May 9, 2016
For 91 Days, we explored sunny Valencia, home of paella and the third-largest city in Spain. We already knew Valencia well… in fact it’s our adopted home, and the place we return to whenever we’re taking a break from traveling. Whether you’re planning your own journey to Valencia, or are just interested in seeing why we chose to make it our permanent base, our articles and photographs should help you out. Start at the beginning of our adventures, visit our comprehensive index to find something specific, or choose one of the articles selected at random, below:
There’s not a city in the world Jürgen and I know quite so well as Valencia. We lived here for years before starting our travel project, and should there ever come a day we’re ready to settle down, it’s to Valencia that we’ll return. We figured our favorite city on Earth deserved the full attention of our blog, so we spent 91 days seeing the sights as though we were newcomers.
Once upon a time, not actually all that long ago, Valencia’s historic center was bordered to the north by the Turia River. Although it was normally a benevolent presence, the Turia was given to sporadic fits of rage. And after a deadly flood in 1957, Valencia decided to remove the threat once and for all.
The sun was beating hard upon our necks, and our shirts were soaked with sweat. It was Sunday afternoon in the middle of the oppressive Valencian summer, and we were walking through the horta nord of Alboraya, learning about chufa: the tiny tuber which is the principal ingredient in horchata.
The Feria de Julio has been celebrated in Valencia since 1871. With open-air cinema, concerts, fireworks and more, this month-long festival is an attempt to convince residents to remain in the city during the sweltering summer. The feria’s closing act is the Batalla de Flores, or the Flower Battle.
Who doesn’t love fireworks? The color, the sound, the visual spectacle? Of course, we can all agree that they’re wonderful. But, who still loves fireworks minus the color and the visual spectacle, leaving only the sound? Hmmm, not many of you have kept your hands up… just a bunch of maniacs wearing blue and white handkerchiefs. Let me guess: you’re the Valencians.
La Xerea is one of the six neighborhoods which make up the Ciutat Vella, or “Old Town,” of Valencia. And of all the city’s neighborhoods, it’s our favorite. La Xerea is central, historic, packed with ancient churches, palaces and monuments, and somehow manages to retain the calm of a quiet residential zone. And most importantly, it’s our home.
A major part of Fallas is its competitions. Paella championships, sports tournaments, fallera pageants, and of course the selection of the year’s best monuments. But the most dazzling battle takes place on the streets of Ruzafa… or rather, above them. Every year, a few casales compete to erect the city’s most mind-blowing streetlights.