After One Month in Valencia
“After One Month…” is a series in which we normally share first impressions of our new homes. But in Valencia’s case, our rose-tinted first impressions have long since matured into gnarled old certainties. Still, after years of calling this city home, we love it more than ever. And that should speak volumes.
Mike: No doubt in my mind. La Cremà, the fiery culmination of Fallas, is the most unforgettable experience Valencia has to offer.
Mike: It has to be paella, right? And… it is! No surprises here. Paella is Valencia’s crowning culinary achievement, and one I’ll never tire of. We’ve been making it ourselves, too, and although ours might not be perfect, it’s not bad. There’s no better way to spend a sunny Sunday than on the terrace with a bottle of wine and paella simmering in the pan.
Mike: It’s possible to see all of Valencia’s main sights within a short period of time. But the lesser-known sights can be amazing, too. Even after years of living here, we’re still shocked by how many great new experiences we’re discovering in the city… to say nothing of the beaches, towns, and diverse nature in the rest of the province.
Mike: The so-called “America’s Cup Port” is the most disappointing area in Valencia. Overly eager to host “elite” events like the Formula One and America’s Cup, Valencia disfigured one of its most historic sections. Today, the America’s Cup buildings stand empty, the Vels i Vents building is a rotting corpse, and the abandoned F1 track looks weird with its lines looping into nowhere. This area is a mess, and I hate it.
Mike: For me, it gets no weirder than the ultra-short procession of La Virgen de los Desamparados, held in May. People will go to any extreme to touch the Virgin… these might be rational, reasonable people on other days, but today they’re passing their newborn infants to complete strangers, in the hopes that someone will clonk baby’s head against the icon. It’s outrageous.
Mike: 6. Valencia is a big Western European city, so it’s not super-cheap… but it’s about as cheap as a city in Western Europe gets! Especially compared to Madrid or Barcelona, living costs are reasonable, and it’s easy to find nice rentals for good rates.
Mike: … some of the most laid-back and tolerant people I’ve ever met. It’s a real “live and let live” environment, here, and as long as you’re not bugging anyone, people leave you alone.
Mike: Siestas, Citrus, Sun