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A long weekend in Valencia [Travel Linkup]

Some of the moments that spark joy when travelling are hard earned and some are just ripe for the taking. Our long weekend in Valencia was as easy as twisting a ripe orange from a laden bough.

Valencia Long Weekend Adventures of a London Kiwi

It began on a cold winter evening, perusing a list of winter sun destinations and within 15 minutes of finding a date both Binny and I could do, we booked the flights and started flicking through the lists of hotels and apartments. 

Simple and delicious were the watchwords for our trip.

Valencia Long Weekend Adventures of a London Kiwi

Valencia, in my dreams it always seems, I hear you softly call to me
Valencia, where the orange trees forever, send the breeze beside the sea

The only thing that we researched was stopping in the Valencia cat cafe – which is the sum total of as much planning as we did before our long weekend. As luck would have it, it was a few minutes walk from our lovely apartment. I swear it wasn’t intentional… 

Valencia Long Weekend Adventures of a London Kiwi

We chose a 2 bedroom apartment in the Valencia Old Town, close to the cat cafe central marketplace bustling with local businesses selling freshly picked fruit, mountains of leavened bread straight from the bakery ovens and orange juice squeezed within a few minutes of you sipping it.

The terrace of our apartment had a rather glorious view out over the marketplace – and we spent a fair amount of time there soaking up the sunshine, specifically planned a breakfast of market croissants, strawberries and OJ, we sipped a fair few evening beverages and curled up under a comfy blanket as twilight fell.

Valencia Long Weekend Adventures of a London Kiwi

Sometimes its the simple pleasures. 

We also answered the question ‘how many photos can two bloggers take of a terrace?’ and it’s 1,201 to be exact.

Valencia Long Weekend Adventures of a London Kiwi

I blame the croissants as big as our faces.

Valencia Long Weekend Adventures of a London Kiwi

#nofilter

We sipped glasses of sangria on the beach (there are seven kilometres of beaches – city beaches, which you can get to by metro or tram, or more unspoilt beaches, such as El Saler in the Albufera Natural Park)…

Valencia Long Weekend Adventures of a London Kiwi

…took a tour around the futuristic opera house…

Valencia Long Weekend Adventures of a London Kiwi

Valencia Long Weekend Adventures of a London Kiwi

…check out the unique door handles!…

Valencia Long Weekend Adventures of a London Kiwi  

…and wandered around the Principe Felipe Science Museum & Park.

Valencia Long Weekend Adventures of a London Kiwi

In a magic dream of memory, I see you again, in that old town far away beneath the skies of Spain
That city of plenty romances, so shy were your glances, and swiftly the sunshine that dances through the orange broad

We ate a serious amount of tapas… (thousands of people soak up the sun all year round at outdoor bars or cafés while having a few tapas and a glass of wine or cold beer. At night there are lots of different nightlife areas, from the hotspots in the old town to those by the sea or in the student areas) not to mention a good helping of paella… 

Valencia Long Weekend Adventures of a London Kiwi

…wandered in amongst the street art…

Valencia Long Weekend Adventures of a London Kiwi

…and admired the variety of building styles dotted around the city. 

It was lovely. It was how I imagined Barcelona was going to be (plus the Gaudi buildings) but for some reason Barcelona didn’t quite live up to my dreams of Spain – but the sleepy, sumptuous streets of Valencia did.

Valencia Long Weekend Adventures of a London Kiwi

On our wanders, our cab driver said we couldn’t miss the Llotja de la Seda. Built between 1482 and 1548, la Lonja is composed of three parts (plus the Orange Garden – a walled court-yard). The main hall, Sala de Contratacion (The Contract Hall) is a large lavishly decorated space supported by gorgeous twisted columns. It was the financial centre of La Lonja, where the merchants work out contracts.

Valencia Long Weekend Adventures of a London Kiwi

It was beautiful.

Valencia Long Weekend Adventures of a London Kiwi

See?

Valencia Long Weekend Adventures of a London Kiwi

Built between 1482 and 1533, this group of buildings was originally used for trading in silk (hence its name, the Silk Exchange) and it has always been a centre for commerce. The grandiose Sala de Contratación (Contract or Trading Hall), in particular, illustrates the power and wealth of a major Mediterranean mercantile city in the 15th and 16th centuries. It’s also UNESCO protected.

Valencia, in my dreams it always seems, I hear you softly call to me
Valencia, where the orange trees forever – send the breeze beside the sea

Valencia Long Weekend Adventures of a London Kiwi

Will I be back? Oh, yes – very much so. The laid back beat of our long weekend in Valencia was just perfection.

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Valencia Long Weekend Adventures of a London Kiwi

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