I arrived in Valencia at the Joaquin Sorolla Railway Station, a quick 3 hour train ride from Barcelona. I guess my last true train ride was when I was 6 years old, from Vernon, Tx to Wichita Falls, Tx. My simple abode was in a perfect location with everything within walking distance. There were so many beautiful squares, plazas, and interesting sculptures.
Valencia is a little coastal town with new and old beauty. I enjoyed the old town, the centre, with all of its architecture and history. So many sights! Walking towards the start of the “centre”, I came across a Bullfighting Ring that was still used as Valencia still allows bullfighting.
I would just get lost, enjoying myself, in all the beauty of the old town.
One thing I forgot to mention in Barcelona, which is true in Valencia, is that motor-scooters are a big means of transportation. You would see rows and rows of them parked on the street.
Throughout the “centre” there were numerous beautifully designed churches.
I ran across a neat old build. I wasn’t sure what it was. It turned out to be the old Silk Factory. I love the Gothic designs throughout the “centre”.
There had been 12 gates to the old town, from the old medieval city wall. There are two gates still remaining. The first one I came upon was the Torres de Serrano. From a side view, you could see where the old walls had been connected to it.
At the top of the gate you could see all around the old town.
The other gate and tower is the Torres de Quart.
It still has one of the walls connected, running around and connecting to an old church (Iglesia de Santa Ursula).
I spent quite a bit of time around the Plaza de la Virgen Square. Here is a sculpture of Neptune and eight naked women. This work of art was created by local sculptor Silvestre Edeta.
In the square, I found the Basílica de la Virgen de los Desamparados,
the Cathedral of Santa Maria (Cathedral de la Valencia),
the beautiful square with the mable pathways surrounding it.
Behind the basilica was the archeological center (La Almoida),
and last but not least, the coveted cup, the Holy Grail.
Starting with my trip around the USA, I starting visiting any Basilica church that I run across. The Basílica de la Virgen de los Desamparados is smaller than many that I have seen, but is very beautiful. Each has its own beauty.
The Cathedral of Santa Maria had a tower, the Miguelete Tower, you could climb to the top of for 2 Euro. There were 207 steps up to the top, of which about 202 were part of a spiral staircase. A little bit breath taking, in more than one way.
The Archeology Center turned out to be a great value and interest. The entry had displays of relics from the 1st and 2nd Century. It is amazing the beauty, the color, the detail, and of course the condition that these pieces are in.
With that said, when you stepped down the stairs, you entered into a different world, a different time. Here you find Valencia from the Roman days. You are hovering above ancient times as you walk on the glass designed pathways. The Thermae, the building for bathing, was where I started. Each room in the Thermae had a different purpose, one for changing, the next was the warm room, followed by the hot room. The tile used for the flooring was quite amazing.
You could read about the designs of the roads or main passage ways through town. Large blocks of stone were placed and used for these passage ways.
Adobe walls from the first construction of Valencia – 138 B.C. Republican Roman Period.
Top of a funerary altar from 100 A.D.
Monumental well from the second half of the 6th century A.D. – Visigothic Period.
The Curia, the building for the city senate – 1st century A.D. Imperial Roman Period.
After leaving this wonderful experience, I came across what I will call the Museum of the Holy Grail (Els Camins Del Grail).
It is Valencia’s claim and story as to why they believe they have the Last Supper Holy Grail. It is a quite interesting story walking you through step by step over time. I recommend a stop at the Els Camins Del Grail.
I didn’t get to see the actual Holy Grail. It is kept at the Cathedral of Valencia.
As I stated earlier, the “centre” was a favorite of mine, but there is much more. If you walk the opposite direction towards the port you will run into the City of Arts and Sciences which includes an Art Center, Science Center, the Hemisferic (IMAX Dome), and the Oceanografic (aquarium).
I didn’t spend as much time here as I would have liked, nor did I get to see everything I wanted to see as the Art Center was closed the day I was there, and the aquarium was closing early. I did enjoy my trip to the Science Center.
A little walk beyond the City of Arts and Sciences is the port and marina.
The beach is just around the corner.
There were hundreds, maybe thousands out at the beach that day. The picture doesn’t show the crowded beach area as I didn’t take a direct picture of the beach due to the occasional topless sunbathing. I chose to be respectful, at least this time. (-:
With that said, the Malvarrosa Beach with the Mediterranian Sea was fantastic.
On my walk back, I trekked through the Jardines del Turia, an incredible park that runs through the old Turia River bed. You can hike, bike, skate, jog, walk your dog, or just sit and relax enjoying some of the beauty.
A little history, in 1957 the Turia River flooded, flooding the city of Valencia. To prevent this from happening again, a diversion project was initiated, splitting the river in two at the western city limits. The river bed is now this incredible park that runs for miles with sculptures, children parks, palace de music, campus de futbol, and much more.
For such a little town, there is so much to do! I had a great experience in Valencia!