Oh Spain. There was a glorious four days spent in Valencia and it was delightful. We stayed in the Old Town (Ciutat Vella), which is in the city centre, a delightful meandering maze of little cobbled streets and little plazas and gorgeous architecture. Loved it. There are a million little shops and tapas places, and where we stayed? The tables spilled out onto the footpaths right outside our apartment. Perfect for mojitos, and martinis and tapas (or, as we had twice, profiteroles + chocolate fondant!) Old Town in general was gorgeous. We climbed the Miguelete Bell Tower, which is a super cute 14th century tower that sits above the Cathedral of Valencia. Gorgeous views, and I got such a fright when the bell rang (which it does, on the hour). It was amazing to look out over the horizon and watch the city expand. I especially liked recognising all the places we'd been. It can be confusing on foot, sometimes, but from above things made much more sense. I laughed when I realised that my Mums Plaza (we gave everything our own names, because we could never remember the spanish versions) was right along from where we'd eaten icecream that morning! Oh the ridiculousness of not realising.
We hired bikes, which I'm so glad we did. Cycling around Valencia was definitely the best way to travel. There is a park that runs down the middle of the city - the Gardens of Turia (apparently it used to be a river, the river Turia). It's 9k of gorgeous sculptured gorgeousness that runs from past the old city out to the City of Arts and Sciences (Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències), which, woah buddy, is a feat of modern architectural amazement. It's all big white gorgeous buildings surrounded by shallow pools of water. It's all curves and soft arches that soar into the sky. There are a handful of buildings in the complex, an interactive science museum, a very fancy cinema, a sculpture walk, an opera house and my favourite - L'Oceanogràfic. It's a open-air oceanographic park, in other words, a really fancy aquarium. The largest in Europe. Obviously we hit it up and oh, it was amazing.
We also spent a fair amount of time at the beach. Honestly, this city had it all. The beach was pretty gorgeous, the water cool, the sand clean and white and there was miles of it. On our last day we hired some of those beach chairs and a super cute little a parasol and spent a few hours on the beach. Loved it! I got sun burnt, but go figure. I was trying to soak in as much sun as I could before we had to go back to grey London.
So yes, Valencia. What a gorgeous city, 4 days were by no means long enough. If you get the opportunity to go, you definitely should!