The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.

Well I’ve been quiet recently, sorry about that! But I have an excuse, and that is that I’ve been on two holidays. Two! I know. Spoilt.

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My first trip was a long weekend in Valencia, Spain where my lovely friend Jen lives. I went over with my sister and her best friend, so we had a fantastic girly weekend filled with wine, tapas, sunshine and gossip. I thought I’d share a few photos here.

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Jen in blue.

Wherever I go, I love hunting out the fabric shops and haberdasheries – but we just happened to stumble across this little square surrounded by stalls selling all sorts of ribbons and bows, lace and cross-stitch supplies. And these stylish ladies were sitting around working on their crafts and having a good old catch up in the sun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This setting beats John Lewis for your sewing supplies.

Nearby this square is the Mercado Central – a beautiful, breath-taking building filled with all the sights and smells and wonderful food that you’d expect in a Spanish Market. We spent a good long while in here taking it all in – and I bought some cured ham and manchego cheese, which me and my boyfriend gleefully truffled up on my return home.

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Valencia is a great place for a weekend break – it’s easy to walk everywhere, the food is fantastic, and it’s beautiful. Running all the way through the centre of the city is the Jardines de Turia – a 9km park in an old riverbed, which is full of runners every morning (me and my sister even joined them a couple of times, almost unheard of for a holiday for me!), and is flanked at one end by the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias which is a complex devoted to scientific and cultural dissemination made up of five main elements: the Hemisfèric (IMAX cinema and digital projections), the Umbracle (a landscaped vantage point and car park), the Príncipe Felipe Science Museum (an innovative centre of interactive science), the Oceanográfico (the largest aquarium in Europe with over 500 marine species – and although pricey, is well worth a visit) and the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía (which has a varied opera programme).

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Talking of activities, we all hired bikes one day (only about 10 euros for 24 hours) and cycled through the park and to the beach – just in time for a lunch of paella on the seafront and a short nap in the sun. We deserved it after all that bike action. Honest.

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Posing after our gruelling bike ride. Ready for a glass of wine.

If you fancy a special night out for dinner while you’re in Valencia, I can do no better than recommend you go to Oslo. Or Copenhagen. Or maybe even Malmo. No, I haven’t got my countries mixed up, these are a trio of restaurants in the city serving the most fantastic range of vegetarian tapas, in a very cool and (obviously) Scandinavian-style setting. And you don’t have to break the bank – between the four of us, we ate our fill of tostas, mini-hamburgers, artichoke hearts and quinoa salad, and with wine the bill only came to around 60 euros.

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We never quite got the hang of eating late. The restaurant filled up later..

I highly recommend a trip to Valencia – for such a small city, there’s a lot to see, and food and activities are pretty good value. It’s the perfect place if you just want to take it easy in the sun and watch the world go by, or if you want to get a bit more active there’s plenty to do to! Have I sold it to you? I should totally become a travel agent, right?

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Today’s quote is from Saint Augustine.

 

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