I stumbled across an old list the other day that I wrote in high school of things I wanted to do and places I wanted to go when I grew up. One of the things I found on that list was to visit Barcelona. As i finish off my Barcelona posts (a good 3 months after actually visiting the city) I found that there was a nice sentiment to being able to cross that goal off my list, even though I had almost forgotten setting it.
There are three things that i love: food, design and travelling. When those three combine it’s .. well, pretty much orgasmic. This was an incredible wall feature made entirely of different glass bottles. I came across this one night while dining out in a great Spanish provincial restaurant in Barcelona.
We took a train ride to Valencia on the second day of our Spanish trip, waiting at the train station for an hour because we had just missed the previous train. The landscape of Spain is really different to what we have in Austria. I’m in the alps region so whenever I take a train ride I see lakes and mountains and hills. In Spain, the landscape is completely flat so all you see is dessert and then sky – no mountains in between, it was different but not any less beautiful.
We arrived into Valencia main station which actually looked exactly the same as the Budapest main station but when we walked outside, we were completely blown away by the buildings we saw. As we were walking out, we saw a group of Spanish men playing trumpets and quickly realised the Bullfighting ring was immediately outside the station and that a bullfight was about to start so on a whim decided to get the 10 euro tickets to see the fight.
Coming into the fight i was really excited but little did I know how ignorant I was to what actually went down. I had no idea the bull was killed in the fight.. not killed but tortured because the matador’s would constantly spike the bull to anger it, before finally sticking it through their head and spine leaving it to die. I really hated the entire experience but thought it was something that needed to be seen, at least to have the right to hate it.
After the traumatic show, we headed to find our hostel which was a 10 min walk from the main station. Valencia is an incredibly beautiful city – if not, the most beautiful I have seen thus far. We got to the street of our hostel and realised it had been closed off. We went in further to see that a parade was underway with Spanish men and women in beautiful costumes.
We checked into our hostel which was amazing for it’s value. Considering we only paid 10 euro it was so clean and each room had a different design in the room. We were located in La Lonja which was also perfect because we were essentially in the city centre. By this time it had turned to night so we grabbed some dinner. It’s great in Valencia because most restaurants offer set meals already for 10 Euro – which consists of a entree,main,dessert and drink. After dinner, we decided to explore Valencia by night and my god it was just as beautiful as we had seen it in the day.
The lights illuminated the buildings in just the right way it was too good to be true!
We headed back to the hostel to refresh a little bit before venturing out in our area to find a bar we could grab some drinks. At first, we were a bit worried because the street was completely empty but then found a street with a Kebab shop which was a good sign (I’ve noticed Kebab shops almost always mean there is some sort of bar nearby!) We eventually settled on a corner bar where we got cocktails.
As we weren’t in any mood to go into a club we decided to walk around the city some more and enjoy Valencia by night which is easily summed up in two words – empty and yellow (both of which aren’t bad things)
Originally there were meant to be 5 of us going to Alicante but 3 ended up bailing so me and Andre decided to go anyway. We left Dornbirn at 6am in the morning for the 1.5 hour train ride to Memmingen airport and as usual i used the opportunity to take a quick nap.
We were greeted at Alicante airport by Maria, one of the Spanish girls who’s also in Dornbirn but was back in her hometown to visit her family.
She brought us Jamon sandwiches which is the Spanish cured ham and were absolutely delicious!
Her friend drove us from the airport to the hotel we had booked. I wanted to relax and indulge so I decided to book a 5 star hotel in Alicante called ‘Hospes Amerigo’ which is featured on the Design Hotels website. It’s main selling point was that it was aimed at making you have the most comfortable sleep and my god, the bed was so luxurious. Everytime we lay down, we would fall asleep!
The rooftop pool
Overlooking the hotel courtyard
The rooftop view overlooking the rest of Alicante
We set out for the city, spending the day getting to know Alicante. We took a stroll along the promenade which reminded me a lot of LA – mainly because of the palm trees. We had lunch along the beach and saw people flying kites, rollerbladers and people playing volleyball. For me, it was so refreshing to see a glimpse of Summer again!
Enjoying some Sangria!
We then explored the city some more, visiting the Castle and spending some time at the top overlooking the city.
We returned back to the city centre when the sun was setting and took a stroll along the promenade which was just as beautiful in the night before returning back to the hotel where I took a long needed bath 🙂
Can you believe a place like this exists? My inner sci-fi nerd came out when I visited the ‘Ciutat De Les Arts I De Les Ciences’ (City of Arts and Sciences) which is this huge complex in Valencia. To be honest, I had no time to research what was in Valencia so to see this complex spontaneously was an incredibly great treat. The complex is divided into several buildings – an art museum, a 3d /imax theatre, an aquarium, a science museum and an opera. Meanwhile, in between all the buildings are beautiful trees, water and even a rooftop garden.