Amigos y Aventuras… the very best part of traveling, is seeing old friends.
We awoke early on the 22nd to take a short flight to Valencia, our old home. Valencia is a place we already love and know so well. It was a week of exploring the city with the kids and re-connecting them with our old neighborhoods, playgrounds, and also spending time with many friends. Our evening meals were, each and every one, spent with our Valencian family, which was a vital part of the planning.
Exploring the old city of Valencia was filled with memories of living there when the kids were little. Post school-work, we spent the day in the old city, the Plaza de Ayuntamento y Mercado Colon.
Sliding down one of the gigantic slides at Gulliver Park. We learned later that Gulliver is made of polystyrene and was a test model for this new material now currently used in building fallas. Cool!
School in Valencia often looked like this: in a quiet restaurant with WIFI, jamon y queso and alongside dad, also working! Lessons this week in Valencia are heavy on math (including a week’s lesson in money) and poetry. On the computers, the kids are studying spanish via DUOLINGO and DanceMat Typing.
We went to the Fallas Museum and after that, the l’Oceanographic... two epic locations in one great day of exploration! Fallas is a region-wide festival held over 19 days every March. The first recorded Fallas celebration was around 1900. The Fallas Museum was spectacular. Each year they save one Falla sculpture from being burned on the last night, and put in this museum.
We love Mercado Central and shopped there for our lunch, which we took on the steps of the old market. We also toured la Lonja de la Seda, (the silk exchange) a 15th century business center/market place. It is currently a museum, though still also used for government meetings, water tribunals, etc. for the city. A wonderful day. In the evening we went to Benat, an area just outside of the city for delicious paella with the Calabuig family. A very special evening, in particular because we have spent time in the last few years with these particular friends, but never in Valencia! The kids swam, played table tennis and learned a new card game called burro (donkey) with their spanish primos. The kids are loving every minute. Sophia is a bit of a fashion queen here – the Mediterranean life seems to suit her nicely. … both have mastered the double-kiss hello!
Friday we had a wonderful day also in the old city while visiting the Cathedral de Valencia y el Torre de Miguelet. Above are photos of the Cathedral and the Tower. The last photo is believed to be the real “Holy Grail” once protected by the Knights of the Holy Grail and secretly held for safe keeping in Montserrat and later, Valencia. Who would look there?
ahhh, Valencia… included the horrid tower. Why oh why did I think I could climb those 207 steps without suffering the dreaded claustrophobia? I made it about half way… Sophia was so gracious to descend with me while Oliver and Tony triumphed at the top. Definitely an helado reward was in order for all.
Enjoying time together in the plaça de la virgin in the city center. Tony and my 14th aniversario de la boda! In the evening, Tony and I celebrated our anniversary at one of our favorite restaurants, Lambrusceria. We had a lovely evening and the cuisine was as wonderful as we remembered. The kids chose to spend their evening with Eva, Guillermo y Laura. They love their spanish Aunt!