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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sagunto...Again...and Valencia CF 2-0 Fiorentino

It’s hot but it hasn’t been blisteringly so this past week. I think we’ve already seen the worst of summer and the worst was actually pretty nice. I rode my bike to Sagunto again just to try to get back into some sort of cycling groove after not doing much for the past two weeks. This is a very familiar ride for me now and I always enjoy it even in this heat (provided I am lathered in spf50). I didn’t even bother with my hydro-pack and just opted for a single water bottle. Being the genius that I am I headed out during the hottest hour of the day. I’m just not a morning person.

It seems rather strange to me that now I August when tout le monde is on vacation there seem to be no tourists in a lovely little village like Sagunto. I saw maybe 20 tourists in the village and then later in the castle. I suppose it is a bit hot and sunny to be humping up a mountain to look at ruins. Sagunto is where the Second Punic War began so the castle—or at least parts of it—date back at least to 218 BC. I don’t know how Hannibal talked his soldiers into attacking this mountain top fortification as I just about died riding my bike up to the castle gate. He probably didn’t do it in August.

Besides leaving in the middle of the hot afternoon my other mistake was not eating anything. I really wanted a kebap but I couldn’t find a shop in the village. On the way out of town I took another route just for the hell of it and I rode by the train station. Perhaps hunger had something to do with it but about a block further I did an abrupt U-turn and headed into the station. It’s not like I was too lazy to ride back home but I have been meaning to check out the local trains while carrying my bike. From Sagunto to Valencia del Norte station is only 2.95€. It was worth that just to save a bit of wear and tear on my skin in this blazing summer sun. Luckily the conductor warned me that the local train tickets aren’t valid on the other trains because a couple through trains stopped before mine arrived. They also mention this in the boarding announcements on the platform (in Valenciano and Spanish).

Spanish trains are fantastic. If I were going to do this more often I would fashion some sort of strap to hang my bike from a bar so that I could actually sit down during the ride. I decided to leave my book behind in the spirit of traveling light so I wouldn’t have had anything to do on the short ride if I could have sat down. I don’t understand people who travel without a book. What do they do with themselves? I noticed most people just fuck around with their mobile phones. I don’t want to be that guy.

The kebap would have to wait until a lot later that evening. We went to see Valencia Club de Fútbol play Fiorentino. It was called the Trofeo Naranja which is just a polite way to say that the game didn't mean shit. Valencia won 2-0 and we all enjoyed our seats directly behind the goal. It sucks not seeing David Villa in a Valencia uniform but the team showed a lot of promise. I got to wear my cool new Valencia CF T-shirt I got for my birthday. I had a kebap finally at about midnight after the game at a place on Calle Salamanca run by some really nice Turks. We had gone there during the world cup when other bars i the neighborhood were too full.  The kebap was everything I had imagined it would be.

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