In 1957, Valencia experienced a devastating flood that forever changed the city’s relationship with the Turia River. Nearly three quarters of the city was inundated by floodwater and over 60 people lost their lives. The following year, the city embraced a plan to divert the river around its western outskirts to the Mediterranean Sea.
The remnants of the old riverbed became a chance to create the landscape network which became today’s Jardín del Turia.
This beautiful open space now houses the iconic City of Arts and Sciences
There is so much to see and do in the City of Arts and Sciences and in Valencia as a whole. We decided we didn’t have enough time to go to one of the biggest draws the Oceanographic or the Hemispheric but opted instead for ‘El Museu de les Ciències’. It’s a fantastic looking building that resembles the skeleton of a whale, occupies around 40,000 m² on three floors and is home for a fun interactive science museum.
We were lucky enough to get there early before a host of buses disgorged the hordes of tour groups many in matching tops who started making long coloured lines for the entrance. Fortunately for us, individuals enter by a separate door. Where we soon understood why there was so much interest.
It was the Fallas again with an enormous exhibition of literally hundreds of mad, eccentric, colourful figures – ninots – made of papier-mâché on wooden carcass which are then sanded and painted.
All of the comments and labels were in Spanish, so most of the satire was missed by us but there were two Brexit related ones that we translated and we think? were taking the mick out of the Brexit process and also making comparisons with their own politicians’ ineptitude.
To save his
majesty modesty we haven’t shown the view from the rear of this well-known pair but this ‘Good Chap’ had his union-jack pants half down – So make of that what you will?
There was loads to see and do in the interactive space but after a couple of hours of information overload our heads started to hurt. But before leaving and as we were ahead of the crowds, we managed to easily get a table in the museum’s restaurant. I had some excellent brain recovery food (pizza followed by death by chocolate with ice cream) which quickly did the trick.
The diverting of the the river has not only solved the flooding problem but has enabled the creation of this amazing City of Arts and Sciences and the delightful Turia Gardens. The vibe is fantastic and perfect for runners, cyclists (with and without lycra) and for everyone to come recharge and rejuvenate. It is a real credit to the visionaries who made it happen.
We wish we had more time (we’ve already decided to come back). But, it was time to make tracks, first we had to get the bus back to our campsite and reunite ourselves with Charlie. However in spite of having a up-to-date timetable, we ended up spending ages waiting at a bus stop for a bus that never came…. Well it was Fallas weekend!
Chin, chin, toodle oo