Saturday, 11 April 2009

Valencia in the rain

VALENCIA - We're spending a pleasant long weekend in wet and cold Valencia, a city where many of the inhabitants - at least those not participating in the Holy Week activities - seem to have left town. Many of the shops and bars simply shut for the whole weekend. The cold and wet may not perhaps what we expected when we booked with Easyjet a few months ago. Nevertheless, this is a fascinating city which seems effortlessly to mix the old and new. The old centre, with its dominating cathedral and large central market, is a typical Mediterranean city with plenty of history as the gateway to Spain through the nearby port. But the extraordinary City of Arts and Sciences is the stuff of Prince Charles's worst architectural nightmares, a bold and daring collection of museums, concert halls and an aquarium oozing confident modernity. There's also a fairly new, spotless metro and tram system. That's the thing about modern Spain - its ability to transcend eras without apology. And Valencia does it in spades.

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