12 Feb 2008
Hey everyone! I just got back from Valencia, Spain this weekend! Let me just say, it was one of my favorite cities so far – I would love to live there. We took a flight that left Sevilla around 7am, so we arrived in Valencia around 8am. We started our sightseeing right away too! On Friday we went to the Cuidad de las Artes y las Ciencias. It was a huge, modern muesum that had an Oceongrafic (the 2nd largest aquarium in Europe), Museo de las Ciencias Principe Felipe and a Hemisferic (an IMAX theater). At the oceongrafic we saw a dolphin show and many different aquariums. The Museo was a bit lame – we watched a baby chick being born though! We then saw a movie called Los Alpes at the IMAX theater which was really neat to see! Interesting fact: The same architect who constructed these buildings designed the Milwaukee Art Muesum! After the muesum we searched for somewhere to eat, but failed! We found out Valencia is still very traditional and all restauraunts close from like 5pm – 9pm! After finally finding an american joint that was open, we ate and made it back to our hostel and went to bed! We were exhausted from all the sightseeing we did – we seriously walked for over 4 hours that day!
The next day we woke up early for our bike tour! It was a 3 hour guided tour – and our guide spoke all in Spanish and I understood 99% of it! It is a lot easier to understand people in the north because people in Sevilla have such a strong accent. People in Valencia do speak Catalan (slightly different version of Spanish) but it was still fairly easy to understand. During our bike tour we saw MANY site! We saw the gardens that were all along a dried up river bed in Valencia – it was very pretty! We also biked around the centro of the city which was cool looking. Our final destination was the beach! It was about a 30- minute bike ride out to the beach but it was cool to see – Valencia is right on the Mediterrean Sea. After our exhausting bike tour, we struggled to find a good Spanish restaurant. Overall, we were very unimpressed with the restaurants in Valencia – we found the service to be bad and we seemed to be treated differently because we were American! Oh well, it for sure did not ruin our trip! After lunch we went to see the two remaining parts of the wall that surrounded Valencia – one was the “door to Madrid” the other was the “door to Barcelona.” The one facing Barcelona used to be a jail for women too – very interesting. The rest of the day was full of relaxing and sightseeing other cool places in Valencia.
Sunday: My friend Sarah and I woke up early to attend mass in the cathedral of Valencia – the mass was all in Spanish, but again I seemed to catch a lot of it! We went to mass in the cathedral but the actual service was held in a smaller chapel within the cathedral – the same chapel the supposed Holy Grail is. So basically we got to stare at the Holy Grail during our entire mass! After touring the cathedral we set out to relax at the beach all day until our flight home! It wasn’t swimsuit weather, but we sat out at a cafe, ate some official Valecian paella (a rice/seafood dish that originated in Valencia) and basked in the sun! I even got a little sunburned! After relaxing we had to make out way back to the airport! Overall, a VERY good trip! Valencia seems to be more modern than Sevilla. It also reminds me more of the US. I think I would highly consider studying in Valencia if I could choose again!
I’m now back to work! Homework seems to have picked up a bit with my classes – I thought this was a vacation?!?! Just kidding! I’m trying something new this time with my pictures – I’m putting a link to my photo album I created on Facebook – this way I have captions written for them – let me know if anyone has problems seeing it! Ciao for now!
PICTURES HERE: http://wisc.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2346509&l=55792&id=8625616
posted Tuesday February 2008