosclerosis and the renal insufficiencies.
Horchata is usually drank with this Farton on the side and the tradional way to eat this bread is to dip it in your horchata before puting it into your mouth.
This is the second place where we tried our horchata. It reminds me of Pasties de Belem shop in Lisbon.

Tip! If you go to Valencia never miss to try this drink, and it is best to have them after a long walk. Refreshing and naturally healthy!

 

Valencia. Ultra Modern Design Buildings

The City of Arts and Sciences (Valencian: Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències; is an entertainment-based cultural and architectural complex in the city of Valencia, Spain. It is the most important modern tourist destination in the city of Valencia and one of the 12 Treasures of Spain –Wikipedia)

El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe
MONUMENTAL SCULPTURE EXHIBITION BY MANOLO VALDÉS
The Hemisfèric
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía. Opera house
Beautiful Architecture
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía. Opera house
MONUMENTAL SCULPTURE EXHIBITION BY MANOLO VALDÉS
It feels like being transported to the future.
It’s an Architectural Showcase
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The Hemisfèric
This was the highlight of our cycling adventure in River Turia.

Valencia – The city of the The Holy Grail.

It is the 3rd largest city in Spain. Here are some of the photos of the places that you can visit.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The National Ceramics Museum Gonzalez Marti
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The National Ceramics Museum Gonzalez Marti is housed in a palace that dates from the 15th century and was refurbished in 1740 on rococo style with a magnificent alabaster entrance.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Torres de Serranos, is one of the twelve gates that formed part of the ancient city wall.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The Miguelete bell tower of octagonal base, of Valencian Gothic style, has 50.85 meters of height, was realized between 1381 and 1424 by Andrés Juliá and others. Its access is made by a spiral staircase.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
An 18th century belfry crowns the Miguelete. After 270 steps on a spiral staircase you will have a 360° view of the city of Valencia.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The Valencia Cathedral.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Built on the site of a Roman temple, which later became a mosque the origins of the cathedral date back to the 13th century.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The Holy Grail – http://www.catedraldevalencia.es/en/el-santo-caliz_historia.php
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The Mercat Central brings together almost 300 small traders and 1,500 people are involved in its daily activity. It is the largest centre of its kind in Europe specialising in fresh products and the first market in the world to rise to the challenge of computerising sales and offering home delivery, services which have been available since 2nd October 1996.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Estació del Nord – this year (2017) it is 100 years old.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Plaza de Toros de Valencia. Its structure is formed by a 48-sides polygon, 384 external arches.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Església dels Sants Joans, It has its origin in an old mosque converted into a hermitage, a case similar to that of many other parishes in the city.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Overlooking the City of Valencia from EL MIGUELETE.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The Malvarrosa Beach is a fine golden sand beach, lined by a promenade, restaurants and cafés.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
It is the most famous beach in Valencia.

http://www.espanarusa.com; http://www.valencia.es; http://www.visitvalencia.com; wikipedia

TOLEDO, SPAIN – A City of Three Cultures

If you are travelling to Madrid, don’t miss out on this beautiful and ancient city nearby.

 

“Toledo is one of the Spanish cities with the greatest wealth of monuments.”

 

Known as the “city of the three cultures”, because Christians, Arabs and Jews lived together there for centuries,

behind its walls Toledo preserves an artistic and cultural legacy in the form of churches, palaces, fortresses, mosques and synagogues.

“This great diversity of artistic styles makes the old quarter of the capital of Castile – La Mancha a real open-air museum,

IMG_4154

which has led to it being declared a World Heritage Site.”  -http://www.spain.info/en

IMG_4161

IMG_4232

“Toledo (Latin: Toletum) is mentioned by the Roman historian Livy (ca. 59 BCE – 17 CE) as urbs parva, sed loco munita (“a small city, but fortified by location”).” – Wikipedia

“Toledo stands virtually in the centre of Spain.  It is strategically situated on a rocky bluff dominating a gorge, and surrounded on all sides but the north by the fast-flowing Tagus.” – http://www.toledo-turismo.com/es

IMG_4139

“Toledo thrives on tourism. In 1986 it was named a World Heritage Site. Thanks ironically in part to its easy access from Madrid, sightseers flock by day through the twisting streets visiting its national monuments, purchasing imitation swords, damascene shields, El Greco reproductions and Talavera tiles;

DSC_0395

by night Toledo recovers its silent magic, and its brilliant past is easily evoked by shadows cast in those dimly lit laneways and by the echoing footsteps of some lonely night owl. – http://www.spainthenandnow.com/spanish-history/toledo-historical-overview

 

Madrid.Plaza Toro Las Ventas. Part II. CORRIDAS DE TOROS – A Form of Art

The captions on my photos are excerpts from an article in the Daily Telegraph by book author Alexander Fiske-Harrison.

IMG_3915

 “It is for beauty that the real aficionados attend the corrida, not for pomp, not for thrill and certainly not for blood.” 

IMG_3702

“In Spain bullfighting is written about in the cultural pages of newspapers, not the sports section.” 

IMG_3675

“However, I came to understand that the fighting bulls’ lot of five years on free-release followed by 25 minutes in the arena is equal if not better than the meat cow’s 18 months corralled in prison followed by a “humane” death.”

IMG_3845

“Bullfighting is so much more than a sport. Even the dubious phrase “field” or “blood” sport is inapplicable (whatever the League Against Cruel Sports say.)”

IMG_3815

“It was not long before I started to see the beauty of toreo – bullfighting as a word does not exist in Spanish, and in English comes from our artless, riskless and brutal hobby of bull-baiting.”

IMG_3671

“Don’t take my word for this. Here is what Orson Welles had to say on the matter: “What is the essence of this art? That the man carry himself with grace and that he move the bull slowly and with a certain majesty. That is, he must allow the inherent quality of the bull to manifest itself.”

IMG_3717

“This is usually in the final and most famous of the three acts of the fight, the “Third of Death”, in which the matador passes the bull with a red cape, as closely and as elegantly as he can.” 

 

IMG_3750

“However, bullfighting is the only art form that both represents something and is that thing at the same time: the matador’s elegant immobility in the face of the bull not only represents man’s defiance of death, it is a man defying death.”

IMG_3992

“Love it or hate it, bullfighting is not a sport. To devotees and opponents alike, it is much more important than that.”

 

MADRID.PLAZA TORO LAS VENTAS. Part 1 – The Pageantry

The home of bullfighting in Spain, and arguably in the world as well, is at Plaza Toros Las Ventas in Madrid. The architect who designed it was José Espeliú. He employed a Neo-Mudéjar style, one that was popularised by the Arabic Moors of the 12th century. This gives the structure a more ancient look than it actually is. -www.gomadrid.com
Plaza Toros Las Ventas is the third largest bullring in the world. The largest is the Plaza de Toros México in Mexico City, and the second largest is Plaza de Toros Monumental de Valencia in Venezuela. Plaza Toros Las Ventas is of course the largest bullring in Spain. It can seat 25,000 people and it measures an impressive 60 metres in diameter. -www.gomadrid.com
Bullfighting traces its roots to prehistoric bull worship and sacrifice in Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean region. -Wikipedia
In medieval Spain bullfighting was considered a noble sport and reserved to the rich, who could afford to supply and train their animals. -Wikipedia
Empty seats before the start of the bullfight.

IMG_3529

Stucture: The modern corrida is highly ritualized, with three distinct stages or tercios (“thirds”); the start of each being announced by a bugle sound. – Wikipedia
The participants enter the arena in a parade, called the paseíllo, to salute the presiding dignitary, accompanied by band music. -www.gomadrid.com
The Dignitaries.

 

IMG_3555

A picador is a bullfighter who uses a special lance called pica while on horseback to test the bull’s strength and to provide clues to the matador on which side the bull is favouring. -Wikipedia

IMG_3540

Bullfighting on foot became a means for poor, able-bodied men to achieve fame and fortune, similar to the role of boxing in many countries. When asked why he risked his life, one famous torero reportedly answered, Más cornadas da el hambre (“[There is] more goring from hunger”). Today, it is common for a bullfighter to be born into a family of bullfighters. -Wikipedia
The first bull to rush out onto the new bullring floor was one called Hortelano. -www.gomadrid.com
A bullfighter nicknamed “Aguililla” was the first to face the bull. -www.gomadrid.com