Condensed Madrid #2 - Day Trip to Valencia by AVE
Take a Trip to Valencia
When staying in Madrid, be sure to think of an excuse to hop on the RENFE AVE (Alta Velocidad Española) train network. They have a terrific train network in Spain. On the AVE you can hit speeds of over 180 miles-an-hour sitting in great comfort. All the while your glass of gin and tonic stays as steady as a rock (unless you have the shakes yourself).
I had the perfect excuse to head out of town. The Lead Soldier Museum in Valencia has a temporary Zulu exhibition displaying dioramas of the Anglo-Zulu war in Africa, including Rorke's Drift. I imagined most of my fellow passengers were heading to Valencia for the same reason.
Train from Atocha
Here's the Talgo 350 that took me out of Atocha, Madrid's wonderfully airy main train station (above), to Valencia:
The Lead Soldier Museum
I didn't see any of my fellow passengers inside the Lead Soldier Museum. They must have been visiting later. Anyway, above you can see a display of the RAF relaxing. A good depiction of an RAF moustache on the chap standing. He seems no-nonsense and he's politely feigning disinterest in the lady adjusting her suspender belt.
And we have couple of shots from the Zulu exhibition below. They have battle noises playing in the room. It's almost as if you are part of the "thin red line of 'eroes, when the drums begin to roll".
The Zulu exhibition is on till the end of August.
What Else to Do in Valencia, Tweedy?
After you've exhausted the Lead Soldier Museum, certainly take to time to stroll around Valencia's historic centre and enjoy an horchata (made from tigernuts) in one of the old horchata cafes, such as Horchateria el Siglo and Horchateria de Santa Catalina, both off Plaza de Santa Catalina.
Name That Bar
Basque pincho bars are in abundance in Valencia too. I forget the name of the one I was going to recommend, but they have a big barrel of refreshing Zapiain cider and delicious pinchos, or snacks, as we used to call such things in the UK. That's a photo of the bar and barrel below. Come on chaps, let's get a name to it.
Like Trains? More Notable Train Trips We've Covered
Madrid to Oviedo
Berlin to Prague
Vienna to Bucharest
Vienna to Budapest