We began our day in Valencia with a stroll through the 9.4 kilometer long City park, Turia Gardens which runs vertically through the length of the city. It is formed from the historical riverbed that once flowed through the city, however the river was punished after flooding the city and being diverted further South to ensure Valencia would not be flooded again, the result is a beautiful park full of playgrounds, sporting fields and today a wine festival, how lucky are we?! We reached the northern end of the park and stumbled into the old city complete with the beautiful central market bustling with fresh catch of the day, ham hocks and tropical fruits galore all being hustled before 16:00 when the market shuts down for another day. Similarly to Sevilla there are bikers everywhere! Taking advantage of the cities plentiful ValenciBici stations spread generously throughout the whole city and Turia Gardens. We also came across a private bike rental shop that loans out fixed gear bikes by the day. From there we walked to the other end of the city and slipped into the old city where we wandered the narrow streets among the bull ring one of the few in the country that still observe this cruel spectacle, tucked among the cathedral and the train station. At the South end of the park is the City of Arts and Sciences a very expensive science park complete with a hands on science museum (like the Exploratorium in San Francisco) the largest aquarium in Europe, a beautiful opera house and unbelievably beautiful architecture and extraordinary tile detailing complete with sparkling pools to hold the complex together. The problem being that the place is expensive with a 15-20 euros entrance fee, so no one goes, and the maintenance is expensive too, so the whole area is a big money pit...at least it's pretty. After walking around for two days in Valencia it is time to to check out the food and bar scene, after all who can refuse 1 euro chupito (shots) of vermouth...not this girl! We head out for tapas dinner and drinks with our host, Alper who is originally from Turkey but has spent most of his recent years in Germany, and hearing about both places is a real treat! We also splurged and went into an Irish bar for real beer, Hefeweizen for me please! It has almost been three months since I have had anything but lagers and pilsners and I could definitely get used to it.
The cheapest of cheap beers that euro cents can buy