14th – 19th April 2017
Back in school I loved learning Spanish, and I was gutted when I couldn’t continue it from my GCSE studies into my A level studies. So in the summer before starting university (2016) I was looking for a way to pick up my Spanish again. I found several schools operating throughout Spain, inviting students to go live and learn the language in the country. Valencia was the city I had set my heart on, but when I realised it was going to cost me all of my savings I decided I’d just settle for an app on my phone instead. Which is a good thing, as it turns out, as my car needed some serious TLC a few weeks later… Anyway! I decided if I couldn’t live in Valencia for a while I was at least going to visit it! So I roped in my best friend and we booked our holiday on boxing day.
Valencia is beautiful. It has a metro/underground service, but unless you’re travelling to the very edges of the city you can get around on foot – it’s not that big a place. It is essentially the Spanish version of Rome – it was actually one of the first roman cities in Spain. So like Rome, it is full of culture and character.
We timed our visit really well. It just so happened that the days we were there (which were booked on the basis of which flights were the cheapest – we are students, after all) landed on Easter weekend. A lot of the places we visited were free on Sundays and bank holidays, meaning our entry fees were substantially reduced.
Naturally, we visited all of the tourist sights. We explored all of the roman ruins and archaeological dig sites (my friend studies archaeology), and all of the art galleries we could fit in. We looked around all of the gardens, and made sure we covered the whole of the jardin del Turia on foot. The river used to run through the city but was rerouted; the space where the river lay originally has been transformed into a large park/garden space – known as jardin del Turia. We visited all of the historical/roman buildings and the cathedral; and clambered up Torres de Serranos (one of two remaining gates to the city back in roman times) to see Valencia from up high.
I would highly recommend it, it was quite a cheap holiday and it was amazing. I also got to practice some Spanish which made the trip even better.
All images are my own