Monday, August 13, 2012

Valencia Days, Valencia Nights

The last time we talked about my trip to Spain, it was quite a deep and meaningful one. I also said that I'd be writing all about visiting Valencia* about a week ago....and as I am now massively past this self imposed (when will I ever learn) deadline, it's time to sit down and tell you folks all about the absolutely beautiful city which really captured my heart.

*Otherwise know as the city where I became clean again (see last post for gross details on that one).

(You can also read about what I think about learning German over at Point Me At Lost Islands today!)

As I left the festival in a zombie-like state of extreme exhaustion, I was drifting in and out of sleep in the car. It was probably for the best that I wasn't wide awake and ready to get my schnuggle on...I'm pretty sure I smelt like I looked.

Anyhoo...I didn't know where we were going. This was my SURPRISE trip to Spain. I had asked for Valencia to be on the itinerary so was very excited to find out that was where we were headed first.

I expressed my joy through the lesser known art of napping.

We stopped off on the way in a small town because Andi had read somewhere that it was pretty. I would love to tell you the name, but I was somewhat brain dead at the time and was having severely obsessive thoughts about having a bath.

This is what it looked like though:
There was a great castle (sadly closed), some cute winding streets (mostly deserted), some funny signage (yup I giggled) and a gorgeous array of tiles on the roofs.

CLICK TO READ MORE (We're not even IN Valencia yet).

FYI: Landmarks in Spain tend to be closed on a Monday as they are open over the weekends.

We thought we found an archaeological museum that was open (as there are Roman remains here). It had all the signs of 'openess' - sign outside with opening times and a smoking security guard. The door was open and everything.

Despite all of these minor details the security guard informed us it was closed on Mondays before promptly entering and locking the door. Maybe I should have bathed first....I can't have smelt that bad that I couldn't look at ruins?

Straight after we hit up a really tasty bakery for some snacks (with a free conversation with the Spanish owners that we could not understand), we went to Valencia.

I'd say the drive was lovely: but I slept through it and woke up outside the hotel.

Washing, sleep, unpacking, sleep and clean clothes happened over the next few hours.

Late that evening, we headed into the centre of Valencia. I absolutely loved it. As we got up from the Metro, I found a serious number of shoe shops with awesome sales happening. I fell in love with some, but forced myself to go away and think about buying them. I thought it might be some kind of 'back to civilisation' shell-shock which made me want them so badly.

We headed into the old part of the town. It looks like this:

By the town hall, cathedral and the best door knocker I have seen in my life. Note to Ikea: make some!

We ate some Pinchos, drank some wine, wandered a load and then ate some Tapas. There was so much atmosphere in all of the little streets and squares...I loved it.

It might have been the wine the night before, but heading into the market the following day I couldn't get the shoes out of my mind. I don't know about you, but I love a good food market and the ones in Spain and Italy take some beating. We went and got a picnic in the Central market - it is massive and definitely worth a visit.

The market inside and out. Beautiful fruit, meats and disgusting staring at me octopus!
We bought some Paprika cheese spread, Spanish cured meats, Peaches, Fresh Bread, Coffee and Olives.

On the way back, I bought three pairs of shoes.

The afternoon was spent in the new Arts & Sciences park away from the city centre. It is seriously impressive. We went to the Science Museum & Aquarium. If you go to Valencia, the whole thing is an absolute MUST see.

The Science Museum daytime, a sculpture inside, the Aquarium building and the Cinema from the outside (dusk).

When I went to look at the pictures from the Aquarium, I realised that the fish ones were all blurry from being inside and with the tanks, so I did what any good blogger would do, share my pictures of the water birds we got to see there.

I don't know how I got out of the aviary without being pooped on.

 The first duck nibbled my elbow, the red bird would not look at me and the others I decided to use my zoom to photograph...being 'nibbled' by a duck actually hurts!

Andi took me to see a Flamenco show that evening; we ate more Tapas and I got to wear my new shoes. Perfection in a Valencia shaped tin.

Have you ever been? Where did you go and visit? I'll be back sometime soon for part three of my summer travels. How about I aim for next Monday and we'll go from there?



Cocalores said...

I love Spain! Your photos are really great. (And those Spanish markets are really, really cool for photography!) But that door knocker is definitely creepy! Note to IKEA: Please make none!!! xo Anja

meet.make.laugh. said...

LOVE Valencia.... quite a few years ago (7 to be exact) my husband (then boyfriend) went to the Falles festival there which was one of the craziest things I have ever been too! I would love to go back, especially after reading your post, when it isn't quite as crazy busy to experience more of the city itself. Thanks for sharing! ~Stephanie

Lieke said...

So need to go here!!! Have never been here but it sounds awesome!

Alyx said...

Oh my goodness, Valencia just looks amazing. I'm so glad you had such a wonderful vacation!

Megan Wait said...

It's my dream to visit Spain someday! After visiting Morocco of course. You just inspired me to really start saving and stop spending money on trivial things.

By the way, the ceramicas arse had me in stitches!


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