Valencia's Old City
Valencia's old city is one of the biggest historical urban areas in Spain. This labyrinth of narrow lanes, where it is easy to get lost, offers almost everything: beautyfully renovated palaces, cozy squares, posh stores and restaurants, trendy and busy bars, but also misery, shabby areas and many crumblesome, dilapidated places.
The Old City District (Ciutat Vella) is located in the area formerly enclosed by the city walls, on a bend of the lower course of the river Túria. It comprises six neighbourhoods: la Seu, la Xerea, el Carme, el Pilar, el Mercat and Sant Francesc.
Valencia lived a period of splendour in the late Middle Ages, when, paradoxically, the rest of the Crown of Aragon was living a periode of decline. Valencia took over Barcelona as the major port and trade florished as so did culture.
the artistic manifestations of this time of prosperity are excellent wsamples of the Gothic style, which in Valencia achieved a high level and a strong personality.
(photo:L'Hemisféric) One of...
(photo:L'Hemisféric) One of the most fantastic building I've ever seen is the L'HEMISFÉRIC in the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciéncies.It's designed by Santiago Calatrava.Note this name!What's that? A planetarium, an audiovisual cinema and a leserium in one.The three audiovisual show can be seen on a 900 m2 screen!The building possesses the most tecnologically advanced image and sound system.You can hear the shows in four different languages:valencian,spanish,french and english.There are different programmes.I've seen 'The harmony of the worlds' and the 'We are born of stars'.Marvellous experience!
Next to the planetarium you'll find the MUSEO DE LES CIÉNCIES 'PRÍNCIPE FELIPE'.The Museum's (was also designed by Calatrava) main floors has 8000 m2 exhibition areas.This is a science and technology museum and it's expositions covering a wide range of subjects:biology,physics,telecommunication,architecture,sport etc.
As I know, Europe's largest aquarium is ready too.It's called L'OCEANOGRAFIC.The buildings was designed by Felix Candela.This is a 80000 m2 underwater city with 70 meters long underwater tunnel.Sharks,killer whales,dolphins,walruses,turtles etc. can be seen here.
The PALAU DE LES ARTS will be (is) also a fantastic building.There will be opera-,theatre-,music-, and dance performances in it.
The fifth building in the city called L'UMBRACLE which is a parking place for vehicles and buses and It's also a green garden too!
When I was in Valancia the city was under construction.I wish I could see the accomplished city one day!
The Ciutat located in the former bed of River Turia.You can reach it by bus no 13,14,15 and by car the autovía to El Saler.What more?Tickets are cheap!!
We went to a town called Piles...
We went to a town called Piles (pee-les) near Gandia, not far from Valencia. A fantastic resort town on the beach, but it doesn't open until the summer!!!! Which we found out the hard way. The youth hostel is cheap and on the beach, but it's best to book ahead. We didn't and had to stay at the Bar Siesta! Still a fun place though.
'La Marcha', the Spanish way of going out
Well, I don't remember any of the names of the bars we went to, but it sure was fun! Most nights in Valencia start late with a small dinner at around 10PM, usually in a small bar. A beer and some tapas (olives, omelet, ham, cheese, calamaris) are an excellent combo. Bocadillas (I had one roll with cheese, mayonaise, hot chicken and asparages that was simply amazing) can be recommended too. Then it's out to one of Valencia's many bars or dancings. Real dance/trance/techno clubs are hard to find and in most places they will often play a mix of Spanish-leanguage music and international, usually British, music. Unlike in the Netherlands, Whiskey is a popular (mix-)drink here!