Valencia and Albofera Nature Preserve and Stollen

Valencia is the birthplace of paella, the iconic dish that was to become the Spanish national dish, enthusiastically devoured by people all over the world.

Obviously, we needed to eat paella here. The only question was, how to find paella worth eating that we wouldn’t have to pay an arm and a leg for. I did some research and found La Pepica, a casual fish-hall style restaurant located directly on the beach and has been around for 120 years. They have a giant picture of Ernest Hemingway on the wall, who used to lunch at La Pepica often when he lived in Valencia around 1925. This was the place. I waited impatiently until evening.

In the meantime, I remembered that I had a half-kilo Stollen with me that I bought in Dresden with my sister in October. CANNOT BELIEVE THAT I FORGOT ABOUT IT ALL THIS TIME! I busted it out and ate like three giant slices. Fucking. Love. Stollen.

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We found a place to park near the beach not too far away from the restaurant. We were trying to stake out a bakery that looked like it was about to close, leaving the garbage cans nice and vulnerable, but when the last worker finally left she took everything with her. Bunk.

Finally it was paella time. We arrived promptly at 8:30pm (!) when they started serving dinner.

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We ordered traditional paella made with rabbit, land snails, chicken, green beans, and big white beans. It was amazing. More pictures in separate post. So glad we came here.

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We spent the next two days in the Albofera Nature Preserve.

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We took a long bike ride through the preserve and along the water.

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The shallow, relatively calm water was a perfect spot to keep working on that whole “becoming a windsurfer” thing. I’m getting there…

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And then, I ate Stollen on the beach. Repeat: I ate Stollen. On the beach. *AAAND** I drank Glühwein in my thermomug. Yes, and yes.

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To end the day, we took a stroll around and watched the sunset. On the way, we met some Czech people parked not too far away from us. This is what their van looked like:

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The photo speaks for itself. Sweet dreams!

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