1 August 2006: The time has already pass 9am and we found ourselves sitting for a coffee at the hotel. We have decided to avoid the coastal route since it is impossible to drive fast. Actually, it is not a good time to visit these countries. Unfortunately, although Spanish people have created the autopista road, the old national road has not been reconstructed, whereas the coastal cities are being developed rapidly. In the other hand, the tolls are expensive which makes driving not such a good idea to the motorways. What happens is that Spanish drivers and tourists jam to the coastal high streets…and along with them us…
At 10am we start our journey, but first we feed our “horses” with benzene for 1.10 euros/lit. This hotel is nice for someone who wants to visit Barcelona however the only disadvantage is that it is difficult to be found.
We follow the directions on the GPS which lead us to a road to Tarragona. I realized that the Spanish signaling is terrible and especially the signaling of the street arteries. I cannot understand if I am driving inside an autopista or autovia. I found my self to a sign for tolls without be able to choose a different route. So today, I decide to drive on the motorway, until we find another exit in order to follow a secondary road.
We continue our trip and we exit at Villafranca del Panedes, while before we paid 3.1 euros for a small distance. As it looks like the tolls are expensive in Spain. We follow the route to Tarragona (N340). The road is narrow but did not have so much traffic as the coastal way had. When we passed Tarragona we followed the signs to Valencia. Still I am not sure if I am in a motorway or not.
We keep driving towards village called False and after few km there is a sing to this village and Alcaniz. I follow the signs and later on we enter to the road N420 which is much better. The road has very good quality, not much traffic and no trucks. There are many pines next to the route which reminds me North Evia in Greece.
We pass through some beautiful villages with houses colored on the earth colors and every one had tiles on their tops. Some of the villages are located at magnificent areas with panoramic view. By arriving at the Falset village we decide to stop for a coffee. On the main street in the village there are many cafes – bars as the locals name them- which are alike, the Greek ones.
After an hour we start our journey again for the Morella village which is on the route Alcaniz-Castellon. The route continues to be beautiful. At a specific point and for only 30km the road becomes narrow with many turns but still inside a shaggy forest. As soon we reach N232 and after passing the 1st meridian the road become bigger. So we increase our rhythm and we drive towards Morella. The village is 2-3 km away from the road we are.
As soon as we see it from distance are amazed. Build upon a rock and circled by a well maintained wall with an imposing gate and a small fortress standing on top of it. As we approached for a moment we lost each other as we were attracted by the view. A moment later we found each other and we reach the gate. We stopped there for some photos although there is a sign that photos are forbidden. In the beginning we wanted to eat here but seeing the situation we decided to eat elsewhere.
So we kept driving and at some point we pass a beautiful forest full of oaks. It is the first time that I see so many oaks in one point. At the village Vallavina we stop to have something to eat in a classic Spanish tavern. It wasn’t something special but Ploumisti liked it. We ate an omelette and a cod and left. The tavern is next to a chamber which leads to an impressive temple.
We continue our travel following the route to Castello, until the node for Sant Mateu and then for Valencia. Up to Castello everything was fine. After that we found traffic again and we had to drive on the ancillary line. At some point we exit form the autovia and found ourselves on a secondary road with less traffic until we enter back in autovia which leads to the town, while passing next to the Universities.
We decide to ask for a room in a hostel that we knew from the tourist guide. I enter the address in the GPS and after 6km it leads us outside the hostel opposite Mercado square in the centre of the town. After some search in the area we found a room at the nice hostel; Hostel El Rincon (double bedroom, bath, air-condition and secured parking for our bikes) for 28euros per night. We got our things on the room and here I will not say much since we wanted only for a sleep…
After a quick bath we went out for a coffee and see the town. The first impressions are positive and most important is that the most of the sights are near to us. First we visit Plaza del Ayntamento, and little further in a small square we drink our coffee.
At the square we meet night life. Valencia is a town full in students which is always the factor for the development of night life. We visit a tavern were beer, wine and tapas are served. The impressive is that there is a window where you ca choose whatever you want.
The time is near 12am so we decide to go back to the hotel and see the town tomorrow...