We had one full day left on our visit aboard Vision of the Seas, and we were once again in Valencia, Spain. We’d stopped off here nine days earlier, during our transatlantic voyage. This stop was in conjunction with our follow-on Mediterranean cruise. And as we’d been here before (follow this link for the beginning of that series: Transatlantic 2022 — Valencia; Our Next Port of Call), Ursula and I opted this time to just set out on foot, look briefly around, and enjoy the dish for which Valencia is famous, Valencia paella. But, first, let’s look around:
Now it’s time for some Valencian paella. As we wandered the streets near the port, we bypassed the obvious tourist choices along Calle del Dr. Josep Juan Dómine. Instead, we turned north onto a smallish street. Here we discovered a charming little establishment with two outdoor tables. After searching Google Maps, I’m about 95% sure that the place where we lunched was Ca Rakel on Calle del Dr. Llurch. As neither Ursula nor I were particularly hungry (we were, after all, on a cruise ship), we decided to split an order.
As we sat outside awaiting our paella, a lovely couple from I believe Slovenia took the next table. I was a bit concerned when I saw the wife had placed her purse in such a manner that it could be easily snatched (Europe, especially southern Europe stretching from Greece through Spain, is notorious for pick pockets and purse snatchers. I advised her that perhaps she might want to better secure her purse, which she did. This led us all to striking up a conversation that lasted through our meals and a little beyond even though my Slovene leaves a lot to be desired. I hadn’t spoken Slovene since George Santos and I were sent to Station L (Ljubljana) for some late Cold War wetwork back in the early ’90s.
Just kidding, of course. I’ve never been to Slovenia, and I’ve never done wet work for The Company. Thus, poor George went to Slovenia by himself. That was back when he was a contractor for the 00 Section of MI6 using as cover his Goldman Sachs credentials as an international financial expert. Don’t believe me? I’m quite sure that’s on his résumé. Here’s George on his return from his much-decorated mission to Ljubljana:
Anyway, I don’t speak Slovene. Not even a little. Rather, it was our charming neighbors who expertly switched over to English. We discussed post-Cold War conditions in the Slavic nations, international affairs, children, careers, places we’ve traveled, and a whole lot more. The time just flew by. But I’m sure your more interested in lunch, so here it is:
Слава Україні! (Slava Ukraini!)