Sitting here sipping my tea and digesting roast pork, I could be forgiven for thinking that I was already back in England, except for one thing. Summer has well and truly arrived, meaning that finally it’s nice and warm!
Tuesday I braved the midday heat to walk to and back from the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències, a total distance of almost 10km, in 30ºc. The futuristic museum complex is still probably my favourite place, and it was the first time that I had bothered to enter the Umbracle, an arch-covered planted area where there are occasionally discos, and I honestly have no idea why I hadn’t entered before, it was so peaceful and pretty.
Thursday dawned bright and sunny, but it didn’t quite end that way! After lunch, an electrical storm started, with one ray of lightening hitting the ground in a wasteland barely 10m away from the school, meaning we had to lockdown the school, shutting the outside metal curtains and turning off all the computers. It also meant that “exam silence”, which is rarely a thing in this school anyway, became an impossibility… ah well.
Friday saw the visit of Harvey, a friend from Uni who is also going to be one of my housemates next year (woop woop!). Although he had already been to Valencia a few years ago, he wanted to visit again, and boy I love a visit!
As soon as he arrived, we went straight to the playa, via McDonalds (sorry Pati, needs must). Even though it was extremely windy, we still managed to sunbathe for a while and then we played with one of those velcro-pad-throw-and-catch-the-ball-beach-toy-thingies, until mine broke, which still gave me enough time to completely fail throwing the ball to Harvey and hit a girl sunbathing about 10m away from where Harvey actually was…
The day after madrugamos (we got up super early) for a touristy day in the city! My route involved lots of walking but we did manage to see almost all of València in one morning. This is my suggested route for anyone going to València with limited time!
Starting at my house, which is basically the beach, we walked to the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències, and from there through the Jardins del Turia to the Torres dels Serrans. From there we went to the Mercado Central, where we sampled orxata, via the Plaça de la Virgen and then on to the the Ajuntament. I showed him the bullet and bomb marks on the walls of the town hall from when València was capital of the Republic, and then we headed back to the Catedral via Plaça Redona and the skinniest house in Europe (107cm from one side to the other). We climbed the Miguelete (all 207 steps, some 70m) and saw a Mascletà near the CAC (which I didn’t know about until we were on top of the Miguelete tower…) before heading back down and finding a menu that included Paella. Spaniards basically believe that anyone should be able to afford a 3 course meal, and so there are a huge amount of menus that offer first and second courses, dessert, drink and bread, as well as occasionally including coffee, for between 7,50€ and 11€.
At midday on Sunday, Harvey left for his 7 hour train trip back to Andalucia, but not before we walked along the beach to the next town along, Alboraya (thanks Estefania for the tip off!) Then in the evening it was off to Mestalla for the last match of the season… what a disappointment that was, losing 3-1 to the local rivals Villarreal, although it was probably the most obvious way to end after such a rubbish season!
And so here I am, relearning the basics phrases of Chinese that I learnt on Soton’s intensive course last summer to fulfil a promise made to Yr6, trying to finish the mural that I stupidly decided to do as well as learn everything I put on the two powerpoint presentations that are going to form the basis of my last two classes with each year group, starting this week.