Posted by: brigid benson | March 22, 2011


Springtime in Valencia; warm and inspirational. The vibrant city, third largest in Spain, combines brilliantly old and new  influences, from exotic and colourful Moorish design to the pristine white Mad Max architecture of the astounding City of Arts and Science. Here you’ll find the largest aquarium in Europe, though I am far from convinced of the merits of performing dolphins.  Head to the shore and you might see them in their natural environment. Close by the busy port on the Mediterranean, there’s a vast sandy beach from where I watched a pod of  free range dolphins leaping above gentle waves just a few metres away.

A great mosaic on a warehouse near the port captures how oxen were used to pull fishing boats from the sea. It’s a scene that fascinated  and inspired Spanish artist Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida who was born in Valencia in 1863.

Parking in the city is at a premium, there are few spaces and so the done thing is to double park and leave your door open. This allows neighbours to hop in, take the handbrake off and push your vehicle out of the way to move their car out.  Cars with bumps and scrapes are de rigeur, after all, it’s only a lump of metal….

Check out the extraordinary architecture of the City of Arts and Sciences

For outstanding photography by Craig Easton & inspired weekends all around  Britain, see my award winning book 52 Weekends by the Sea

In the old town near the port


Ox and fishing boat

Dresses in the market

Parking Valencia style

Breathtaking architecture: the City of Arts & Sciences

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