Travel: Valencian Atmosphere

Most attractions in Spain tend to remain closed on Mondays, it was no different in Valencia. Mind you, this doesn’t included the mid-day siesta’s that the Spanish enjoy. Unfortunately, this means that I had to forego some of my desired historical sites, since my mother needs to catch a flight in Paris in 10 days. 😦

We did have a very relaxing day however, and it was kicked-off by a visit to the Central Market! It has been in operation since 1928, and provides a large variety of food products that are freshly enticing. Walking through the diverse array of stalls allowed us to immerse ourselves in the grocery lives of the locals, and find some great snacks to tide us over in our nearby hostel. Valencian Oranges are delicious!

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After, we went back to the hostel to snack on our newly acquired fruit, we regrouped, and then left for our next destination, the Llotja de la Seda, the old silk exchange. It was built between 1482 and 1548, and was designed by the architect Pere Compte. An important inscription is engraved on the walls of the trading hall.

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Inclita domus sum annis aedificata quindecim. Gustate et videte concives quoniam bona est negotiatio, quae non agit dolum in lingua, quae jurat proximo et non deficit, quae pecuniam non dedit ad usuram eius. Mercator sic agens divitiis redundabit, et tandem vita fructur aeterna.”

It demonstrates that good trade and ethical behavior can be established regardless of religion or ethnicity.

Since none of the other venues I originally wanted to visit were open, we opted to visit the City of Arts and Science an amazing cultural complex. It was envisioned by one of my favorite architects, Santiago Calatrava, who is responsible for designing some of the most iconic buildings that are recognized in the world today. See the pictures below for some amazing views of the structures.

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At this point, we only had half the day left, so we opted to visit the L’Oceanogràfic, which is the 2nd largest in the world, and the largest in all of Europe. It is an open-air marine park in which each ‘habitat’ is submerged below the surface (excluding those creatures that are suited to southern Spain’s climate). 10 habitats are represented, and 45,000 animals spread across 500 different species of fish, birds, mammals, invertebrates and reptiles are distributed into a volume of 1.2 million square feet. It was literally breathtaking.

We wrapped up the day by consuming some genuine Valencia Paella. Yummm!

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