El albergue

El albergue

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My feet are happy feet

My feet at last can rest.  They’ve been going so strong for so many days.  We walked almost everywhere we went while in Valencia, the only exception being our rides on the Metro, so as you can imagine, my feet were worn out at the end of each day.  We had no real schedule or itinerary, so every day our feet followed a path that could more accurately be called a sort of wandering exploration, wandering being the key word.  My shoe of choice during this time of meandering was my flip-flops because they are the most comfortable ones I have, so now my feet are graced with the distinct outline of the thongs of my sandals, eloquent testator to the hours we spent roaming the streets.  We visited a few clothing stores, including El Corte Inglés, which is basically a huge department store and is found all over the place, ate at a couple of different cafes, found a favorite heladería, and shopped at the supermarket and El Mercado Central, a really big indoor market with different vendors selling all kinds of produce, meats, and bread.  For longer trips, like to Buñol, the beach, and el Museo de las Ciencias Príncipe Felipe, we used the metro and gave our feet a little bit of a break, but for the rest, it was all by the power of our own two legs – La Estació de Nord, La Lonja de la Seda, Los Torres de Quart, el Catedral de Valencia, el Museo Nacional de Cerámica y de las Artes Suntuarias “González Martí,” el Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas, and el Jardí Botanic de la Universitat de Valencia.

Now, unless you’re some crazy Jeopardy wiz, you probably have no idea what half of those names signify.  Perhaps you’ll go look them up on Wikipedia (a divinely-inspired web site, I must say) to figure it out yourself, but most likely you’ll just glance over the list and not care quite enough to put the requisite energy into searching for answers.  But my feet care.  My feet have been there.

El Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas is a sumptuous place, with all the floors made of marble.  It’s quite delicious to slip off your shoes and stand on the cool slabs while the museum monitors are looking the other way.  It’s a breath of fresh air in an otherwise warm town, as cool and refreshing as the fountain next to Los Torres de Quart (I think these two towers used to be part of the old city wall).  It’s heavenly to sit at this fountain and swing your feet through the quiet water, relaxing in the quiet of the small park.  There are also the huge pools in front of el Museo de las Ciencias – the modern architecture of the expansive white buildings is quite different from the feel around the ancient Torres de Quart, but the water feels the same on your feet, sweet and refreshing, the perfect way to begin a whole day of wandering through countless exhibits, including one on the science behind super heroes and another on the futuristic science of Star Trek.  (Oh wait!  Let’s stop at this exhibit that measures how far our feet can jump!)  Then there’s the Jardí Botanic, a lovely walled garden of several acres right in the middle of the city.  Here, your feet can wander many different paths, taking you by all sorts of different trees, shrubs, and flowers.  They can also take you to sit in shady nooks next to cool fountains, to relax until it’s time to head back out into the city, time to walk the streets once more.

At night, my feet got to rest, but in the morning it was up and off again, perhaps to some new location, perhaps to revisit familiar streets.  When they finally stepped back over the hostel entrance at night (or early in the morning), they were always tired, but always happy – how could they not after visiting everything they had?  So now I sit at my little desk in my little room, my feet underneath my chair, and they are no longer tired, but still happy.

1 comment:

  1. Cool and refreshing. Take care of those feet, they're good at getting you places.