ValenciaValencia, almost forgotten sister amongst the shine of Barcelona and Madrid, provides a harmoniously combine the remnants of its farthest past, with the most innovative and avant-garde buildings from the new millennium. It is a sort of laid back city which offers a Roman past harboured in its down-town area and the advanced massive architectural project called The City of Arts and Sciences.It was easy to visit the down-town area as I had already purchased the unlimited metro and bus pass. My host helped me with the areas to visit and how to reach there. The down-town area boasted of the Gothic architectural buildings and cathedrals with a lot to discover by walking or cycling. It was easy to rent a cycle and roam around in city, but I preferred to walk. There was the famous Valencia Cathedral, The Barri del Carme neighbourhood, The Mercat Central and a labyrinth of streets all displaying Spanish-style buildings with large balconies and windows. There were a good number of restaurants where I enjoyed mouth-watering cuisines when I got a bit tired of walking. It was a good way to relax and engage in a chat with locals and other tourists while I enjoyed the beauty of Valencia.
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Valencia pirate shop
While exploring the Mission District it would be a mistake to miss out on the 826 Valencia pirate shop. It’s smart design and playful pirate props is bound to bring out your inner child, which is an important part of the shops design. The space doubles as a writing and tutoring center for local kids. It creates the perfect place for kids to release their creativity while learning. The store features the students’ published works and best of all purchases from the pirate store go to supporting the education programs!
The Central Market of Valencia
Open Mondays to Saturdays from 7.30 to 14.30, Valencia Central Market is a perfect example of what a good market should be, it is almost hard not to find anything that you need, from fresh vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, herbs, fresh bread and many more! I was told that the fishermen usually go out to sea on Monday, so Tuesday is the best day to go to the market to find the freshest catch in Valencia, and he was not wrong. As a lover of seafood I truly enjoyed looking and admiring how fresh all the products are, it’s hard not to get overwhelmed or get too carried away, an exciting place to be specially if you’re a foodie like me! The traders are friendly and always willing to help, though quite hard to communicate as many of them only speak Castellano or Valenciano. But, I have never found this a problem, even when we first moved here, it is not hard to point at what you want, a little Spanglish and hand signals usually breaks the ice. Foodie or not, Valencia Central Market is the perfect place to view local produce and soak up the atmosphere while having a cortado or two. Or in my case, three glasses of my new favourite albariño wine, a morning well spent.