The name of this blog is a saying in Newcastle, which means a shy child gets nothing and on past experiences and travels I’ve always tried to implement this saying by never turning an opportunity down. I believe it never hurts to ask. In Italy the phrase ‘€2… I work here’ was always a winner and now, on my year abroad I plan to milk my Erasmus student status for all that it is worth.
I’m a pretty late starter with this blog, as I’ve been in Valencia for just over a month now and never got round to doing it, but after seeing my fellow Notts students post their blogs I thought I better follow suit.
So here is a summary of my first month in photos and words: I found a flat and amazing flatmates.
I’ve been soaking up the sun at the beach.
And enjoyed a fair few nights in and out…
I spent the first 2 weeks exploring the city with my Mum. One day we traveled to a town 40 minutes away called Xàtiva. I was so excited when I spotted a tourist train which would take us up the mountain, as it reminded me of all my childhood holidays in France, when the tourist train was the highlight of my summer! However, the experience did not quite live up to how I remembered. The cobbled streets and the lack of suspension made the journey to the castle pretty rough and then as we turned round one particularly tight bend, our carriage became stuck on a street bollard. The loud bang attracted a crowd of locals, who then helped by pushing the side of the train while the driver repeatedly attempted to force his way around the corner. Eventually we were free, the locals were amused by the event and we definitely were too.
Oktoberfest in Spain… and not in October. But it was a very good night!
I enrolled at University and picked my modules, the whole thing was quite an ordeal, with 2 hour queues and tutors who are only available for 2 hours on one day of the week, very stressful, BUT I ended up with an amazing timetable. I’m only in Uni 2 days a week and have a 4 day weekend!
I went to a football match, Swansea City vs. Valencia. I was proper excited to go as it was only my second ever football match, we all put the Valencian colours on our face to show our support, but instead we all just looked like massive tourists. Valencia played badly (I think) and half their supporters left half way through.
I got a job! (Only a little one) Where I give conversation classes to a 12 year old girl twice a week.
I joined an Aerobics class at University, which I think would be a lot easy to follow if I could understand what the instructor was yelling at us.
I paid a visit to La Lonja de la seda, which is the old silk market in the centre of Valencia.
I went to see Grease at the Teatro Olympia, which was AMAZING! When I was younger, I’m not going to lie, I was a Grease mega fan and I would literally sit and watch it all day, on repeat. So following the story line was no problem for me, I even managed to understand some of the jokes. I was gutted I didn’t know the words to sing along, but I’m planning on learning them… ‘Tu Serás Para Mí! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vB9qy1usnEU
We went to Albufera! A group of about 20 of us travelled one Sunday to Albufera, the largest lake in Spain, at the bus stop it felt like we were going on a school trip. However, everything didn’t quite go to plan. When we got there, we realized, due to the windy weather that there probably wasn’t going to be a boat so we decided to walk along the beach in search of a restaurant. After about 3 hours of walking (I HATE WALKING ON SAND) and no sight of any restaurants, we gave up, headed back to Valencia and ate there. But I did managed to take some lush photos of the pretty purple sky…
I also shopped at Mercado Central and then discovered a cheaper market, Mercado Cabanyal, which is closer to the sea and has a big market on Thursday mornings.!
This past week, I spent a morning at L’oceanografic. This giant aquarium/ sea life centre at the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias and it was AMAZING, I was gutted I had to leave early to go and give my conversation class but I still managed to see most of it.
And finally to complete my month, this past weekend I have been to Cuenca with a family I met here in Valencia. The mum invited me to spend a couple of days with her, her husband and their two daughters in their house in a remote village close to Cuenca. It was really great to get of the city for a few days and experience the Spanish countryside, which was surprising beautiful. On Saturday we went into Cuenca and saw the Casas Collgadas, these houses that seem to be hanging off the side of the mountain. On Sunday we visited the castle at Alarcón. The weekend was great, the family are so welcoming and playing with the kids was fun, it made me miss working at Funstation. I brought home some of the higos that we collected on Saturday.