Before going to Valencia, Spain, I emailed one of my sisters for suggestions on what to do. She spent a summer studying there, so I knew she’d have some good ideas. Based on her suggestions, I knew what I wanted to do. However, my plans weren’t very solid, since I had no idea where the shuttle bus from the ship would drop us off!
I set out once again with my dance captain and her boyfriend. We were dropped near a tourist information shop, so I popped in to ask a few questions and map out our route.
We walked a few blocks to the historic area of the city. At the Plaza de la Reina, we searched for a paella restaurant recommended by the man at the tourist shop. After searching the entire square without luck, we asked a shop owner for directions. We learned, sadly, that the restaurant had closed.
We wanted to get away from some of the crowds, so we started walking down some alleys in search of a new restaurant to suit our needs. While we were walking, a couple that recognized me from Mystery Theater stopped us. The waiters at their restaurant eagerly put menus in our hands, and we decided to stay for the 10-euro deal of 2 courses and a drink.
The food wasn’t the best I’ve had in Spain, though for 10 euros, I didn’t expect it to be. We were surprised to learn that the couple we’d been speaking to secretly picked up the tab for our meal. Since we didn’t have a way to thank them, Sam suggested we just “pay it forward”.
Next, we started walking towards the City of Arts and Sciences. The walk took around 40 minutes, and took us through parts of the city that we otherwise wouldn’t have seen. We spent much of the walk on a tree-covered sidewalk in the median of a large road. The final 10 minutes were along a park. Although it was hot, it was beautiful.
Upon reaching the City of Arts and Sciences, we were wowed by the architecture. Most of the city had been quite traditional, but these buildings were very modern. They had curved shapes and mosaicked exteriors. My friend said the “city” looked like the set for a Sci-Fi film.
We were running short on time, so we weren’t able to go inside the museum. We were tempted to rent a kayak on the water, but in the end, decided not to. As we walked farther along, we noticed the crowd growing and noise getting louder. As it turns out, one of the buildings in the back was holding the Valencia Open. There were DJs, stalls selling products, small tennis courts for kids to play in, and bar buses.
My friend was craving ice cream, so we ended up stopping at the Ben and Jerry’s stall for a snack. We sat down to people watch as ticket holders passed by. After that, we had just enough time to find a cab and head back to the ship.
It was so nice to see the old and new side of Valencia. I’d love to return and explore the city more!