Map-Free Valencia

When we docked in Valencia we noted that the Viking Sea was berthed near us. Viking is best known for river cruises but also has a sea cruise division. Very nice ship.

The port of Valencia is some distance from the central city. We had to take a ship’s shuttle bus over to the Serranos Gate, In our haste to get on the bus, we did not get a map. This is something I hate to do – explore an unknown place with no idea where you are going or what you are doing. However thanks to the shuttle it worked out OK for us. We did manage to see quite a lot of old Valencia.

The bus pulled out past some neoclassical warehouses that appear to be used for temporary storage these days.

At the port entrance, we passed the Clock Building (1916.) It’s used as a headquarters for the Port Authority of Valencia.

After about a 20 minute drive we arrived at the Serranos Gate. We had to cross a bridge over the Turia Park. This is the former riverbed of the Turia River, which was diverted away in the 1960s as a flood control measure.

We headed across the bridge and through the gates into old Valencia.

To escape the crowds we got off the main street and wandered through the old barrio near the gate. There were lots of little bars and restaurants. Reminded me of the Barri Gotic in Barcelona but not as large.

Rejoining the main street, we soon found ourselves at Plaza de la Virgen. Here we discovered the Church of Our Lady of the Forsaken – the patroness of Valencia. This basilica was the first Baroque church in Valencia – built in the 1600s.

It has a beautiful dome over the main altar.

And it is quite lovely inside, although the exterior is plain.

Just down from the basilica is the rear entrance to the cathedral with some statues of the apostles over the door.

Another photo of Plaza de la Virgen.

It’s a lovely spot, if quite busy.

This imposing building is the Palau de la Generalitat – center of the Valencian regional government.

We moved on to the entrance to the cathedral – unfortunately, it was crammed with tour groups so we couldn’t get in without a wait.

The bell tower for the Cathedral – called Miguelete, it was built in the 13th and 14th centuries.

In front of the cathedral is another pretty square filled with flowers.

A floral closeup from the Cathedral square.

We walked on to the civic square – known as Plaza del Ayuntamiento.

Some really great architecture around the Valencia civic square.

On our way back we stopped into one of the older churches – the 14th century St. Martin. It has been updated to more of a Baroque look over the centuries.

Another dome lets in the light. This church is well worth a visit.

We worked our way back to the city gates.

Then we headed back across the bridge to the shuttle bus stop. The Turia park is really lovely.

The Serranos bridge with the church of Santa Monica in the background.

Heading back on the bus, we passed several bridges over the former Turia river. This floral strewn one was particularly appealing, especially if you like geraniums.

After getting back on the ship, I had a chance to photograph a bit more of the port.

Valencia is the biggest container port in Spain.

That strange looking ship in the distance is an auto carrier.

The blue and white hoops in the distance mark the Oceanografic Valencia building – Sarah, Dave, and the kids went there while we toured the downtown. They had a great time.

So ends our day in Valencia, Next stop – Rome. But we have a sea day before we get there.

cww trust seal