We started our fourth week of adventure in Spain in the coastal city of Valencia. Located on the side of the Balearic Sea, we thought we could enjoy some beach time, but unfortunately the weather was not on our side. With temperature under 20 ℃, we did not expect it to be so cold… After a very quiet weekend when we took some time to discover the public market, eating cheese and baguette as well as reading a good book, the four of us glued-together, we started our exploration of Valencia. The city of Valencia marries the historic to the modern in a spectacular way.
The architecture of the old part of the city is well-preserved and exploring the pedestrian streets is still one of our favorite activities in Europe. The old town is very accessible to pedestrians and it is easy to voluntarily get lost in these small medieval streets. In fact, we particularly like to find a charming little restaurant around the corner where we can sit and enjoy a good beer watching people stroll down the plaza.
It was in the magnificent city of arts and sciences that we had a full day of fun and learning. This architectural treasure is simply stunning and was actually one of the shooting location of the movie “Tomorrowland”. We decided to go inside and enjoy this attraction. The reviews of the Sciences Museum were excellent and we gave it a try, but honestly even if we had not entered the museum, seeing the outside of the buildings would have been worth it. There was a lot of tactile activities to do and new things to learn in this museum. Although the signs were not all translated into English, we had a lot of fun and left this museum exhausted. We also took the opportunity to watch an IMAX film about the beauty of American nature parks. We have to admit that some family members had watery eyes during the viewing. Let’s just say that what we lack in ancient architecture in America is amply compensated by our natural riches, which are extraordinary. We really miss the Rocky Mountains a lot. Spoiler Alert, we decided what our next adventure will be and it will take place in America this time!
In the heart of the city, there is an urban park with an area of 110 hectares which occupies the bed of the old Turia River. Throughout this park, we were able to find a multitude of playgrounds for children. The park we preferred was the Gulliver Park which is huge. It is a platform in the image of Gulliver on which children and adults can climb, run and slide on one of the many slides.
The city of Valencia has a special festival called Faller which takes place since the 18th century. “Fallas” are rather special satirical monuments made with combustible materials which are displayed in the public squares and in the main crossroads of the streets of the city. They are then exposed to the public for several days and burned on the night of March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph. Luckily, there is a public contest that spares a “ninot” (a figurine that is part of a monument) of a falla for adult and a falla for children. These winning figures can be seen at the Faller Museum, the oldest one dating from 1934. It is quite impressive to see all the work put into these sculptures by these fallero artists. Here is a small sample of the “ninots” that we saw in the museum.
We took advantage of our stay in Valencia to eat a Paella, this typical rice dish from the region. We had such high expectations that we were somewhat disappointed with our experience. It must be said that we were waiting to be in Valencia to eat an authentic Paella. As Simon does very well in a kitchen, we are often disappointed when the dish is tasteless. Let’s say we were not very lucky in choosing restaurants outside of our guide-book. It would seem that we do not have flair to find the rare treasures.
We had a lot of fun in Valencia, visiting this city during the Faller festival would be pretty awesome. We are now ready to explore the last city of our journey, Barcelona!