Bartolome’s Adventures in Cooking and Hiking

Written by Bartolome Cisneros

This week has been fairly uneventful as my brother and I have gotten used to our daily travel to and from the Politecnica. While at first it was difficult getting used to having to cook almost everyday (I have to admit I’ve gotten used to having an on-campus meal plan at State), it now has become the norm. I recently cooked Arroz con Pollo, a traditional dish from the coast of Peru and it turned out spectacularly though it was a much more in-depth process to cook than the stews my brother and I have
been cooking daily.
On Saturday, however, Alex Veverka (one of our fellow State students here in Valencia) and I went to visit Xativa, a nearby town known for having preserved its old castle. We ended up spending the entire day (from 11am to 7pm) out walking all day throughout Xativa. We spent most of the morning and early afternoon in the old quarter of Xativa which still resembles the layout and has many of the buildings from the early Middle Ages, including the old market plaza, the church built by Popes Callixtus III and Alexander VI (both Popes from the Borja family which came from the Valencia-Xativa area) and several old buildings-turned-museums. We had lunch with Jose Cisneros, Director of CALS International Programs, while he was in town at a traditional arroceria, where we ordered Paella, a traditional Valencian rice dish, as well as some grilled octopus and a salad with grilled Bonito.  After lunch, we made the long trek up to the castle, which sat atop of the mountain that overlooks Xativa. After spending several hours in the castle, we took the scenic path back down the mountain, exploring some trails that broke off from the main road back to Xativa where we ended up stumbling on a floral micro-biome preserve as well as an ancient ‘ice-house’ which was a pit that was dug down into the mountain to store ice even during the summer. By the time we got back to Xativa, we were exhausted from the day’s hiking and proceeded to head home.