V is for Valencia.

Last week, we had some down time between our first orientation (the one with the non-profit we are here with) and our second and final orientation and the start of work. While staying in Alcalá might have been relaxing and restful (and therefore good), we decided to trek down to Valencia on the bus and stay for four nights (even better!). Some friends of ours offered us their apartment, so free lodging was an added bonus. John lived in Valencia for five weeks in the summer of 2012 studying and helping out the Iglesia Anglicana de Valencia, so he knew the city and was able to show me around. (If you click on that link, you'll see the website John created during his stint in Valencia. I'm a proud wife.) And let me tell you, Valencia is rivaling Madrid in my mind for favorite Spanish city!

Let's start out with a photo from Port Saplaya, a quaint, colorful beach town just north of Valencia. John and I always laugh at how you can add -ería onto seemingly any word (OK, not really...but sometimes it sure seems like it!) and suddenly it's a shop that sells whatever noun you just tacked -ería onto. In this picture, we've got a coctelería (a cocktail shop), a zumería (a juice shop), a horchatería (a place that sells the drink horchata), and a cervecería (a beer shop). I love it. Unfortunately, ferreterías do not sell ferrets, but instead sell hardware. If only...

All good things are sold here.

All good things are sold here.

Following are some photos from this beautiful, untrampled beach town. If you ever find yourself in Valencia, I would highly recommend paying Port Saplaya a visit. We took a taxi on our way there, and it cost less than 10 Euros. On our way back, we took the free bus that ran through the end of September. There are a couple of little restaurants in the town where you can have a beautiful view of the homes and boats while enjoying a long midday meal. I would have loved to have rented a beach chair and umbrella (things we obviously didn't pack when coming to Spain and don't want to buy), but because the season is pretty much over, we didn't have any success in finding vendors. When we are back in Valencia during warmer months, I hope we'll return to Port Saplaya for a relaxing day by the sea.

The small inner harbor in Port Saplaya.

The small inner harbor in Port Saplaya.

Hibiscus remind me of living in Florida. I love the color!
Why don't we paint our houses these colors in America? 
While we're on the topic of color, this shade of orange is one of my favorites. In fact, two of my rooms have been this color!
I can't remember what these are called. Anyone?
This boat was called The Mississippi. If it's really from Mississippi, it's a long way from home.
Mmmmmmm color.
The inner harbor from another angle.

The inner harbor from another angle.

In Valencia itself, we did a lot of relaxing, walking around, met some new friends, and enjoying some good tapas and food. Oh, and we used the public bike system, called Valenbisi, which allows you to pick up a bike in one location and ride for as long as you want. When you're finished, you drop the bike off at a docking station and you're done! Some friends loaned us their Valenbisi cards and we enjoyed a couple of rides through a huge, central park in the city. Seriously, this city has so much going for it! Sunday we enjoyed worshiping at the Iglesia Anglicana de Valencia and seeing some friends that John spent some time with in 2012. I'll leave you for now with some photos of the city.

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