Our first stop was Valencia, the third largest city in Spain. Valencia was brilliant, with sun constantly shining and palm trees galore. We took the metro to the main part of the city, littered with tourists, pick-pocketers and street performers alike. Our first stop was to the central plaza, a place of orange trees, exquisite buildings and sun.
Afterwards, we walked over to Mercado Central de Valencia (the central market of Valencia) where we gorged on delicious food. We ate fresh olives, expensive hams and chorizo, finely aged cheese and horchata. The market was crowded with people and scents. The scent of freshly caught fish, sweets, bread and olives filled my nostrils in a delightful and dizzying way. We exited the market with bellies full, walking to see the main cathedral and a tiny but impressive church.
When we got to the tiny alleyway to go into the church, I tried to hide my disappointment. After all, what was so special about a church that can fit in an alleyway? Boy was I wrong! This tiny church in honor of St. Nicholas was filled from top to bottom with incredibly detailed paintings. I felt like I was in a smaller version of the Sistine Chapel! We stayed long enough to listen to the history and then left. Just goes to show you not to judge a book by its cover.
Our next stop was the Torres de Serrano (also known as Serranos Gate), one of the last remaining parts of the impressive wall that once surrounded Valencia. It was formerly the entry point of the royal road, which explains its magnificent beauty.
We finished the day off visiting the exterior of the Museum of Arts and Sciences, an impressive modern structure, with numerous nooks and crannies. This museum is home to quite possibly the largest aquarium in all of Spain, if not also all of Europe. It also has a sculpture park, a discoteca, a science museum, a theater and a 3D cinema. This place would take a week to see everything.
Day one was jam-packed with tons of adventure and sights, and we finished the day off headed to her hometown: Denia.