The City of Arts & Sciences, and the Holy Grail

We arrived in Valencia much sooner than expected.  At least, I think we thought we did, if that makes sense?

Let me explain… we weren’t planning on hitting Valencia till later on but thanks to the bitter turn in the French weather, Valencia suddenly looked very appealing.  We’d been watching the French weather for a few days and when the temperature in the South of France started to get in to minus figures at night we made the executive decision to abandon France and head to warmer pastures.

So we crossed over in to Spain, spent the night just outside of Pamplona in Camping Ezcaba and the following morning kicked The Duke 500km down the road to Valencia. Good job we did and all, as 24 hours later the passage between the two countries was closed due to heavy snow and ice.

It was 2 degrees when we left Pamplona, it was 19 degrees when we arrived in Valencia. That’ll do.

Top tip – don’t drive through the middle of Valencia! We did and oh my god, it was terrifying.  Our sat nav took us straight through the center which is full of huge roundabouts which just turned out to be a massive free for all.  The lanes on approach to the roundabout weren’t wide enough for our van and there were no lanes on the roundabouts which were about 5 cars wide.  Just don’t – find an alternative route if you can!

We stopped at a campsite called Devesa Gardens – it was 16km outside of Valencia but it was perfect.  The site had everything, it even had a mini zoo with Emus, goats, donkeys, pigs and a heap of other animal friends.  Our 3 days soon turned into a week and we could have easily stayed longer.  There was a bus stop right outside the site with buses that ran every half hour and it was only €1.50 each way in to the city.  Alternatively, there was bike track all the way in which ran right along the beach.

For a week’s stay in a city, Valencia is ideal.  There’s loads to do and it’s very photogenic. We hit all the main tourist spot’s of course – Valencia Cathedral which is home to THE Holy Grail.  Apparently.  The Central Market, where you can buy all the food.  Jardin del Turia, probably the most beautiful park in the city and The City of Arts and Sciences.

My favourite spot though, by far, was La Lonja de la Seda – the old Silk Exchange.  The building is a UNESCO site and is the finest example of Valencia’s Golden Age when the city was one of Europe’s main locations for trade and culture.  It has high vaulted ceilings, twisting columns, stained glass windows throughout and some amazing mosaic floors and is simply beautiful.  The history and culture dorks in us got their money’s worth here for sure.

 

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C x

 

Distance travelled so far: 2, 161 km

Days away: 33

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