Sunday, February 19, 2017

Valencia: water?

Valencia, the third largest city on the Iberian Peninsula, little visited by Americans, seems to have pretty many Europeans in town enjoying the sunny weather. For me, I will always remember Valencia for its strange illusions to water.

1. Valencia has rerouted its River Turia. Quite common. What is unusual is that the whole river bed has been turned into a giant park (awesome idea), with the all bridges intact. So, everyone is always walking or driving across bridges over normal looking city parks, instead of water. Some bridges have a pool at their base, as if to dignify their existence

2. Valencia is very proud of its futuristic looking complex of cultural venues "City of Arts and Science, built in the same dry river bed. To me the real stroke of genius are the shallow aqua pools that tie the buildings together.

3. For hundreds of years the Water Council have held their weekly meetings outside one of the doorways of the cathedral. On this Thursday, the meeting took place as usual, among inordinate fanfare, except they had no business to discuss, so the meeting was adjourned as soon as it opened.

4. When we finally across the rerouted Turia, the river bed only had spotty puddles of water. Mild weather needs water to make Valencia the bread, rice, fruits, and vegetable basket of Spain, maybe even Europe?

5. The largest festival in Valencia, Las Fallas, is supposed to be all about fire. We are missing it by less than a month. On this Friday night, we caught another "correfoc" (firerun) in one of the suburbs as a consolation. Correfoc is definitely the highlight of my Spain visit so far.

Not to mention that the streets are washed, with detergent, day and night.
Valencia, Spain

The Water Council meets each Thursday at the stroke of noon.
Valencia, Spain

Valencia, Spain

Correfoc (FireRun). Devils and their Demon.
Valencia, Spain

Valencia, Spain

Valencia, Spain

Valencia, Spain

Old bridge with a "dignifying pool" underneath.
Valencia, Spain

Some shots of the City and Arts and Sciences, designed by Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava.
Valencia, Spain

Valencia, Spain

Valencia, Spain

Valencia, Spain

Valencia, Spain

Valencia, Spain

Valencia, Spain

And here comes the horchata, and buñuelos (fried dough).
Valencia, Spain

Valencia, Spain

Valencia has tons of graffiti/murals.
Valencia, Spain

Valencia, Spain

Valencia, Spain

Central Market.
Valencia, Spain

I finally try out a Segway. My mouth is open cause I'm saying "look at me, look at me". ;-)
Valencia, Spain

Monforte Garden.
Valencia, Spain

3 comments:

Kathy said...

Very futuristic. So if the old river bed doesn't have any water, and the new one doesn't either, where is the city getting its drinking warer?

DayleInNC said...

Wow, cool looking architecture. Seeing the photos immediately reminded me of the park Futuroscope, near Poitiers, France. But this looks more interesting.

john said...

@kathy, I'm guessing Valencia traps drinking water in reservoirs upstream and that there is no "extra" water that flows out of them.

@Dayle, Thanks Dayle! We had lots of fun taking those pictures. The "futuristic" buildings were built at the time Valencia was hosting America's Cup yachting and F1 auto racing; up and coming.