Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Valencia with Kate and Amber

Kate and Amber used a weekend to see Valencia. Here are more of their photos.

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This past weekend we embarked on a short trip to Valencia, Spain. For the majority of the trip we just ended up spending time exploring the older section of this city, which was gorgeous. We took the metro from the airport which was very different from the metros we’ve previously ridden in the states because between each car there were rubber buffers allowing the metros to turn. Once we reached our destination in the older city we walked to our hostel which was more like a nice hotel housed in a building integrated with local businesses and other apartments. But the best part was, we had a little T.V. in our room, with multiple channels in English! This was the first time since being in Spain that we were able to watch live American T.V.

Valencia has so much history within it, starting with the Holy Grail! (yes, the actual one authenticated by the Vatican) This chalice is held within the Cathedral of Valencia which is also home to the tombs of past important religious personnel of the city such as bishops and saints including the bones of Santo Tomas de Villanueve and the arm of St. Vicente Martir.

Attached to the cathedral is the bell tower El Micalet, one must climb 206 steps but the view of the city is spectacular at the top. We also visited and climbed the Torres de Quart which are 15th Century towers bombed by Napoleon’s cannons in the early 19th Century. Similar to these are the Torres de Serranos which we also walked to the top of. They were the remnants of the walls which had previously encircled Valencia. Nearby, we also came across Lonja de la Seda, which is an old silk exchange building. Right across the street from it is the Mercado Central which was unfortunately closed because it was a Sunday, but holds a very diverse market of fresh produce.

In the afternoon we walked through the Rio (which is like a grassy area that was once a river but got filled in) and at the end of it saw the ciutat de les arts i les ciencies. These are modern white buildings built over water housing art and science museums and the aquarium which is the largest aquarium in Europe. This City of Arts and Sciences as well as Puente de Calatrava (also in Valencia) were designed by the Valencian Santiago Calatrava, who had designed a bridge here in Sevilla which we saw on our Statics bridge field trip around the city.

On our walk back we stopped at Parque Gulliver, one of the coolest parks we’ve seen. It’s literally in the shape of a man! We were able to slide down his tongue; it was quite fun.

And, of course, we must comment on the food. Valencia is well known for their paella, oranges, and horchata, so we had it all. We went to a family owned restaurant La Riua and ordered Valencian Paella. Yum! It contained typical yellow rice, along with chicken, rabbit, and vegetables. This was the first time both of us had ever eaten rabbit, and we must admit, it wasn’t half bad. Horchata was also new to both of us. It contains tiger nuts and is a milk-like drink, but without the milk. All in all, it was a very successful and enjoyable trip.

4 comments:

  1. I loved looking at your slideshow. It was a great example of a city celebrating its cultural heritage in conjunction with contemporary architecture and artwork. ─░Bravo damas, buen trabajo!

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  2. Your trip looks amazing. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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  3. It looks like you're having a wonderful time. It's beautiful there!

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  4. Thanks for the gorgeous pictures. It looks as though you are soaking up the scenery and the culture.

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