Our first port of call after leaving Barcelona was Valencia, Spain. The wife and I decided not to do any of the excursions from Valencia, choosing instead to just take the shuttle bus from the port into the center of town and then walk around on our own all day. Naturally, we had done some research and she had a map with points of interest we wanted to see already marked on it. (One of the bonuses of being married to a travel/event planner!)
First on our list was the Valencia Cathedral, which lays claim to being home to the Holy Grail. Is it really? Who knows, but even Wikipedia gives it the best shot of being the true grail of all the places that claim to have it. Any way you look at it, the Cathedral is still a beautiful place to visit, and also happens to be home to a couple of paintings by Goya, which ain’t too shabby.
After some more walking around, we wandered into the Mercado Central. This is a cool marketplace, but it was also a bit of a challenge for us. Most of the tourist areas in Valencia were staffed by people who spoke English, no problem. The market, however, required us to dig out a little Spanish to get some bread, clementines, and drinks for a little picnic lunch for ourselves. I cannot recommend eating a clementine or orange in Valencia enough. It was fresh, juicy and tasty in a way that gets lost once Valencia oranges are transported all the way to the US.
Refreshed, we headed to the Plaza Del Ayunmiento, the Plaza De Toros and on around to the Quart Towers before taking a long stroll through the Jardines de Turia, a park created out of what used to be the riverbed that ran through the center of the city. The river has since been redirected to assist with flooding, and the ark gives you an interesting view of the city.
One of the highlights of taking the walk through the Jardines, was finding a little cafe and treating ourselves to some Churros con Chocolate. Yummy, yummy!
Finally, we entered the Cuidad de las Artes y las Ciencias, a truly remarkable area with some amazingly cool, and Sci-Fi looking, architecture.
The full set of photos from Valencia, including some fantastic street art as well, is over on Flickr.
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