After my fun weekend in Barcelona, it was time to get back to reality. Monday marked the start of finals week. Before studying all night, I spent one last afternoon at the beach. It was an extremely hot day, but the Mediterranean breeze felt so nice. I walked around the little tents and shops that line the beach and got all of my last minute souvenir shopping done!
Tuesday marked the last day of classes. I have absolutely no idea where the time went! After class, I thought about all of the things I still needed to do in Valencia. I only had three days left, and I knew I had to make the most of it. I set off towards La Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias (The City of Arts and Sciences), which is the very modern part of Valencia. It is known for its unique architecture. It consists of several buildings, all of which are white and have huge glass windows. They are surrounded by series of pools, and it is so pretty to look at the reflections on a sunny day. One of the buildings is L'Hemisfèric, which resembles a giant eye ("eye of knowledge"), and is an IMAX cinema, planetarium, and laserium. Another is an interactive science museum that resembles the skeleton of a whale. One of the main attractions is Oceanogràfic, which is the largest aquarium in Europe. It was built in the shape of a water lilly. My host mother was telling me it is a cool place for kids to have birthday parties, because they have an overnight package where the kids can sleep in the shark room and watch all of the sharks swim around them! Furthermore, there is an opera house and performing arts center, a plaza for concerts and sporting events, and a walkway called L'Umbracle, which is lined with plants indigenous to Valencia. Parts of La Ciudad de Artes y Ciencias are underground, but unfortunately I did not have the time or money to explore inside!
The highlight of my trip was walking around the Río on the way there. La Ciudad de Artes y Ciencias is at the very end of the Río It was about an eight mile walk there and back, but I am so glad I decided to go. There were so many parts to the Río I'd never seen before. There are tons of parks for children, exercise equipment for adults, fountains, and entertainment plazas. I love that the Río offers a big splash of green in such a large city, and next time I am back in Valencia, I am determined to bike the entire thing and see all of the other parts I've yet to explore! (Incase you forgot, the Río runs down the middle of Valencia. It used to be a river, but was very prone to floods. In 1957, the flood was so horrible, the city decided to divert the course of the river, and the fertile soil of the riverbed quickly gave life to a lush garden).
On Wednesday, I had my first final exam. I had to write a timed essay for one of my Spanish literature classes, which went very well! After my exam, I headed to Old Town with my friend, Taylor, to enjoy one of our last afternoons in Valencia. I FINALLY walked by the cathedral museum during open hours, and saw the supposed Holy Grail, which is the chalice Jesus drank out of during the Last Supper. According to Christian historians all over the world, evidence points to this particular chalice as the most likely candidate for being the authentic cup... Pretty cool!
Only two more posts until I am finished with this blog! Thanks for being patient with me! :)