Last night was a beautiful sunset. We went out for a walk in the humid air and pleasant Mediterranean breezes that were flowing through the city. Valencia is starting to find a place in our hearts. There are parts that have become our favorite, like the one we walked to last night. It’s right along the Turia Dry Riverbed Park where the Torres de Serranos stand. After stepping out from the historic center’s cozy streets of nestled buildings and adorning balconies, the arching sky overhead feels wonderfully open and expansive.
[mappress mapid=”6″]The history of the Moorish occupation of this area of Spain comes to my mind when I am at this particular spot. Not as much from the architecture, as from the flourishing presence of tall green palms, wispy willow trees, and a variety of flowers and other trees that along the upper sides of the park. The Turia Park itself is lower than the street level, winding its way under ancient bridge after ancient bridge. One of the most beautiful ones is right here across from the Torres de Serranos. It used to be for vehicles, so is quite wide and today a pedestrian bridge.
Walking to the middle of this bridge, we stood in one of its triangular points that extend from the sides. To one side we marveled at the rich sunset colors that took their time morphing from a fiery-bright orange sun dipping into the horizon, turning the trails of clouds a vibrant pastel pink. Then to the other side, the full moon began to rise, large and golden. I wasn’t sure which side to glance at more…such amazing beauty was unfolding all around us.
So we stood and took in the transformation of the day into night here in Valencia. When the brightness had dimmed and the sky was softening, we walked back into the embrace of clustered, old architecture, passing directly through the arch of the towers. On the other side, ornate street lamps were coming on, casting yellow hues onto the cobblestone streets, cafes and homes. Around every corner there seemed to be flickering candle-light from a local taberna or down a dark alley the grey tendrils of smoke floating up from a few locals enjoying a cigarette break at the back of the cafe where they worked.
For us there is a great beauty in Valencia that is the blend of what is seen with what is felt. While many of things here are beautiful in and of themselves, the experience of the culmination of all that is here is intoxicating. The best way to take it all in is to do what we did next – leisurely stroll till we found ourselves near one of our favorite local cafes, Cafe Museo next to the Centro Cultural El Carmen and Plaza del Carmen. Here we sat down with a Vermouth and a Turia beer and listened to a young man play Spanish guitar while we watched the stars begin to appear in the sky overhead.