Our day trip to Xativa was only a short forty minute drive followed by 2 hours of hill climbing rewarded with phenomenal views from both the moorish castle and directly on the West side of it, the roman castle. We wandered the beautiful hilltop ruins with Alper until our bellies were groaning for dinner time to seek out some paella!
Palmar is located adjacent to the largest lake in Spain, L'Albufera. Although it is the largest in Spain the average depth is only 1.5 feet throughout. The lake maintains a thriving ecosystem for rice paddies, snails, and rabbits, all of which are featured in Valencian Paella and this is the place of the famed dishes origin. Three important etiquette points on Paella; 1. only to be eaten during the day because it is a huge filling rice dish of course, not a good choice for the typical 22:00 Spanish dinner 2. Bring a friend because the portions are made fresh only in a 2 person or larger portion 3. Ensure you have at least a liter of water for gulping down like a fish for the following 6 hours, it is ridiculously dehydrating! After we enjoyed a paella and posed for pictures with the Fallas queen who just so happened to be shooting at the lake at the same time we headed back to Valencia to catch up on sleep. Fallas is a famous festival in Valencia essentially celebrating pyromaniacs in which huge elaborate sculptures of paper mâché are created during he year, and burned to the ground for the festival every March, unfortunately we missed it this year but we would love to see it soon! Bellies full and stepping into the car Alper asked Kevin the magic words, do you want to drive? First time driving in Europe=success!