A long weekend away recently took me to Valencia, Spain. Chosen by the missus and a convenient EasyJet flight out of Gatwick. On arrival at Valencia we asked about day passes on the Metro. The helpful lady said don't bother with those, the Metro is free all day tomorrow. On the Metro from the Aeroport, I looked at the map and started thinking....well it would be rude not to ride around all day for free. Over dinner, I brought the subject up with Mrs B. Permission granted for a Valencia Metro Challenge (to visit all 93 stations) but only if I left after lunch and made it back for dinner.
Next day we hit the spectacular Ciudad des Artes y las Ciencias and after a tour and lunch I escaped. I'd looked at the Metro map and decided a start and finish in the suburbs would be best. Trouble was I didn't know how far out I was going and didn't know any frequencies. Anyway off to the start but it was 16:30 before I got going. I reckoned about four hours should do it, there were only six lines (excluding trams) and I would be back for a late dinner. Changes went well and I didn't get lost or catch a wrong train but a couple of hours in, I realised I had massively underestimated the distances between stations in the Valencia suburbs. I texted Mrs B to cancel dinner, after considering whether to abort. She agreed I could miss dinner and continue.
Finally I was on my penultimate train on line 7, which was extremely noisy with music and boisterous youth coming into Valencia for a Friday night. But on my last change it all went wrong. At 22:15 I arrived to find out the last train out to the suburbs had left almost an hour ago at 21:23. So five and a half hours riding the Metro and I missed my final train! Damn. At least I could easily get back to my hotel. I was surprised because the Spanish are legendary for having dinner at 10pm and drinking until the early hours, so to find out the last train was so early was a bit of a shock. Still an enjoyable afternoon and evening on the air conditioned Valencia metro, even if I failed in my mission.
So I visited 77 stations in 5 hours, 31 mins at a cost of 0 Euro. Is that a record?
New York? Sydney? Bognor Regis? We're spoilt for choice ...
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