VALENCIA

For a first proper post, I have to harp back a bit to my year abroad. I was spoilt in all honesty. A language degree does, at times, feel like you’re doing a degree in travel kindly funded, in part, by an Erasmus grant… and those who know me will probably be sick of hearing my nostalgic ramblings about Paris, Valencia and Moscow. However, it does mean that I got to know a few places that are more than worth a visit so I thought I should share.

To break it down into bite size pieces I’m going to deal with them one at a time with a special little post for anything I thought was extra special. So here goes, Valencia!

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Sadly overlooked in favour of Barcelona and Madrid in my opinion, Valencia makes for the perfect short break holiday destination. Maybe not traditionally being as much of a ‘go-to’ destination has preserved it’s charm. It’s got it all, beach, historic city centre, mountains just up the road and beautiful, beautiful weather.

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Valencia is gifted with the beautiful Turia Gardens that run along the dried river bed that hugs the circumference of the old town, El Carmen. Don’t even think about getting a taxi to the iconic Museo de Las Artes y Las Ciencias because the walk there is part of the experience or, alternatively, jump on a Valenbisi, akin to Boris Bikes, which can be hired in town.

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Another sight that shouldn’t be missed is definitely the view from the top of the cathedral bell tower. On a clear day the view stretches for miles across the patchwork cityscape and towards the rolling hills in the distance. As spectacular as the interior of the cathedral itself it’s well worth the nominal fee you can expect to pay. Go up early to avoid queues and the heat of the day.

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Wander around the winding streets of the old town and nearby trendy student district Ruzafa and you could spend hours happily café hopping and soaking up the quirky shops.

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Some to make a beeline for are Ubik café http://ubikcafe.blogspot.co.uk/, Tinto Fino https://www.facebook.com/TintoFinoUltramarino which has a great atmosphere and some lovely wines, and a particular favourite of mine, IO http://www.iorestaurante.com/. This little restaurant is quite hidden (Carrer de Dalt, 30, 46003) but don’t be fooled by the unassuming front entrance. There is a cute little courtyard to the rear which catches the sunshine in the early afternoon and the original menu is a refreshing break from some of the more tourist-centric tapas bars.

I’m going to break off here because I fear I’m at risk of sounding like a travel agent and I don’t really need to sell Valencia because anyone who visits will realise it sells itself. Basically, I’m smitten!

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One or two posts to come with a spotlight on specific places.

R

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