A View From Valencia, Spain: Part 1

Exploring a New City Knowing You're Moving There!

The goal for Valencia was to stay in a couple of different barrios so we could see Valencia from several different options.   This blog covers memories & moments in El Cabanyal and Quatre Carreres.

A quick couple of hours on the train, we headed from Barcelona to Valencia.  NOT the kind of train we 'expected'....lol, it was more like the metro trains we had been taking, just a longer ride, so that was a bit weird and uncomfortable.  We had to keep our luggage with us at the seats and again, since it was basically just a 'subway' ride, there really wasn't anywhere to put anything.  Not to mention, we were travelling at the same time as everyone else for the Holidays, so it was quite busy.  As we got closer and closer to Valencia, more and more people got off.... so eventually there was more room and my kids looked like 'real' European travelers.

Once we got to the main train station in Valencia, it was a pretty easy transition to the metro ....but, we got a bit turned around and didn't follow the transportation maps as well as we could have  when we got off, so we ended up walking with our luggage for a while back & forth till we found our place.  Long train ride in a crowded metro car and extra walking with luggage = cranky American tourists.

We arrived in Valencia by December 24th, 2022 so that we could settle in to our AirBnB for Christmas.  Everyone had been telling us EVERYTHING will be closed for Christmas, so went a bit touristy and went on a massive grocery shopping trip.  The kids took the afternoon to chill out and Ray & I went to explore.   We were surprised to find many of the restaurants along the beach side were, in fact, going to be open and had planned for special menus for Christmas.  Tempting, but decided to stay at the AirBnB and eat all of our yummy cheeses, serrano ham and wine. 

Our first couple of days, over Christmas, we spent over in the marina area - neighborhood (barrio) called El Cabanyal.  We had a pretty cool place - 3rd floor walk up in a very old, historic building right on the street overlooking the marina area.  Complete with high ceilings, old original tiled floors and wooden doors with cool historic locks and handles.  There was a quick walk (maybe 10-15 minutes) down to the pier and beach where there were lots of great restaurants and amazing views, and just so many people out and about at the parks along the way.  Another thing to notice immediately, this is a very active community.  Even on Christmas day I took the kids on a walk and we couldn't believe how many people were outside enjoying the City.

The kids & I did the hop on hop off City tour from this barrio.  It was an older set up and not impressive ....but it worked and did the job.  They had a few different loops, but we only did one.  SO many great things to see along the way - narrow, winding streets and old historic neighborhoods mixed with new modern landmarks like the City of Sciences.  We did a bit more exploring, but over all didn't really connect here as a potential place to live.  To visit and relax & enjoy?  For sure.... just wasn't feeling like 'home'

Next stop, Quatre Carreres.  We found it fairly easily - a quick metro ride and a few blocks of a walk.  This AirBnB was on a side street, so it felt more like a little neighborhood.  The houses & buildings were only 2-3 stories and there were little parks and lots of trees.  This place was pretty great - refurbished recently and made over fairly modern.  We had 2 bedrooms downstairs and the loft, so plenty of sleeping.  Off to explore almost immediately and we found that we were within walking distance to the City of Sciences buildings/complex.  This was a GREAT neighborhood.  We stayed on the main roads just to get the lay of the land on this side of Turia Park and found it AMAZING.  We all feel in love immediately.  Over the next couple of days we found a huge mall (that even had an IKEA INSIDE the mall), theatre and lots of shops which would be great for furnishing an apartment, but we also got to spend two whole days at the City of Sciences (one on the science side and one whole day in the aquarium side - L'Oceanografic).  It just seemed like everything was feeling like home almost from day one in this barrio ....this might be the area we call home. 

After a few days here, it was time to take a break and be tourists again.  On to the trains and headed south to Alicante to see Chico, Carolina and family.

Stephanie Carnes May 17, 2023
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