There was just so much to see, so many places to go and such a lot of interesting buildings wherever we went.
The medieval silk exchange, Llotja de la Seda, was a shock. Not due to the beauty of the place but the volume of visitors. Somehow we’d been sheltered from mainstream tourism, suddenly we were flung right into it. Rightly so, it’s an inspiring place and a World Heritage Site. The spiral columns are an absolute marvel, the orange tree courtyard strangely peaceful and from the outside it looks like a gothic cathedral!
Equally bold, in it’s way, is the futuristic design of the City of Arts and Sciences, 21st century architecture at it’s most amazing.
There’s a arts centre/opera house, a planetarium/cinema, a science museum and an aquarium. It took us most of a day to visit the last two.
It seems the City is still in debt for the huge cost of construction and there are already maintenance issues but the whole area had a very positive vibe.
Different again, the Museum of Prehistory is housed in the former Casa de Beneficia, Charity House, organised round five courtyards in traditional 19th century Valencian style. It’s exhibitions cover the life and labours of human societies in the Valencia region from prehistoric times up to the Roman period. Fascinating, if you like that kind of thing! We couldn’t take it all in, we got up to the 5th century BC so we’ll have to go back to learn more. The reconstruction of a house from this period was illuminating – but where did they sleep?
As much as anything we enjoyed walking the streets, enjoying the atmosphere, the graffiti and the food!
Next we went to Girona.