Setting off early in the morning from our base at the Valencia Camper Park, we've decided to see what Valencia can offer... we've already seen the Garden of Turia by bike, been amazed by the Bioparc so what else is there to see in Valencia using the Valencia Tourist Card.
Heading for the metro stop at Turia, we've been amazed by the quality of the public transport.. it seems to be rarely late, operates across the entire day/evening and seems to be able to whisk you away to pretty much anywhere you want across both the site and the surrounding Albufera wetlands.
Valencia's brilliant Mediterranean climate makes all the difference... the temperature has been hovering around 20ºC in November making it a great option for a winter city break?? So we've loved strolling round with the sun on our faces, although we have needed a jumper each evening! The city has some brilliant walkways towards the sea so having seen the vibrant Central Market and the inner Old City last time we visited, we headed for the beach to start the day!
Walking down the palm tree lined seafront boulevard, both girls took the opportunity to burn off some energy before lunch on the fantastic outdoor gym equipment that is all over the beachfront. Before we ended up at La Alegría de la Huerta for the regional dish - Paella!!
Paella has been a family favourite for a while now, all started by Catherine's parents who introduced her to Spanish food at a young age. Tapas, Gazpacho & Paella are all regular foods in the van.. easy to produce and super tasty!!
So where better in Valencia to enjoy this food and learn a little more about what we were eating. For instance we didn't know that Paella is more a 'chicken & rabbit' dish here not just seafood.. or how delicious the Sobrasada Croquettes and Horchata Pudding dessert would be!
Leaving the restaurant, we walked the short distance to our first museum using the Valencia Card... The Casa Blasco Ibanez museum detailing the life of one of Valencia's most famous sons! It links brilliantly with our current homeschooling topic of creative writing. It would be hard to better the views he must have had from this seaside villa.. Full of marble, yet showing a relatively humble man and his works.. a good start to an afternoon of museums!
You might be pushing it to describe 'Gullivers Travels' in the Garden of Turia as a museum.. but it certainly gave us all a chance to accelerate the digestive process... we're not sure who dreamt up the idea of creating a playground that children and adults can play in together... but we reckon it's a stroke of genius!!! We love doing things with our girls but playgrounds are normally off bounds... so to be able to hurtle down the various slides, climb the ropes across his body were brilliant.. but better still it offered the question 'Who was Gulliver?'... so that sorts's next week's english lessons... we'll be up to our necks in discussing Lilliputians!!!
Once the girls were thoroughly worn out we made the short trip to the Museum of the Fallas, a wonderfully evocative museum that both girls absolutely loved... based in an old lepers hospital it is jam packed full of papier-mâche creations to celebrate the 'Night of the Fire'.. each year one creation is saved from the inferno and placed on display... it gives a brilliant journey across the past 100 years as you see the models change and adapt to how society has changed..
We'd love to return to see Valencia at the time of the Fallas which takes place from the 15-19th March... it looks spectacular and would rival any of the fiestas/festivals we've seen across our 'Year around Europe'
There's plenty more museums to enjoy across Valencia including the Silk Museum & the Natural History Museum... but the kids were shattered by now... but that's good news as we've left more to see in Valencia when we return!! And we'll certainly do that having been captivated by this wonderfully family friendly city!!
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