Forget Paris, my heart has been stolen by Valencia…

Yesterday was a ‘Fiesta’ (public holiday) so I had the day off to explore the city at my own leisure. My ‘mama’ gave me directions on how to get to El Jardín del Turia; what was once a river that surrounded the old city that, due to devastating floods, was redirected and converted into what is now a beautiful park. Along the way, I found myself stopping in at various stores that were open (despite most being shut for the holiday). These stores are the typical Asian general stores that would give Top Bargain a run for their Hot Dollar (see what I did there?). 2 to 3 times the size of the stores back home, these shops offer everything, from cheap toys, to makeup, hair products, underwear, clothing, suitcases and shoes! I’ve often found myself wasting a lot of time in these shops.

Once the attraction of cheap nik naks had passed, I walked onwards to el Jardín. When I heard the laughter of lots of children I found myself at the edge of the Gulliver – a huge playground built for kids based on Gulliver’s travels. The whole playground is is a huge model of Gulliver, that the kids can play on. However, despite being a big kid, I walked onwards.


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The park is filled with cyclists, runners and people with their dogs. I admired the park for its beauty and missed having my own little one here to throw a ball with. Then, ‘like a sunrise’, the Palau de Artes rose into view…
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Words cannot truly describe this place, La Ciudad de Artes y Ciencias. It is part science fiction, part gothic and part aquatic. Initially, it reminded me of Flight of the Navigator, and as I walked through it and past the Palau de Artes, it felt like I was walking in the carcus of an oceanic beast.
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The word closest to describe this place is spectacular. And the park around it is a wonderful complement. Continuing with its arts theme, the park is filled with installations representing Spain. Some of my favourites were:
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After my stroll through the park, admiring the sculptures, I realised 3 hours had passed and I hadn’t eaten anything! (¡Que horrible!) So I went in search of food, towards the centre of the city. I passed the wonderful Palau de la Música, and lots of closed shops I have vowed to explore before I leave (there are gorgeous clothes and shoes galore here and reasonably cheap! I just have to figure out how to get them back home!)
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After sighing over the missed shopping opportunities of the closed stores, I ate and onwards marched to the Plaza de la Reina. Another beautiful sight surrounded by little alleyways, hiding cute cafes and more places to explore another day…
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So to reiterate, between the old architecture and the new, the beaches, the shoes, the food, and the music, forget Paris – Valencia has all I need!

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Thanks for visiting Travel-ling.com! I'm a travel addict, Hispanophile, shoe collector, musician and main author here at Travel-ling.com

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