We arrived in Valencia after a short flight with a very famous budget airline. These budget flights can end up costing much more if you don’t read the fine print. First if you do not print your boarding pass it costs you 50 euro, if you do not pre purchase checked in baggage it costs you, if your bag does not fit in the carry on section (which they make you demonstrate before you are allowed to board then it costs you 40 euro, one poor girl fell into this category). You are not allocated seat numbers instead its a first come first seated basis on board which would explain why there was a massive line at our gate as soon as it opened (We will remember this for our flight to Malta).
Arriving into the city while the sun was up was a nice change and being able to read the street signs was a definite bonus. The sights of Valencia are quite compact and were all very assessable from our hostel. We spent our first full day in Valencia doing a free walking tour, which are always a great way to get a feel for the
city while learning a bit about the history. Usually the guides are young university students and present the history in a very entertaining way as well as point out some good places to eat etc.
After the walking tour we grabbed some left over pasta that we cooked the night before and jumped on the metro to Playa del la Malvarrosa beach. As far as beaches go it was not the best, but it was packed! Aaron was excited to see the ocean and grabbed some beach chairs and positioned then under the umbrellas we were shortly asked to pay 4euros for the chairs and 5 for the umbrella – we very quickly found a plot of sand for free and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon lying on the beach.
The following day we visited the number one recommended thing to see in Valencia, the central market. It was very similar to the one we visited in Budapest last year and had everything from fruit and vegetable to pig hooves. For lunch we tried the famous paella which originally originated in Valencia (it was OK but nothing to rave about). As lots of
things close for siesta we decided to do the same and found a shady spot in the Jardines de Turia, a 9km park the runs through the city.After some rest we were ready to visit the Museo Bellas Artes, Fine Arts Museum which was showing Sara Sorollos work.
Our last day in Valencia began very early, we rose at 5:30 and left the hostel as others were making their way to bed after a hard night. We took the metro to the Valencia football stadium where some flea markets were being held. There was a lot of junk but also some fabulous antiques. After the markets we decided to explore the park further and found the Gulliver park (from Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels) which is a huge plastic Gulliver laying down, that is used as a playground by kids. Further down we came across the City of Arts and Science building. It is a huge complex designed by Santiago Calatrava and includes Science Museum, a Planetarium, an IMAX cinema, an Aquarium and an Arts Museum and is an impressive building. However we decided not to enter due to the high entrance fee and the fact that Townsville
Plaza Lluis Casanovas
has all of that stuff albeit on a smaller scale.
After some more wondering around we returned to the hostel to pack, cook dinner and do some research about our next stop Madrid!
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