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Spanish La Liga: Sevilla at Valencia

31 August 2009 No Comment

The Ultimate Sports Wife and I decided to spend the afternoon touring Valencia since we had decided to watch Valencia square off against Sevilla at 7 pm on La Liga’s opening weekend.

Obtaining Tickets
I had already bought two tickets to Sunday’s match on Thursday night so we would not have to deal with buying tickets on Sunday evening. We may have been able to beat the 20 euros ticket price at the window but taking our time to get to Estadio Mestalla was worth the peace of mind for not much extra money.

Parking Part 1
Since it was a Sunday and we wanted to tour Valencia’s City Centre, I decided to park on a street in between the City Centre and the stadium. We found a nice area where other cars were parked and appeared to be free. It was (however, read parking parts 2 & 3).

Valencia City Centre
We started walking around Valencia at 3 pm. Something to note about Valencia during August and on a Sunday is that everything is closed. There was not one store open between where we parked and Valencia’s main Cathedral. Of course this was to the Ultimate Sports Wife’s dismay.

However, as we approached the main tourist area by the Plaza de la Virgen where the Basilica de la Virgen de los Desamparados (which was closed) and the Cathedral are located, the restaurants and stores were opened. Phew! Of course, the only tourist attraction open in the area was the Cathedral but after seeing many Cathedrals in Europe for free we chose not to pay the 4 euros to see this one. Even the Mercado Central, one of the largest markets in Europe, was closed until September 2.

Pre Game Dining
I was concerned that the Ultimate Sports Wife would not like the restaurants (also known as bars) around the stadium. So rather than risk eating by the stadium, we ate at Cerveseria Manyans. The restaurant was not located in the main tourist area by the Cathedral but rather on a side street a few blocks south of the Plaza de la Reina. We ate early for Spaniards at 5 pm, but since we were hungry and had a long drive back after the game, the timing made perfect sense for us.

Parking Part 2
With our tickets already in hand, we decided to drop off some items in our car and be sure we had not received a parking ticket, or even worse towed. We did not receive a ticket, but to our surprise, we had a car parked perpendicular right behind us! Since we did not need to move the car at the time, we figured we would go to the match and hope the car was moved by the time we got back – although a man was ready to move the car for us if we needed to leave at that time.

As we approached the stadium, what I had not realized when I attended the match on Thursday night was that there are no parking regulations during a Valencia football match. Cars were parked bumper to bumper on the sidewalk, on the street and a second row on the street – blocking in all of the cars that had parked “legally” on the street. So much for worrying about whether we had received a parking ticket.

The Match
With the pitch on Sunday evening just as bad as it had been on Thursday evening, Valencia scored two goals in the second half to defeat Sevilla 2-0. Sevilla was reduced to 10 men during stoppage time of the first half as Fredi Kanoute was shown the red card (after receiving one yellow card in the 22nd minute and one yellow in stoppage time). Valencia immediately took advantage of their advantage by scoring in the second minute of the second half. Pablo Hernandez ensured Valencia won by scoring the second and decisive goal in the 79th minute.

Parking Part 3
Just in case you were wondering, when we got back to the car, the car that had parked behind us was gone as was the man who offered to move the car for us. There were many other cars still parked in the middle of the street but we backed our car out of its parking place and drove back to Benimassot.

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