Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Day 9, Valencia and Sagunto

Our last port of call was Valencia, which calls to mind oranges, paella, flamenco dancers. We choose a trip to Sagunto, where in the 5th century BC, the Celtiberians built a citadel to protect their city from from the Carthaginians...but were conquered by Hannibal during the Second Punic War.  (I can hear Sr. Theodore talking about the great Punic Wars during sophomore year Latin class...too bad I didn't pay more attention.)  Then it was conquered by the Romans, and it still retains some of the buildings from that time.  The city and its ruins aren't as well preserved/cleaned/beautified as others we've seen, yet that doesn't diminish the history there.

Segunto preparing for a Roman Festival.
Steps to the 13th century Convent.
Lots of gargoyles on Gothic Catholic Church.

 Entrance to the Esglesia de Santa Maria, 14th century Gothic Catholic Church.

When his sister started to climb, he led her away!
Fortress walls.
Pomegranate tree.
Sagunto is built on a hill...lots of climbing.
There is a 1st century RomanTheater in Sagunto, that has been restored, and now is used for events.  Its modification was controversial...
Side of the theater showing old with new.

Seating placed on top of original structure.
Incredible acoustics.
Our guide was speaking in a normal voice and could be heard at the top of the theater.
A vomitorium.

 We left the theater, and walked back down the hill.
Again, the Citadel walls, and town walls.
We saw beautiful tile work on sides of buildings and roofs, some more modern.

Sights seen while walking around Sagunto.
Jewish quarter, typical narrow streets and archways.
 We entered a museum, which housed some important atiquities.

The Temple of Diana's wall, 2nd century.

These steps led to a mikvah, which may have once been a Jewish bathhouse.
Notice the possibilities for running water.

Topographic map of Sagunto, showing Citadel on top, theater, town.

Back on our bus, we headed to Valencia, passing lots of farms and small private gardens.
Valencia orange trees...very small!
 In Valencia, our first stop was The City of Arts, a riverbed turned into a park and futuristic cultural center, designed by the Valentian architect Santiago Calatrava.  
Art Museum.
Opera House.
Science Museum.
Event center.
Pool between a rambla and science museum, with opera house in background.  Our bus went under the walkway on the left, and we got out!

Opera House.

Reminds me of the Wyeth painting, and her name is Christin(a).

Planetarium, laserium, 3 D Imax.

The above walkway.

Lots of beautiful ceramic tile.
Inside the covered walkway/garden, which can be used for events.

The street entrances.
Elevator entrance.
Another view of the Opera House.
Modern children's play area.
Play area.
 We traveled via bus to the old part of Valencia, and saw beautiful buildings, interesting architecture. 

Giant ficus tree.


Out of use bull fight ring.

Looks like Wedgwood. 
 Miles of beautiful buildings, featuring wrought iron, friezes, interesting architecture.
Then we arrived to the Centro Mercado.
Built in the early 1900s, an iron and glass building.

Tile work.

Central dome.
Beautiful building.
Tiles everywhere.

The stalls!

If I recall correctly, Iberian pigs have black feet.  Spaniards are serious about their pigs!

Gambones - prawns!
Yuk...I am not a fan.
Be still my heart, a paella cookware stand outside the market!

I was trying to figure out how I could fit a burner and pan into my carry on...that was a no go.
  We were in the old town, on our way to lunch...and we were hoping for Paella!


More gargolyles...
including this guy relieving himself.

Moorish building.
Cousin Bob and Chris...love this picture.
And our surprise lunch...paella!  con camarones!
 Sights seen on the way to our bus.

Headless icons.
Bird bath.
On the road back to our ship, a sign of global warming...the road floods from the rising sea levels.  Riprap in place.

We sailed overnight to Barcelona, and flew home that day.  It was a great trip...the Italian, French and Spanish Rivieras, travelling with people we love.  Ah, where to next?