November was my most busy month in Valencia so far. Busy and good. Busy and exhausting. Busy and wonderful. November was filled with academic obligations, girls nights and long naps. After exams were made and papers were written, some of my favourite girls came all the way to Spain to visit me and explore my new city.
November took off stressful. I had my first midterm exam at the University of Valencia and did not know what to expect. Luckily, it turned out all well and I can say that sometimes stereotypes are true. The English classes at this university are easier than in Belgium and my grade was higher than expected. As soon as I finished this exam on English Discourse Analyses I had to start writing a paper on Cortázar’s Rayuela, a wonderful book that you should at least read once in you life (Cortázar prefers twice. If you read this brilliant novel you will understand why!) Fortunately, my hard work was rewarded with the visit of four of my high school friends. Not only did we develop into the young ladies at the same secondary school but we also used to leave our hometown on Sunday nights for the same student city. Although one after another left Leuven, we still keep in contact weekly if not daily and share most moments of our young lifes. I was more than happy that these four girls hopped on a plane on a random Friday and found there way to Valencia. During the weekend, I guided them through my new city and we had lots of fun. Thanks to their presence, I discovered some places in a new point of view, which was interesting.
We started our weekend together with a walk through the Jardín del Turía towards the Ciudad de las sciencias y las artes with the finish line at the beach. In the evening we wandered through the barrio, El Carmen, and found our way to a typical tapas bar, which served the best tapas I had so far. On Saturday we explored the old city (Mercado Central, Torre de Serrano, Plaza Ayuntamiento and Plaza de Toros) and had a shopping spree at the main shopping area near Calle Colón. We had lunch at 100 Montaditos, which is a budget-friendly chain of restaurants popular by the Spanish youth. For dinner, we decided to have paella in a non-touristic restaurant in a side street of Plaza de Sant Jaume, which I can recommend you! Because on Sunday a good breakfast is obligatory I took my girls to Dulce de Leche in Russafa, the hipster neighbourhood. And I can tell you, they more than enjoyed the cupcakes, brownies and cakes this cosy boutique offered us. Because it was S.’s birthday she chose to eat Italian for dinner, so we did. We took our lazy Sunday asses to La Pappardella. And as much as our brunch we all enjoyed a delicious pasta. To end our weekend we held a typical girls’ sleepover with the five us in one room, like the good old times. This weekend had everything a good girly citytrip needs to include.
When my four girls left, I had one day to catch up with school work and rest before M. would join me a couple of days. M. is my favourite redhead and university friend and I loved to spend some of my days with her. Because she had explored Valencia before I could skip the touristic highlights and we explored some of the city’s secret spots and neighbourhoods were I had not been before. We wandered through El Jardín Botanico and enjoyed the street art in the area around this park owned by the university. We walked through a whole new part of the Jardín del Turía and we explored more of Russafa than I was able to do so far. We both had to study as well, and decided to enjoy our time together and relax. After busy days with my four girls, the movie nights and chillings in the Valencian parks were more than welcome and we both enjoyed it. Of course, we celebrated Thanksgiving as well, however it became a real Spanish/student meal. But it was fun!
Overlapping with M.’s visit was E.’s visit. My travel buddy and Thailand companion visited me for one weekend and she was happy to be back in Spain after her own Erasmus experience in Cádiz last year. With the three of us we took joy in watching the sunset on Los Torres de Serranos and we had tapas at El Taberna de Olivo, which we can recommend because of its more than delicious tapas. Because it was Saturday night and we are young we put our party shoes on. After dancing in Unic, Bolsería and Fox Congo we took a cab to the popular club Mya at the Ciudad de las artes y las sciencias. My both visitors did not only like the wonderful locations of this club but its atmosphere and interior as well. We could go to bed as three satisfied young ladies with aching feet. When M. had to leave, I took E. on a trip through the city and for the next couple of days I became her personal guide. We had lotof fun and were happy to be reunited after our amazing Thailand trip.
Unfortunately, E. had to go home as well after the weekend and the university, my books and my bed became my best friends again for a couple of days until my last visitors would join me for some new amazing experiences…
¡Disfruta tu vida, tus amigas y la puesta del sol!