I took my first trip of the semester! It was a very short trip – only 48 hours – but Valencia is an amazing city and we saw so much of it in that short amount of time! I went with two of my friends from our “Beginner Spanish” class. Our hotel was located in an older part of the city and there were a lot of bars within a half-mile radius of us, none of which we stayed at because they were full of 40 year olds. Friday night we grabbed tapas and mojitos and then headed to the port for the discothèques, not that we found any, but we did find a cute pub with some handsome foreign guys (not complaining about that)! Saturday we got some famous Valencia orange juice and I now understand why Valencia is known for their oranges! After breakfast we went to the L’Oceanogràfic and the Ciudad de Las Artes y Las Ciencias. The aquarium and museum were two of the most amazing buildings I’ve ever seen (pictures in the gallery). The actual aquarium and science museums were nothing special; the only new thing I saw was a swordfish in the aquarium and the science museum was just like the exploratOrium in San Francisco, but the architecture was breathtaking and worth the visit!
We went to the park after and walked for about an hour toward our hotel. There is a park in the center of Valencia that stretches from the sea all the way to an animal park at the center of the city, which has to be more than 10 miles. During our walk we took a lot of pictures of the orange trees and fountains and of one of the flower bridges, but we also had our picture taken! There was a man with a camera from 1912 asking 5 euro per picture, and he obviously needed the money. We had no problem helping him put a little change in his pocket while we got to cross “authentic picture” off of our bucket lists. The whole photo process took probably 15 minutes and we weren’t going anywhere special so we just enjoyed the vintage experience. We got to check out the negative too while our picture developed!
Saturday night after snacking on the finds from our morning trip to the Mercado Central, and after a quick siesta, we decided on gelato for dinner. I had to try the famous Valencia horchata too because I love mexican horchata! Money saving tip: don’t try the horchata in Valencia it’s disgusting. After dinner we found a cute bar that looked more like a hipster cafe and their playlist was Scott Bradlee & Postmodern Jukebox, which should give you an idea of the vibe. I loved it! We all ordered Agua de Valencia (basically an extra spiked mimosa) and it took us more than an hour to finish it. Don’t be fooled it’s the best drink I’ve ever tasted (thanks Valencia oranges) but after the one I was so done for the night that when we went home to drop off our bags, I fell asleep. It was all in all a perfect day.
Sunday we had crêpes for breakfast and since we had our luggage from check out, we stayed close to the train station downtown. We walked through a few cathedrals and even saw a dance performance, but we got tired pretty fast. After a late Paella lunch we shopped and finally relaxed at the train station. The train ride back was much better than the first one because it was daytime and we could see the countryside. The first hour (of the two hour ride), all we could see for miles off both sides of the train were orange groves. It was a blissfully happy weekend to say the least!
Life is an adventure, so keep exploring it!