oceanografic

Valencia-bound

So, the 90 Day Tour rumbles on and after two weeks in and around Fuengirola it is time to move up to Valencia. I am very excited about my trip to the capital of the Valencian Community. Sadly, I can only spend a couple of days there because of time constraints so I am going to PLAN these days more carefully than I usually do to ensure that I get the most out of them

Many of you will know that I lived in Torrevieja for eight years. Whilst the town IS in the Comunidad Valenciana, the capital has little apparent effect on the day to day life of the town and certainly valenciano which IS a co-official language there is rarely heard. Not once in those eight years did I ever need it!.

Those of you who know me well, will verify that I am a football fanatic and the reason for shooting up from Fuengirola to Valencia is that there are two big games in town this weekend. So, on Sunday it is Paterna against my beloved CD Torrevieja in La Tercera and on Monday it is Valencia against Levante in a huge local derby in La Liga. I will watch any football, any standard. As a Gillingham fan of 50 years plus, I have seen the good (occasionally), the bad (usually) and the ugly (the terraces of the 70s). When a friend invited me to the Levante game and I checked that CD Torrevieja were fighting for promotion just across town, I had to dash! I will also be taking the opportunity to see the progress on the New Mestalla. Will it ever be finished? Many will also know that I have cycled to every football club in the UK www.theshirt2010.co.uk and so I am guessing that you are not surprised that I am excited about seeing an unfinished stadium!

I have visited the City of Valencia perhaps six times and I think I have a good overview of it. A very good friend is an estate agent here and Graham and I will be snatching a quick coffee. He has seen the boom here followed by the “crisis” but he has been telling me for some months that the city is coming back stronger than ever. The improvements in the infrastructure and the millions ploughed into cultural and sporting facilities are making the city a very desirable place to live. I have always liked Valencia. I find it easy to get around and the centre is walk-able in a way that Amsterdam and Málaga are but Paris and London are not. That said I have a lot to cram in so I decided to stay in the very centre.

Last time I was here I had a disaster with my camera and will be looking to get better photos of the the Cathedral, the City of Arts and Sciences, the Estaciò Nord and Estación Joaquín Sorolla. I am also excited to visit my friends at BIOPARC Valencia. I work with both BIOPARC Valencia and Fuengirola but I have never been to the Valencia facility. I am really looking forward to this. So masses to cram in.

For that reason, I spent more time than usual ensuring that my base was well-located and on good bus routes. My calf injury means that I can’t cycle so it’s a walking /public transport stay again. As usual I have voted against a hotel and have chosen Valencia Flats. In real life, I have been home for ONE night since 22nd January and will not be back until May11th! I have done 2000 nights on the road in the last 10 years. Yes 200+ per year! I really do NOT need another faceless hotel. These apartments have got laundry facilities and full kitchens for guests and are at very reasonable prices. I can see this being a very successful stay!

habitaciones-economicas-ciudad-ciencias

I found this apartment by surfing the web. It’s an ultra professional website which is in English and Spanish (and 5/6 other languages!) No, I know that I don’t need English but it’s always a sign of how any company considers international guests how they promote themselves in English! My enquiry was dealt with in moments and the booking was faultless. It is a fantastic location and OF COURSE free hi speed wifi. I had to check that as I will be doing a mass of work whilst I am here. I remember the barrio from a previous visit and I checked that, yes, there are direct buses from the bus station/BIOPARC and the railway station. In fact, I found out you can get to just about everywhere in and around the centre very easily. The City of Arts and Sciences is just outside the front door as is the Palau de Les Arts Reina Sofía. I will also enjoy walking up to the Jardí del Túria which I did not have enough time in on my last visit.

One thing that impressed me with these apartments is that on the booking confirmation they sent me details of their free Discount Card. I thought that it was a great idea to forward it BEFORE I arrived which gave me the chance to plan some purchases/activities before my visit…..all at discounts. They even have a discount on AVE fares! I like that attention to detail.

So, Valencia here I come!

Museo de las Ciencias- Valencia

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