This weekend I took my first trip to Spain and visited the beautiful city of Valencia.
I sweated for 48 hours non stop, the humidity was through the roof and the weather never dropped lower than thirty degrees. My foolish self only brought a pair of tight, black skinny jeans along for the trip. So my first act in Valencia was to go directly to Zara and purchase a whole new outfit, because what says Europe more than Zara.
Simple, clean and breathable outfit, perfect for getting around town comfortably and stylishly. I bought a pair of Birkenstocks here in London which complimented the shirt and topped it off with my Levis hat because my hair went completely flat from the humidity.
On my list of places to visit was the iconic Church of Saint Nicolas in the center of Valencia. A Gothic and baroque masterpiece sculpted in the 13th century. The sprawling interior art was not completed until the 16th century, and remains vividly breathtaking upon entry. The central nave in particular (pictured below) is one of the most striking collaborations of art I’ve had the pleasure of seeing in person. The church itself is relatively small, but I felt that that added to the grandeur of the artwork, with the walls and ceilings adorned with saints, the holy trinity and sculptures alike it needed to live a life larger than what it is. The more confined space, and the handful of pews were like miniatures among the intricate maze of religious imagery above. You feel grounded more than ever in a space like this.
Though my time in Valencia was short I was able to see the the grand City of Arts and Sciences, and spend some time in the social hub of Valencia, L’Umbracle. My favourite part of any trip is discovering local cuisine, we only had a short amount of time in Valencia but I had the opportunity to indulge in a Paella of epic proportions and a platter of sushi so good that I ended having it for lunch and dinner in the same day!
What I enjoyed the most about Valencia was it’s lack of overt tourism, for the first time in a while I found myself in a foreign country where I had to make more effort to get around, and speak the local tongue as well. This aspect of Valencia really helped me understand the local lifestyle and immerse myself into the customs. Though I didn’t get the opportunity to visit any galleries or museums I did get the chance to spy some of the popular graffiti art that’s scattered around the plazas and side roads.
Overall I’d highly recommend a trip to this port city, it’s a beautiful escape from the more hectic cities in Europe and you cannot go wrong with the cuisine on offer here!
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