Last week the builders had a week off and we took the opportunity to go on holiday. We took the campervan and drove to Valencia (took us 6 hours in our ‘slow coach’).
I’d never been to Valencia and we were pleasantly surprised. The Camper Parque was outside the city but next to a Metro station, so we did not have to drive into Valencia.
One lovely feature of Valencia is the (dry) Turia river that runs through the town.
In place of 120 hectares of dry riverbed, the city centre has a lush green garden split into twelve parts and full of native and non-native plants and Spanish wildlife, ponds and a zen garden, all developed by the Catalan architect Ricardo Bofill. As a real park for the people, it is also home to an athletics track, artworks, climbing walls, football pitches, cafes, ponds and flowers. Traffic is diverted over the top of the 11km-long park via bridges at several intervals.
(Funny to see palm trees grow through a hole in the bridge!)
Children can explore the Gulliver Park; an adventure playground featuring a large fibre glass model of Gulliver tied to the ground with ropes. Children can climb on it. Gulliver’s clothes make a network of slides and ladders.(Adults not allowed...)
There are beautiful buildings in the old part. We liked the train station. Estation del Nort, a modernist building, built in the Arts and Crafts style.
And we liked the National Ceramics Museum, which is housed in a palace that dates from the 15th century and was refurbished in 1740 in rococo style with a magnificent alabaster entrance. Inside, we found 18th century carriages, the 19th century rooms, medieval ceramics and an important collection of tiles.
While window shopping in town, I really liked the shops that sold beautiful fabrics that are used for making traditional costumes. In the photo you can see shawls, hair combs, a fan, beautiful fabric, and cotton under garments.
The modern part of Valencia is architecturally just as spectacular as the old part. The Opera House,
the Science Museum,
the Oceanografic and the Agora and the surrounding park are worth more than one visit.
We spent a day in the Oceanografic, a huge aquarium with a dolphin show and whale and shark tanks.
There is a very interesting covered food market
and of course I must mention that Valencia is where paella comes from.
There are loads of lovely restaurants. Most have outside seating which in winter have heaters. The food is great and so are the people.
I heartily recommend Valencia as a city break if you ever have the chance.
That's it for tonight, thanks for visiting.