Friday, 7 September 2012

Dead birds, chandeliers and the world’s worst chicken nuggets.

Day 137 06.09.12 Valencia

Palacio de la Exposicion in Valencia, SpainWe’re up early so get some more writing done before lunch.  Afterwards we head out back along the riverbed park to visit the fine arts museum.  Along the way we come across the Palacio de la Exposicion, a stunning building with some of the prettiest stained glass windows I’ve ever seen.  Sadly you can only go inside one small part of it where the public library is held.  It’s surrounded by some very pretty buildings including a gorgeous hotel built in the 1920s that looks very swish indeed.

Onwards we go to the large park behind the art museum where we come across lots of fine statues and a nice water feature.  The art museum is free to enter and surprisingly big.  There’s a good mix of paintings and sculptures some of which are spectacular impressive.  It’s a bit heavy on the religious stuff unfortunately and in my opinion a little over the top on trying to theme rooms too strictly – there’s one room for instance that features only paintings of dead birds!  There’s a lot to see though, in an attractive building and we spend a good couple of hours there.

We then walk further alongside the park towards the one of the remaining gates to the city.  If these gates are anything to go by, the old walls must have been very formidable.  They’re very impressive although I think the restorers have gone a little overboard on adding new features which makes them feel a little less authentic.

Interior of Palacio del Marques de Dos Aguas, Valencia
Palacio del Marques de Dos Aguas, ValenciaFor a little while we just wander around town, revisiting many of the places we’d previously seen – and retaking pictures as my ones from the other day were crap!  We find lots of new buildings and parks along the way too.  The Palacio del Marques de Dos Aguas is open when we visit this time so we go inside for a look.  The entrance fee is 3 euros each but it looks to be a gorgeous building.  On the lower floor you find the ceramics museum which has some nice pieces but isn’t exactly thrilling unless you’re a huge Lladro fan.  The second floor is the palace and thoroughly extravagant.  Room after room the chandeliers get bigger and the décor more flamboyant.  The ceiling frescos are some of the finest I’ve seen.  It really is jaw dropping stuff and totally worth the entry fee.  The third floor is back to ceramics and unfortunately rather dull.      

Palace del Marques de Dos Aguas in Valencia
Doorway of Palacio del Marques de Dos Aguas, ValenciaWe walk around a fair bit more before heading up to see the inside of the silk exchange building, annoyingly we’ve left it too late and arrive 15 minutes after closing.  No worry though, we’ll be back!  We’re spending quite a bit of time in Valencia as we’re somewhat time bound at the moment.  It’s my birthday on 23rd and I want to spend it in Barcelona at their phenomenal La Merce festival.  An awesome friend is also coming over to help me celebrate (hi Rob!) so we’re travelling quite slowly up this stretch of coast.

After our day in town we head home via the supermarket to pick up some dinner which we promptly make a shambles of on account of not noticing we’d run out of gas part-way through!  We had a back-up bottle but this meant a simple half an hour meal of chicken nuggets and potato wedges took over an hour and didn’t exactly taste the best!  Oh well, time to watch Arietty then bed.

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