The Princeton men's basketball team arrived in Valencia Monday for its first of two days in the coastal Spanish city.
After departing Barcelona Monday morning, the team bussed down the Mediterranean coast and toured Valencia's sights both old and new. Highlights included the City of Arts and Sciences, a modern series of buildings that host museums and performance halls. The travel party continued on to Valencia's centuries-old sights, including the Torres de Serranos and the Catedral de Valencia in the old city.
Tuesday, Princeton will head to Alicante, Spain, for a game against CB Lucentum Alicante, the team's third of four on the trip.
Below, junior guard Chris Clement contributes the team's daily blog entry.
Day 5 of our expedition introduced a new experience for us as we departed from Barcelona and ventured into Valencia. The city has ultimately proven to be gorgeous but I must admit at the beginning of the day I was apprehensive about leaving Barcelona. Not only did Barcelona tolerate my bizarre sleeping patterns but it even embraced my nocturnal tendencies as there were always restaurants (more particularly gelato stands) open regardless of the hour. To say I love the city would be an understatement. Although I was eager to see the rest of Spain, I also didn't want to leave the city that gave me my first caramel-covered waffle topped with strawberry gelato.
Fortunately, Valencia appears to be equally magnificent. The vibe is entirely different as there is less tourism and English spoken here. For the first time on the trip we went to a restaurant that had no waiters who spoke a sentence of English. Fortunately the combination of taking Spanish along with living in Texas has somewhat prepared me for defining moments such as ordering hamburguesas. Yet I was still relieved when my order returned just how I envisioned.
One thing that I was unsure about though was how Valencia's architecture would compare to some of the storied sites we visited in Barcelona. I can honestly say that I was not disappointed. There is mixture of both historical structures and futuristic buildings as we visited various squares, the Cathedral of Santa Maria, and the art and science center. There were even more gelato stands that sold waffles. At this point, I am a very happy man.
Later, Clay, Ian, and I headed out for an evening swim in the Mediterranean. Afterwards, we enjoyed a game of beach volleyball with some of the locals. Unfortunately our athleticism didn't directly translate into our match and I'm saddened to say that even our 40-year-old opponents asked if we wanted to change the teams to make it more fair. After a few trades, the games were finally more competitive. And because not all of our blog entries have been entirely accurate (cough cough Jimmy) I will now close the post with how I heroically had the game winning spike and then was hoisted onto the shoulders of my teammates away into the sunset.
In all seriousness though the trip has been amazing. It's going to take more than some gelato to make me willingly return to the States!