I am a tourist with about 12 hours to see Valencia. Not extensive I’ll admit but you can still get a feel for the place by walking around and listening and watching locals interact. And, of course, how you are treated.
Imagine a video montage – rush hour city, wide streets, traffic held at lights,office workers heading out, young folk on fones, sunshine. There’s a good feel to this Valencian morning anyway.
I’ve decided that Valencia is a green city. At least if you live and work in the centre there is greenery everywhere.
The major part of the city is ringed by a reclaimed river bed, Turia Gardens, which is now green parkland with cycle routes, exercise posts, trees, and sunkissed grassy knolls where lovers lean into each and whisper secrets. It is a wonderful space, 9kilometres of it, and immediately removes you from the bustle of the city and in the evening is teeming with joggers, serious runners, exercise buddies stretching and pushing. It really does come alive.
I chill out in the old town squares sipping wine and enjoying (mostly) the buskers. A harpist hauls his instrument into a corner. He’s good but he should be paid just for hauling his chosen instrument around. “Hey,look what I’m carrying. Thanks for your euros.”
You can buy books on Valencia’s street art and from what I encountered the majority of it is very good. And there are clear signs where the artists have been employed to decorate a shop front in keeping with the business at hand.But politics is never far away from the messages posted. After all, whilst I am here there has been a change of leader at the head of government. Rajoy ousted for suspicions of corruption, if not with him, with his party.
The science and arts park are too far for me to check out this time. I’m not ignoring them – just being practical. I have another monster day tomorrow. For now enjoy some pictures from Valencia.