Visiting Valencia in Spain is one of my favorite trips. Maybe because of the time of the year, the company I went with or simply my spirit during that vacation but I fell in love with the “City of Arts and Sciences” like a little girl. The Romans called it “Valentia”, meaning valor, strength. The Arabs called it “Medina bu-Tarab”, the city of joy and I can confirm that it really is.
We stayed in a small hostel “Moratin” that was pretty modest but the location and the friendly staff compensated all our remarks. A lovely old man that spoke nothing but Spanish tried so hard to explain us everything about Valencia and “Grande Fiesta” in the city. Luckily I watched a lot of Spanish TV shows as a kid so we managed to understand each other. The hostel is situated in the center and that was perfect because of all happenings going on during our stay there. Every night we were celebrating with the Valencians and we didn’t need any kind of transportation to get to bed. The staff was really helpful and they made us feel very welcomed in their city.
From tasty tapas to seafood and traditional roasts, Spanish food is all about making the most of the best local produce. I love it! Tortillas, paella, gazpacho, jamon, tapas and delicious churros with chocolate. Fake paella you can find on every corner quite cheap, but if you want a real deal, traditional tasty paella with fresh seafood and choosing your own alive crab from aquarium, than I highly recommend one small restaurant “El Rall” (Calle Tundidores 2, Valencia). Trust me, it’s worth every penny, it’s a taste you’ll never forget.
We were lucky to visit Valencia in the time of “Grande Fiesta”. Every year the city celebrates Día de la Comunidad at 9th October. They celebrate the foundation of the city. The Christians conquered Valencia in 1238 after the Arabs had ruled for five centuries. There are lots of shows and procession through the city, big parade with masked groups of people and a lot of fireworks.
We had a really good time and ate some delicious food, crispy pork ribs and sausages!
I’m always amazed with Spanish hospitality and warmness. Walking through the streets of the city, on every corner there are some guys playing and singing songs, people smiling, we saw a few weddings and a bachelorette party… Good mood and positive energy everywhere!
There are many green open spaces in Valencia but the gardens in the dry riverbed of the Turia are the most popular. After a catastrophic flood in 1957. the authorities decided to split the river and send it on a new course. Today there is a big park with pine trees, aromatic plants and ponds, foot paths, leisure and sports areas, romantic spots where you can unwind. There are also many beautiful historical buildings to see in Valencia; Torres de Serranos, Cathedral, Llotja de la Seda… Visit Mercado Central, the building is interesting and the fish market amazing, even if you don’t want to buy anything… just enjoy looking and feeling the atmosphere!
You don’t wanna miss L’Oceanografic, the biggest aquarium of Europe. It’s located inside the architectural complex vanguardista of the City of the Arts and Sciences. Take a walk around impressive modern buildings and visit sea animals in underwater tunnels; sharks, penguins, dolphins and beluga whale will leave you speechless.
In the end I can simply say that I love everything about Spain; the people, the language and the food! It seems like they really know how to enjoy Mediterranean life!