This weekend I decided to take advantage of the Valencia trip included in the CEA program. They bus you out to Valencia (3 hours south of Barcelona) and put you up in a hotel for two nights. The city itself was awesome, it’s a fairly small beach town with pretty amazing architecture, great views and good weather (well, most of the time). The first day we got there we met up around 3pm for an option tour of the city from a local guide. Which I was happy I did because I learned a ton about the city I wouldn’t have without the guide. The tour is about an hour and a half of walking around the city then another hour and a half in a bus stopping at various locations along the way. One stop was the City of Arts and Sciences which is a giant complex with pools in the middle and amazing white buildings surrounding them which are museums.
After our tour we had the rest of the night to ourselves, we decided to go to this tapas restaurant called El Camerino Taberna. For 20 euro you got a seemingly endless supply of tapas in addition to unlimited drinks (I highly recommend this place if you ever visit Valencia). After that we walked around the city for a while and headed back to the hotel. CEA plans another optional activity for you on Saturday, the IVAM tour, which is a local contemporary art museum. I takes a little over an hour and you again get a guide to take you around the museum and tell you about each exhibit. It wasn’t the most exciting event of the weekend but is was still pretty interesting and the guide gives you a lot of insight on each piece you wouldn’t get going in by yourself.
After the museum a group of us went to this giant event Valencia is currently having everyday at 2pm leading up to Las Fallas, they have a firework show for 5 minutes in the city center, where over 10,000 people meet to listen to the ridiculously loud fireworks. They also had several outdoor fiestas around the city with large stages set up playing live music and serving drinks. At the end of the week, to finish the festival they burn down the giant cardboard structures they have built around the city, having fiestas and neighborhood cookouts all day long.
For dinner we went to this amazing restaurant called El Rall. The seafood paella they had there was insanely good. They brought the two lobsters that would be in our paella to our table alive! Which was pretty cool we got to play with him for a little before he was cooked up which is a little messed up, but a pretty cool experience. It’s a little bit expensive but totally worth it probably the best paella I’ve ever had. Maybe because as our tour guide explained to us Valencia is where paella was invented. After that we went out to a local night spot which was a little interesting. However we made some english friends, four guys from outside of London that were hilarious. They hung out with us the whole night, until one of them needed to be escorted home, after a little to much fun.
Overall Valencia has probably been my favorite, out of all the cities I’ve visited so far; the weather was great for the most part, I love the beach town feel, the area was super pretty and the people there were unbelievably nice. Some guy on the street even walked up to me with his girlfriend and told me they got too much piazza at dominos and asked if I wanted some (unreal nice). Anyways thats how my first CEA trip was, I highly recommend going on the Valencia trip and any other trip CEA offers.
Riley D is the Spring 2017 MOJO blogger for Barcelona, Spain. He is currently a Junior at Washington State University studying Finance.