On my last day in Valencia absolutely nothing was open because of the regional holiday. There was a parade in the streets, more fireworks that sounded like gunshots and cannons being fired to commemorate the battle, and plenty of people crowded around the middle of the streets and in the plazas to enjoy the show and scream a lot. I met up with a CouchSurfer who was from Valencia, and he showed me all around the city and explained the history of basically everything.
This is traditionally prepared paella. Paella is a dish with fried rice, meat, veggies, and other stuff all crammed into a giant wok thing and cooked together. Mmmmm. Valencia is supposedly the birthplace of paella.
The oldest commercial center in Spain.
Most plazas in Europe are square or rectangular. This one was around back in the 1800s and is one of the very, very few that are actually round.
This is the coliseum right next to the Stació del Nord. Here, bullfights take place, where there are six bulls and three matadors. Each matador (Spanish for ‘killer’) kills two bulls after wearing them down over the course of about twenty minutes.
Valencia evidently used to be surrounded by a moat. Or walls, or something. At this point in my lesson I had heard so much information it was hard to understand Spanish. Anyway, the Moors had control of most of Spain and their reign lasted about eight centuries. The Christian conquistadores came to take Valencia but couldn’t get inside the city, so instead, they surrounded it and cut if off from all contact with the outside world. The Moors were stuck in the city with all their waste and trash and such until finally they gave up the city. Those that converted got to live, and those that didn’t were executed. There’s a plaza where many executions took place and whenever someone was killed there, the executioner sliced a mark into the wall of a nearby building. I have a picture somewhere, but I can’t find it… Anyway, pretty cool.
Here’s the parade, with the guys in fancy red clothing representing the Moors. This city goes all out! Anyway, I had run out of time and my Blablacar ride was about to get there so I thanked the guy and ran off to get a ride to my next destination… Elche.