Valencia Part 1
Valencia Part 1
We have been staying in a marina near Valencia and travelling into the city which is a short distance by bus. The more we visit the city the more we think if we have any problems with the marina in Barcelona we may move Ariel back here for the winter after our visitors have been to see us. There is so much to see in Valencia from the historical buildings to the architecture to the modern ideas.
The city is the third largest in Spain sited in the middle of very fertile plains of orange groves and market gardens. The area of Valencia is responsible for producing rice for most of Spain. On the bus journey into the city every piece of land is being used for growing vegetables or fruit. It is very pleasing to see as on our journey this year we have been very disappointed that large areas have been left and the farmers no longer farm the ground and consequently when eating out very little vegetables are served at a meal.
One of the first places we visited was the Cathedral and the Basilica de la Virgen which are both very impressive. The Cathedral dates back to 1262. Inside the Cathedral, a chapel holds an agate cup, claimed to be the Holy Grail. According to legend it arrived in Valencia from Jerusalem by way of San Juan de la Peria monastery in Aragon in the mountains.
The Cathedral bell tower, the Miguelete is Valencia’s main land mark. The Cathedral also houses a museum.
Every Thursday and still to this day for over 1000 years a unique court meets at noon in front of the Gothic Puerta de los Apostoles doorway of the Cathedral to settle any disputes the farmers may have with the Water Tribunal. Not quite sure we will make the meeting this Thursday!
The statue of Valencia’s patroness, the Virgin of the Helpless stands above the altar in the 17th century Basilica adorned with flowers and candles. She is honoured every March during the Las Fallas fiesta with a display of flowers in the square outside the church.
Both buildings are beautiful and very well looked after.
On leaving the Cathedral area we wandered through the back streets to the Torres de Serranos. Erected in 1391 as an arch in the city’s walls as a defensive and decorative feature. Its two towers are crowned with battlements for where we could see across the city in all directions. A lady hands you a ticket to climb the steps to the top but there is no charge.
Of course, Jim is usually on the look out for an ice-cream so we wandered back to the Cathedral area and the Plaza de la Reina where he had spotted a very nice shop with three fridges full of delicious flavours. Of course, we couldn’t refuse to try a couple of scoops.
We did also enjoy between us a Valencia almond biscuit from the bakery. It was as delicious as it looks in the photograph.