The plan for today was to take it reasonably easy as all that walking around in the heat yesterday was fairly knackering. Shade is hard to come by though strolling around. Today’s learning something new every day fact is that torres is Spanish for towers. As in Fernando Towers.
I discover that the Mestalla Stadium Tour does not restart until after the customary afternoon siesta so in the meantime I take the Metro out to have a look at the Nou Mestalla. This was supposed to replace the old stadium for the start of the 2009-10 season but due to financial problems construction was halted in 2009. Today a shell of a stadium remains, untouched for seven years. Walking round the perimeter fence is a little eerie.
The Mestalla itself did not disappoint. It’s located among houses and businesses, a short walk from the city centre. The stadium looks great from the outside, painted orange and black and with murals honouring the club’s great players and achievements. There’s a huge facade with a mural of the bat from the club logo. Inside the stadium is a bit of a stunner. The steep, almost vertical stands, that tower over the pitch are breathtaking. It will be sad when they eventually move out of this beautiful stadium. The tour is OK with the guide perhaps not being the most enthusiastic but the start of the show was the stadium itself. I forgot to ask about the origins of the bat logo but since looking at Google it appears that bats are synonymous with the Valencia region.
Tomorrow I’m due to fly to Porto at 0615 which provides a couple of options for tonight’s sleeping arrangements. One would be to stay another night in the Holiday Inn and arrange for a taxi at 4am. This would cost about €100 (it took a while to find the € symbol but it is Alt-Shift-2). The alternative is to keep my bags in the hotel until the evening, get the Metro to the airport and kip there, costing about €3. Neither would provide a decent nights sleep, so with being the austerity trip, option two prevailed.