After a chaotic and slightly rainy Napoli, we took a two hours Ryanair flight to Valencia.

We were greeted by sunny and warm weather and what was most important – big walking lanes, with peaceful traffic, huge parks and numerous children playgrounds. Three to be exact and we weren’t even looking for it.

One of the largest urban parks, The Turia Gardens, stretches 9 kilometers around the city, crossed by 18 bridges with numerous foot paths, leisure and sports areas to chill out

Strolling around our neighborhood, I did not expect much of The central park, but boy was I wrong. Located at the very end of the central station, squished between railway and house blocks, the park is a true green oasis with trees, flowers, fountains and pools, children playground and a dog area.

The building of The North station (Estació del Nord), located next to the city’s bullring, and 200m from the town hall is one of the main works of the Valencian Art Nouveau
Fonts de la sèquia at the Central Park

Never have we been so thankful for walking down the streets and not worrying if someone is going to run in to us with a moped or a car.

Mercado Central de València

Napoli was fantastic, but the daily traffic there was horrendous.

The Gulliver park is a free entrance children’s playground that features a 70-meters long gigantic figure of Jonathan Swifts main character of Gullivers travels

Situated on the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula on the Mediterranean Sea, Valencia is a home to almost 800 000 people, enjoying not just the sun and the sea, but also the beautiful architecture.

Plaça de l’Ajuntament (Town hall square)

Orange trees are very common in Spain. Although non edible, they are very precious to the citizens as they keep the shade during the boiling summer days
The Port of Valencia is the 5th-busiest container port in Europe and the second busiest container port on the Mediterranean Sea

The city is known for its cultural and architectural complex The City of Arts and Sciences (Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències / Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias) that actually deserves a post on its own, so I’ll leave it at that.

Strolling through the city we have come to a point that we started thinking about living here. It’s warm, it’s sunny, the food and the people are fantastic. But then we remembered the bad economy. What have happened to it? The economy that has once funded creations like the City of Arts or….where did it go?

Inspired by Colosseum in Rome, built in mid 19th century in neoclassical style by a Valencian architect Sebastián Monleón Estellés lays a – bullring

Was it too much siesta and long lunch breaks or just the fact that they aren’t good with money?

And when I say economy, I think about everyday expenses and lifestyle as I see a lot of Spaniards moving to Nordic countries, either for studies or work.

Consecrated in 1238 and dedicated to Saint Mary by order of James I the Conqueror, the Cathedral of Valencia was built over the site of the former Visigothic cathedral, which under the Moors had been turned into a mosque
Most of the Cathedral was built between 13th and 15th century in mainly Gothic style, however as the construction went for centuries (economy I tell you :)). the final product is fine mixture of artistic styles, ranging from the early Romanesque, Valencian Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical
Basílica de la Mare de Déu dels Desemparats
Túria Fountain at the Plaça de la Verge

I remember a couple from Barcelona on one of the tours that I guided, and asking them about the Norwegian lifestyle as they were thinking about moving to Norway because of the better living standard and higher wages in their field of work. Used to a Spanish habit of having drinks after work with colleagues, they were very reluctant about the fact that Norwegians don’t share the same passion. When I mentioned cold climate and the possibility of having drinks outside (and Spain is still smoking country) together with high prices of alcohol they understood the part of minimal socializing. It’s not that people here are asocial, it’s just they don’t get together for drinks with people they work every single day. I mean, what would you be talking about? ‘’Oh, but there is always something happening at the hospital (they were medical nurses) and there’s always something to talk about’’, said the Spaniard interested in moving to Norway. I don’t think he ever will.

But we wouldn’t mind moving to Spain, only if the economy was better.

Torres del Serrans was part of the old city walls

Or walking one of this ancient pathways. I wouldn’t mind. Not sure about Debeli. He would probably sit somewhere for a cold drink and warm bocadillo.

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