valencia was not apart of our original plan but we managed to grab train tickets and book a hostel last minute so we were grateful that it wasn't too much hassle! our hostel was in the heart of barrio el carmen which is the historic center. we were surrounded by the cathedrals and old structures and everywhere we walked we encountered orange trees! the feel of the historic city center reminded me a lot of venice.
spain has plenty of supermarkets and convenience stores but the markets are truly spectacular! the mercado centrale in valencia was quite close to where we were staying and so full of fruits, veggies, meats, cheeses, candies & prepared foods! while there we made sure to grab some grapes on new years eve to have on hand when the clock struck midnight!
just like you might find in any larger city, whether in europe or the u.s., most shops have a metal garage door that they slide down when they're closed. some just have vandalism graffiti but many have mini-murals or a work of art advertising their shop. i didn't capture too many with my camera but it was one of my favorite things to look for!
locals take pride in their history and we passed several shops that sold the traditional costumes they use for festivals. shops are also full of the traditional tile & pottery that valencia is known for and paella (a rice dish which originated in valencia) can be found in almost any restaurant. spaniards really value family and there's such a good mix of young and old everywhere you go. it was really common to see a whole family walking arm in arm and there were so many children everywhere!! loved that!
valencia was one of my favorite cities and i can't wait to share more in another post!