Hello, again, Blogonauts!
As predicted, my next destination was sunny Spain. If only I could figure out where they have it stashed away!
Instead, my friend Toby's gleaming smile was the only sunshine awaiting me when on Wednesday I landed in Valencia. The air was cool and the sky gray. At least it wasn't raining...yet.
Soon after I arrived we ventured out to hear a concert by the Orquestra de Valencia in the City Hall Plaza. The MC was as much a clown as a conductor, and my limited Spanish prevented me from getting most of the jokes. In truth, there was more stand-up than symphony, so we left early to grab dinner. (Mine was the local specialty, paella valenciana.)
Thursday threatened at any moment to turn miserably waterlogged, so we spent all the dry hours we could wandering the streets of the downtown area so I could take in some of the sights.
Valencia was a Roman outpost as early as the 2nd century BC, so it has a long and proud history. The Moors ruled this area for about 500 years, and then were replaced by Christian rulers in the 13th century. Many of the Christian landmarks date from that era.
After investigating local markets, we found the Valencia Cathedral and climbed the tower to take in the scenery. Luckily showers were still holding back.
We wandered further to see the Surranos Gate, which is one of the few surviving remnants of the old city wall. Beyond it runs the serpentine Túria Garden, which stretches along an old riverbed that runs through the city. (Valencia rerouted the river as a flood-control measure.)
Pushing our meteorological luck even further, we made our way to the ultra-modern Opera House, which resembles the helmet of a medieval soldier.
By this point, the rains could no longer restrain themselves. Drab turned into drippy, so we found a cafe for a late lunch, and wandered back to Toby's flat to sit out the rain, playing cards.
Just because the light wasn't ideal doesn't mean that I didn't at least try to snap some photos. You can find some samples in the Valencia album in the Photos tab above.
Tomorrow will likely be wetter still, so it may open an opportunity to sneak Toby into a museum or two...if he doesn't remove the blindfold prematurely.
Blog to you later!