25 August 2014
Throughout the evening and into this morning, I worked on another draft for my MRP taking short 1-3 hour power naps in between. I eventually went out for lunch and to do some sightseeing. Valencia is so beautiful, but August is really the worst time to visit – almost everything is closed and it’s scorching hot, reaching just over 40 degrees Celsius at some points in the day.
I made my way to the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (City of Arts & Sciences) and stopped by El Pinchito on one of the main streets for lunch. I ordered a hamburguesa with fries and mayo. It was pretty good and very filling!
I finally got to the City of Arts and Sciences which is a very beautiful and very modern complex containing an interactive museum, planetarium, aquarium, opera house, and others. Only the interactive science museum was open. :/ Zorbing and see-through canoeing were also available on the canal.
There were also some artistic pieces around the area. Here are a few:
I really wish I was able to go inside all of the buildings, but this was definitely still worth a visit for the architecture and art. I headed back towards the city center and stopped by a cafe for much needed rest and air conditioning. I got a yummy violettas gelato. :o
I did some more wandering, which included visiting the Central Post Office:
I got to the Catedral de Valencia (Valencia Cathedral), which is also connected to La Catedral del Santo Grial housing the Holy Grail. I got an audio guide with my student discount and learned about the Gothic / Renaissance / Classical Roman / Baroque influences and features of the Cathedral. There were stop points at all the tiny chapels, the museum, and the Chapel of the Holy Grail. The Cathedral also contains the arm of St. Joseph the missionary. There’s so much history involved and put together in the current aesthetic of the Cathedral; I highly recommend doing this audio tour to fully appreciate it. I think I spent just under two hours here and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Capilla del Santo Cáliz (the Chapel of the Holy Grail) was definitely my favourite. Here is the Holy Grail in the center:
I had another snack in the nearby touristy plaza in the form of a chocolate flauta. :D
I then went to La Llotja de Marcaders (Commodity Exchange Building), a gothic-style building which had once been the hub of Valencian commerce. I should have gotten an audio guide. I didn’t because I got there close to closing time and I didn’t want to end up spending too long here, but the place just really didn’t mean anything to me until I looked up information afterwards, and even then it’s really not the same.
Mercat Central (Central Market Place) of Valencia was right in the area but already closed. There were a few vendors still lined up outside selling candy, paella & sangria, toys, and souvenirs.
I walked by at least three or four different plazas this day and stopped at the probably most well known, Plaça de la Virgen (Plaza of the Virgin). Here is a picture of the Turia fountain:
Also in the plaza is the Catedral de Santa María de Valencia (Cathedral of Santa Maria), and further along was another church (sorry, I didn’t take down the name and there are so many in Valencia I can’t find which one it was!).
I went inside the absolutely stunning Basílica de la Virgen de los Desamparados (Basilica of Our Lady of the Forsaken). The basilica is connected to the Catedral de Santa María and is the sanctuary of the virgin known to protect those who are less fortunate or abandoned. There is soft music in the background and it’s a powerful experience to be there. An older woman in the back was sobbing pretty hard while admiring the statue at the front.
This was a pretty good day around Valencia! I then got back to the apartment around 8pm, took a shower, and got ready for some serious MRP business. I would spend most of my time tomorrow working on my MRP but go out around town at nighttime.