Back in Action

I’m baaaaack!

A few snippets from my trip to Spain:

  • Hands down, the best part of the trip was running. The Antiguo Cauce del Rio Turia is a park in Valencia where an old river bed was converted into an urban green space spanning most of the city. One end is anchored by the architecturally stunning City of Arts and Sciences, a collection of buildings incorporating attractions like a science museum and an aquarium. The park spans about 8km in total length and while it’s narrow, there are running and biking paths along the edges, plus sports fields, multiple children’s areas, cafes, and other attractions studded within. I’m going to go bold here, but in terms of best places to run, this rivals NYC’s Central Park. I ended up running here twice, each time about ten miles starting from one end and turning around at the Arts and Sciences complex. The second time, it was a Sunday, the weather was amazing, and the park was full of people. The Valencia marathon is coming up this weekend, so it looked like a lot of runners were getting in one last training run before the big day. I’ve run in so many different parts of the world, and I think it’s the best way to be see a city and (hopefully) blend in with a community of like-minded locals, namely fellow runners. Huge bonus for this park is that there are also plentiful water fountains throughout. Check out some snaps:
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Close-up view of Palau de les Arts. It’s shaped like a helmet and covered in a white tile mosaic.

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Palau de les Arts

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Marathon Finish Line.

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Agora from the bridge.

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View of the city from the park.

  • I had the worst jetlag. Seriously, the worst. I was up until about 5 AM every morning, watching “Happy Days” re-runs in Espanol and feeling miserable. When I’d finally drift off to sleep, my alarm would ring about 3 hours later. The night before I went home, I didn’t even bother sleeping at all.
  • I know this is sacrilege to say, but I didn’t like the food, primarily because of the abundance of cured meat (So much ham!), blood sausages, and octopus. Two Woody Allen-esque complaints about the coffee: It wasn’t that good and the portions were just way too small.    
  • I barely made my flight home! The 65 minute connection at Charles de Gaulle was too close for comfort, especially when it involved riding a bus, clearing customs, going through security, getting a new boarding pass, trying to figure out their obtuse signage, and traveling between terminals that are practically in different time zones. And I was indignant that I didn’t even have time to hit the Hermes boutique.  Seriously, CDG is the worst.
  • I was one of the last people to get on the plane home, and as I sweated my way up the aisle, I heard someone say my name, all friendly-like. Turns out that the person in the seat right next to me was a cool guy I work with. How random is that?
  • My bag got stuck in Paris. Of course it did.

It was fun to go and great to come home.

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