We had a long drive to Valencia but made good time with Paco behind the wheel.
The city was founded in 158BC by the Romans. The Visigoths ruled next, followed by the Muslims. Today the city is beautiful and full of history, blended with modern additions.
We were joined on our tour by Stonehill graduate Jason Lampke '92 who has lived here since 2000. I was able to meet his lovely wife Maria and three children before Jason joined the group for our tour.
Ophelia was our local guide - not short on words, she talked a mile a minute and provided us with some new catch phrases: 6,000 potatoes, flip the omelette, bubs and more!
We drove to the harbor which hosted the 32nd America's Cup in 2007 - providing opportunity for complete restructuring which brought about a boom in tourism. There is a beach right next to the harbor and a Formula One track there as well - with views of the track from yachts in the harbor. We then drove to another new development area that boasts an aquarium, dolphin center, science and research center, an iMax and a spectacular opera house.
We drove by the bull ring which was constructed in the 1850s and is modeled after the Coliseum. Lots of churches - on most every corner in fact! "One to the right, another on the left..."
We concluded our tour at a cafe to enjoy a local drink Orchata. We then said goodbye to Jason (thanks so much for joining us!) and had dinner on our own.
Today was the only bad weather we experienced - light rain until the very end of our walking tour, which brought us rain like cats and dogs - "not just puppies."