Valencia

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    We have a wonderful apartment in Valencia
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850-01-valencia-apartment

 

Valencia is an interesting city because of its mix of old and new architecture. A year or so ago I was tempted to consider a photography workshop in Valencias. Here is a city with medieval castles and towers to modernist and art deco architecture.

Our apartment was located on the Placa de l'Ajuntament - the plaza with City Hall. Centrally located this made getting just about everywhere very easy.

We really enjoyed our time here, and very quickly were saying that this is a city we would like to come back to again. The Central Market was a blast. It is massive. Go in the morning as it closes down in the afternoon.

We also discovered the Mercato Colon, which is a different classic market that was redeveloped into a collection of great bars and restaurants. Ma Kin Kitchen is fabulous. We ended up eating there more than once because the food was so good.

 

The City of Arts and SciencesCity of Arts and Sciences

The ‘City of Arts and Sciences’ in Valencia is widely recommended as a must-see for any first-time visitor to the city. The City of Arts contains 6 distinct zones or buildings.

The first one built, L'Hemisferic, was designed to look like a giant human eye. It offers, among other things, a 3D panoramic cinema, which is always popular with both locals and tourists.

Then we find El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe, or the Prince Philip Science museum. It has a programme of changing exhibits at various times of the year and you don't have to be a science fan to enjoy it. It's very educational for children too, with plenty of activities inside to keep them entertained.

The other part of the complex houses L'Umbracle, which is completely free and is a landscaped walk of plants native to the area and various artistic and thought-provoking sculptures.

The L'Oceanogràfic, is a small version of Sea World, so expect to pay to visit. It’s not cheap, but it is well worth it for sure. They do a dolphin display and it has the largest glass water tunnel in Europe to walk through, directly underneath the massive fish tank, with sharks swimming a few metres from your face!

El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía is the next part, which is an impressive looking opera house and theatre. 

The last and newest bit is L'Àgora, which is a covered exhibition space and sports arena with the shape of an ellipse.

 

Central Market

Valencia Central Market

Not only is it a great modernist building to admire, it is also somewhere where visitors get a closer insight into the daily life of the Valencianos

The market itself is divided into sections, depending on the type of food available such as fish, a meat section, a fruit section and so on. There are some really interesting stalls here: some of the fruit and vegetables may look strange to visitors, and so may some of the traditional meat products which are still popular here but not in northern parts of Europe. 

Even if you get bored, there are loads of traditional shops, bars and cafes around the perimetre of the building. It is a really nice area to stroll around.

Bario del Carmen

Bario del Carmen

What a scenic part of the city to walk about, get lost, anf find little treasures to see.

Valencia Cathedral and The Holy Grail

Valencia Cathedral

One of the cities' more controversial claims to fame is that it has what is supposed to be the Holy Grail, the actual cup that Jesus drank from at the last supper, although that claim is also upheld by several other places around the world. The cathedral is a lovely old place and well worth visiting. You can actually climb to the top of the Miguelete bell tower and admire great views of the city. Inside the cathedral, the Holy Grail is one of the must-see attractions for those of a religious following. Legend has it that the cup travelled from Rome centuries ago. However, when the Muslim rulers took over Spain, it was placed into hiding for centuries and only returned to the city in 1427 by the gloriously named King ‘Alfonso the Magnanimous’.