In Australia we recognise this warning. It's usually due to sharks or Crocodiles.
Here in Valencia it is due to tampons. .... and other pollution.
Hubby and I enjoyed our swim....that is until we both spotted it floating by. Err!! Gross!
So, my advice to you is to swim at your own risk... or be prepared to scrub yourself down well after.
My father was stopped by a person who was impersonating as a 'security official'. He wanted to see some identification, because he told him that he is a suspect in some imaginitery case ..... to cut the story short he stole d visa.....and managed to transfer out cash.....
so be aware!!!!
On our first day in Valencia for the Fallas my friend had his wallet stolen from his zipped up trouser pocket.
As the streets are closed of the the procession of the flowers crowds build up tremendously and you can end up being quite squashed. it was after one such squashing that my friend discovered this wallet ahead been lifted. The Police confirmed that they had had many reports of such crimes.
Yelling men should be avoided. I first encountered yelling men in Sevilla where the yelling man yelled at nuns in the early morning as they cleaned off the steps to their convent. This yelling man was yelling at all that walked by him. I wimped out and did not ask him what he was yelling about. Maybe it is a cult, and they e mail one another about the next morning's subject.
Spanish phones are very, very expensive when calling overseas. After spending in phone booths a lot of Euros, i learnt my lesson!
A friend gave me a number that he uses and he gets much cheaper rates.
I call through this number which is 902 99 53 01, from any land line or phone booth, and all i pay is just 4 cents a minute at nights and weekends, or 6 cents at daytime. It is also so easy to use, i have been using it for 4 months now. Highly recommended!!!
I've used it to call the US, UK, France, Italy and some other places where i have friends. I think they have more than 60 countries, so chances are yours will be listed.
When you dial the number,902 99 53 01, and then get the operator, just press 1, and 00 plus your country code and your friends number. Believe is worth it! I think you can use it form a mobile phone also with rates around 20 cents a minute or something like that.
if you want details or list of countries the page is www.iCallCheap.com in English and www.TelefonoBarato.com in Spanish. just check it out, you'll thank me :)
I visited Valencia during winter and on my first evening was followed very close to my hotel, it was only around 18:00. I also was followed once again on a separate occasion during the day at 15:00. I was not dressed inappropriately and thankfully I had my wits about me and realised I was being followed very early on. Both times I managed to shake off the culprits. Don't be fooled into thinking that just because someone is well dressed they won't follow you. I have no idea what these men wanted and I wasn't going to stick around to ask.
There are police all over the city centre so if you do get stuck perhaps one of them will assist. I realise now that if a guy says something to you in passing don't make eye contact.
The two experiences made me feel on edge both night and day whilst travelling around on my own. So ladies just keep your wits about you.
Even though seemingly deserted, old buildings can be inhabited by drug addicts, beggars and so on. You might want to have a look inside, but avoid climbing since the person earlier who cut himself on the glass you didn't see maybe had some disease you wouldn't like.
Perhaps obvious, but it's very often one doesn't have this kind of things in mind.
Pickpockets are unfortunately familiar in any crowded area in any city of the world. Beware however when you are in Valencia specially at the time of any fesivity such as the fallas as the thieves are attracted to the crowds and also come as " unwanted " guests to steal your wallets, cell phones or other valuables., so take care.
These are guys who are thieves or rouges to use soft language as their only intention is to rip you off your cash. what do they do - they put up road side stands with three potatoes and move a stone from to another and they tempt you to guess where the stone is to win some cash prize which could seem attractive - you will never win. they even have a crowd of their own people who seem to be playing and winning to get you into the trap. Other people will even try to convince you to play. they are normally a gang of between 4 to 6 people and play their pranks in crowded areas such as the city center, station area, the area of the central market, so beware and do not get tempted.
There are many Doner Kebabs restaurant/cafes that have recently sprung up around Valencia that has quite lowered the tone of the city.
However, there are only 1 or 2 genuine ones in Valencia run by Turkish families. The remaining are run by Pakistani's, many with illegal immigrant staff.
What out for this food. It is really bad. Both i and a friend got really sick eating at different ones!! We later found out the meat is left on the scew over night and simply reheated the next day. With the heat in Spain the meat is practically rotten by the next day and probably covered with cockroach dirt.
The University of Valencia done research on the types of bacteria found in the meat and the results were really disturbing.
avoid and spread the word....
The old area of Valencia was affected by a major flood in 1957. In the aftermath of the catastrophe, many people left the area for more modern neighborhoods. In addition, urban speculation has also taken its toll and, despite the efforts of the local authorities in the last two decades, there are still some areas in the old city that look really decrepit and dilapidated: ruins, buildings falling apart... In sumary, an urban landscape that would rather fit in Chechnya than on the sunny Mediterranean.
This does not mean that the old city should be avoided, but one has to be prepared for all kinds of sights.
Anyway, be aware that some parts of the Velluters and El Carme neighborhoods may look a bit scary, as prostitution and drugs are not uncommon. Of course, taking the usual precautions, they are not particularly dangerous.
Recently near Alicante there have been gangs of people targeting tourists arriving at Alicante airport getting hire cars by highjacking them on the motorway.They follow you for a few miles and then clip your car so you have to pull over and then they nick your hire car and all it's contents.The police are cracking down on this and several gangs have been caught .Also there have been gangs going around breaking into properties etc.But the police are doing there thing and catching gangs.Just be aware that this kind of thing does happen.Be sensible at the airport and do not flash money or jewllery around and try and look confident and secure.Always lock your car and hide valubles and always lock your property up and have the telephone for police at hand.This may sound scary but it's better to be aware of it than not.Saying this crime is still lower in Spain than England and police in Spain are doing a good job to get rid of these menacing gangs and the crime rate is dropping.
No one speaks english.
Not in bars/pubs, vary badly in restaurants and hotels.
It's a problem to ask for informations/directions and so on.
I am Italian, I was able to understand some spanish words.
Northern european would be in a great difficulty
The only downside to sitting outside a cafe in Valencia was the Beggers. I was sitting for an hour, and in that time, had a group of beggers come up to me and at another time, just a single begger. It wasnt a big worry at first, as I expect to see beggers in every city! But they did not seem to understand the word "no" or "mi no dinero" (with a sad, sympathetic look). They must of been stood at my table for at least 5 minutes each. Which I know doesnt seem alot at first, but in actual fact, is when your repeatidly saying no! (Oh, and for no reason at all, I thought I'd tell you that one begger had a tatoo saying "Jose y Maria"...so If you see her, tell her Wayne says 'Hi!').
While I was walking around Valencia, I was so amazed by its architecture and atmosphere, that I didn't realise I was dehydrating! I ended up going dizzy and light headed 2 times within 15 minutes. And within an hour, I ended up visiting 3 bars for some water! (Photo taken by Camera-Phone)