Friday, 22 August 2014

No River Runs Through It - Valencia

Town Planning for iconoclasts.Major city is built around a river,said
river repeatedly floods; divert river around city, turn riverbed into
city park.Easy. The Turia river now snakes through Valencia,torrents of
people promenading through miles of tree lined avenues below street
level. There's parks,lakes,picnic areas,cycle lanes,sports areas: and
peace.If you wish to rejoin city life simply ascend the steps at one of
the numerous bridges.
You don't have to be into Modern Architecture to be singularly amazed at the aquatic,organic forms of the City of Arts and Sciences.Stunning.Wander seawards through the city and directly onto the beach,one of the widest and most pleasant I've ever seen.Don't miss out on La Cabanyal though,the last remnants of Valencia's former fishing community.Simple two-storey houses festooned with colourful tiles.Now decidedly impoverished and edgy,yet charming.Seemingly facing gentrification, so see it while you can.Back in the city,peruse the labyrinthine back streets and have a beer in "Monterey" a bar dedicated to 60s Garage/early 70s Psych Rock.Record sleeves and posters abound while spinning vinyl provides your soundtrack,and much to buy in the record cabinets if that's your thing.
Maybe it's a bloke thing but the Toy Soldiers museum is brilliant.Dioramas from ancient warfare to WW1 and ,during my visit, a feature on the Zulu wars.I can only say,"Blimey! There's thousands of 'em!"
An absolute must is to take the 1/2 hour 5 EUR train to the ancient castle system at SAGUNTO (above pic). Huge battlements and entrance gates,like something from a 50s Hollywood epic.Myself and Pacgirl explored for hours,tripping over discarded Roman tombs and engraved monoliths. Cost: Nothing, Pleasure: Immeasurable

No comments:

Post a Comment