So it has been a full week since our bus pulled up to the Mestalla Soccer Stadium in Valencia and I would say I’ve moved in nicely. I have class Mondays-Thursdays from 9am-1:45pm (with a small break in between). Afterwards I usually eat lunch with friends and spend the afternoon walking around the near streets and laying in the sun until my friends are done with class and we can explore the city more.
On Friday (May 27th) our program group went to the Albufera, a near by lake next to many farms. Here we took a relaxing boat ride and viewed the city in the distance. Afterwards we went to Barraca Toni Montoliu which is a restaurant and farm owned by the same family for over 70 years. We watched Toni make Paella (a typical dish in Valencia), looked at the animals and plants on the farm, took a horse and buggy ride to the orange tree fields (where we stopped to pick oranges) and finally viewed a traditional Valencian house.
Saturday (May 28th) we took a walking and biking tour of the city. We walked around the old city and even climbed the tower of the original gate into the city before the walls were torn down. After walking, the large group of us rented bikes and biked the whole Rio (click the link to read more about the history of the old river bed), approximately 14 in total. Although we were tired and sweaty a few of us decided to check out the much talked about mall in the southern part of the city. Hannah, Allie, Sadie and I (pictured below) decided to all buy new shoes because why not! When in Valencia!
Sunday (May 29th) Sadie and I FINALLY slept in for the first time in a few weeks, did our homework, and headed off to the beach for the rest of the day. Tip: When in Valencia, put on your sunscreen at home and let it completely dry before going to the beach. It is VERY windy and the sand will stick to every part of your body, and when you try to wipe it off you get a nice exfoliation to the skin and a dirty shower at the end of the day.
Other places I got the chance to visit throughout the week (mostly after class or after dinner) included the center of Valencia where there are many nice shops and stores, a few restaurants and bars around the city and beach, and the crazy night life on the weekends continues to blow my mind.
Places to go:
- Mya (under the museum of Arts and Sciences)
Restaurantes y Bars
- Route 66
- Barraca Toni Mantoliu
- Mercado de Cólon