Hello, I am Mizuki, Japanese student living in Valencia for 6 months, in this article I want to give you my vision of the city and its surroundings and present it to everyone.
Valencia is a city with a population of 791.413, the third biggest city in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona.
It is a city which has a lot of attractions.
- The River Turia
- The City of Arts and Sciences
- The Central Market
- The beach
- The national park Albufera
- La orxata
First, one thing that I like very much is a precious scene that you can see in the park Turia. This park surrounds the old city of Valencia, which is called Rio (=River) by Valencian people, and before it was the river literally. Since long time ago, the River Turia has been the important symbol for people in Valencia. However, in 1969 it was turned into the park for the purpose of preventing floods. Then now, it’s a place where people do some exercise, spend a relaxing time with family, with friends or with boyfriend and girlfriend… There, you can see the completely different world to the one of the metropolises in Japan. That’s why I’m in love with this place.
And above all, the climate of Valencia is great, that is a beautiful weather with no clouds throughout the year, we have little rain and the temperature is high compared to the other cities in Spain. Also Valencia city is an area of flat land. For theses reasons, it seems that the best way to explore the city easily is to go around by bicycle.
Moreover, another thing that I would recommend you is its beach, which is called the Malva-rosa. It’s located in the east of the city center facing the Mediterranean. There are lots of people all day especially from April until October, being relaxed, chilling out, taking a dog for a walk, going cycling, playing volleyball or spending long time. I as well love to go to the beach with my friends before the class or work. I feel as if time passed slowly there so I could be without any stresses. I believe that people coming from the society with lots of stress (for example Japan) should spend time in the beach in Valencia.
In addition, the most unique site in Valencia, that distinguish Valencia from the others, is “Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias”. It means the city of arts and sciences. It consists of Hemisferic (an IMAX theater), the museum of sciences, Oceanografico (an aquarium), the palace of arts, Agora (a multifunctional covered space) and a club too. It’s at the end of the Turia garden. It was inaugurated in 1998 and the whole work was completed in 2005. From then, it has been an original symbol and also a new tourist site of Valencia. If you look those building from the back of Hemisferic at night, the combined building looks like a fish, for the surface of the pool in front of the building reflects the lights. Besides during 6 months from April, a few clubs are open on 2 floors in L’umbracle, that appeal to many foreign people and is packed with people every weekend.
On the other hand, Valencian local people are likely to go out to the neighborhood Carmen or Ruzafa. These two neighborhoods are located at the center of the city and there are plenty of bars and clubs. Ruzafa is certainly the hottest neighborhood in Valencia. They have various places to drink some coffee, to have a dinner, to get a drink and to go out in general. El Carmen is in the core part of the old city and in this district there are several historic sites, including the town walls which is constructed in the period of Muslim people.
This neighborhood is also famous for its street arts that fill a lot of walls and doors in the alleys. Sometimes its main character is “ninja”, that is a type of an ancient trained spy in Japan. One day accompanied a group of the students who are doing an internship here and we walked around Carmen in order to introduce the street arts to them. When I came across that art during the tour for the first time, I was amazed because I had not thought that I could meet Japanese culture there at the heart of Valencia. Besides, one of the most popular works is the one of the old lady with paella. She is a famous singer who was born in Valencia and until now has lived in that neighborhood. And in that work, she emerges from the pan of paella. As I introduced, the neighborhood Carmen has lots of interesting and unique art works.
In short, as I have explained above, Valencia is composed of a variety of parts which have different charm. Sooner or later, I would like to feature other attractions as well.