On Saturday, my host family took me to the seaside city Xàbia. We were very lucky and had perfect sunny weather. The beach there is completely different than Valencia’s. It’s rocky instead of sandy, and the water is crystal clear.
There are also other differences in the community in general. The city has a very large British population. You can see little signs all over; there are little English bookstores, English restaurants, and people with British accents. The city is about an hour and a half drive from Valencia and it was a perfect day trip. It was also very fun to spend the day relaxing with my host family!
On Sunday, a friend of my host sister came to Valencia for a several hour layover. It was really fun, because she invited me to come along as she showed her friend, who lives in Germany, around Valencia. Of course, I’d been downtown before, but it was fun hearing my host sister’s perspective on things. Also, because Monday was the National Day of Spain, the streets were filled with fair-like festivities: banners, booths, food stands, and pedestrian crowds.
We were thrilled to find out that almost everything was free, too! We got to climb the Torres de Serranos (normally a charged entry), and we got to see the Holy Grail (housed in the cathedral downtown) for free. The view from the top of the tower was spectacular. Valencia is a very flat city, so I very rarely see an elevated view of the city. It’s lovely seeing the sea, the mountains, and the city all at once. Also, I thought it was so cool to see the Holy Grail! It’s one of Valencia’s famous treasures, but normally you have to pay to see it, so I hadn’t gone yet. It was a very successful afternoon, overall.